Buiding and maintaining healthy relationships for 2016
Well, here we are! The year 2016 is in and we are rolling with the tide; resolutions are made and now comes the task of actualising them, so let's do just that.
By now we should be aware that falling in love and planning a wedding are incredibly romantic activities, and very often this is undertaken while wearing rose-coloured glasses.
I mean all the gifts make it seem like Christmas just passed, but there is an important gift that you must give to yourself, and that is the gift of awareness. Would you buy a car without brakes, or a house with a leaky roof?
I thought not, so why would you commit to a relationship where some things are fundamentally missing? For example, things like respect, trust, friendship, communication. And if those fundamentals are there, then the love, trust, faithfulness, and a healthy sexual relationship will just be an extension of these things.
Our entertainment-saturated society helps feed all sorts of illusions about reality. The fantasy of the perfect romantic and sexual relationship, the perfect lifestyle, and the perfect body, all prove unattainable because the reality never lives up to the expectation.
The worst fallout comes in the marriage relationship. When two people can't live up to each other's expectations, then they look for their fantasised satisfaction in the next relationship, the next experience and the next excitement. We are agriculturist by nature, so let's plant what we want.
A marriage or romantic relationship doesn't make you happy, but both parties can and should work together to make the relationship happy. Happiness is not something that just happens to us, and love is not something that we just fall into, even though it may seem that way when a relationship begins.
No matter how much passion there is at the start, for love and happiness to last a lifetime, they must be actively made. Love is a creation in the mind and heart; it is fashioned by acts of loving kindness, which can produce something that is at once durable and a thing of beauty.
Creating a happy and enduring relationship requires that we understand how our underlying and often baffling personal issues impact our ability to connect with others, and, crucially, with ourselves. It calls on us to make conflict and personal pain into resources for deeper intimacy.
You must establish a pattern of apologising if you make a mistake or hurt your partner's feelings. Saying 'I'm sorry' may be hard in the moment, but it goes a long way towards healing a rift in a relationship. Your partner will trust you more if he or she knows that you will take responsibility for your words and actions.
Express Your Needs
While it is easy to assume that your partner knows your wants and needs because you may have been together for a while, this is often not the case and can be the source of much stress in a relationship.
A healthier approach is to directly express your needs and wishes to your partner. In healthy relationships, there is respect for each partner's right to have her/his own feelings, friends, activities, and opinions.
It is unrealistic and controlling to expect or demand that your spouse must have the same beliefs and interests as you do so you can be happy. It can be oh so boring to have complete compatibility all the time, so I dare you to be just a little bit different.