Being in a relationship isn’t as easy as many of us think. When we find ‘the one’ it is assumed that all worries will wash away and that we will float on a cloud of happiness for the rest of our lives. As most long-term couples will tell you, this is rarely the case.
The fact is – we weren’t taught how to behave in relationships. If you’re lucky, you grow up witnessing a positive role model (your parents marriage) but often this doesn’t happen and you end up arming yourself for battle and learning as you go along. However you viewed marriage and relationships growing up, there are a number common mistakes people make that put any relationship at risk…
1. Depending on your partner to feel whole
Popular culture may be to blame for this one – you meet the love of your life and expect them to complete you and provide unlimited joy. While relationships should bring joy to your life, it shouldn’t be your partner’s job to fulfil you entirely. That’s your job and yours alone. Until you take responsibility for your own happiness, difficulties are likely to ensue.
2. Expecting relationships to be easy
Some are easier than others, but it would be a stretch to call any relationship ‘easy’. They take work and beyond those calm seas there is bound to be the odd storm. Accepting this and not attributing every disagreement to the fact that you are ‘wrong’ for each other will help you view challenges as an opportunity to move forward and grow as a couple.
3. Thinking that secrets are any different than lies
If you tell yourself that the thing you’re keeping from your partner isn’t a ‘lie’ just because you have omitted telling them, you are headed for trouble. Omissions of truth are the same as lying and can break the bonds of trust just as easily. Realising this and being honest with your partner will help your relationship stay healthy.
4. Not realising that broken trust can be repaired
At some point in your relationship, you may find yourself facing broken trust. When this happens, your first instinct may be to leave – but often these issues can be worked through. If both of you are willing to do the work and you understand that trust levels rise and fall over the course of a lifetime, you are more likely to find the strength to hang on in there.
5. Failing to carve out enough quality time
Taking your partner for granted and not spending the time it takes to nourish a relationship can only lead to difficulties in the future. This can be especially true of those who live together – you may think just because you share the same living space that you don’t need to plan time together, but often you end up like passing ships in the night. Try to plan at least one ‘date night’ a week where you spend quality time together (i.e. not in front of the TV).
If you think you could benefit from some outside help, why not consider a relationship coach? Find out more and find a coach in your area by visiting our relationship coaching page.
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