Want to improve your relationship? Look in the mirror!

I have lost count of the number of clients who have come to me believing their relationship on the brink and that unless their husband or wife changes, it can’t work. If there is one thing I have come to understand whilst working through this challenge it is this; It is rarely the other party that needs to change.

I consider myself blessed to be with an amazing, kind and supportive man and I am proud that we have been married for ten years. It hasn’t always been blissful and for a long time, I didn’t appreciate what I had. My former marriage, however, was a complete disaster and I behaved like a doormat throughout. It taught me a lot. It has taken a lot of long hard looking in the mirror on my part to build a marriage that is based on connection, understanding and true equal partnership and as we prepare to escape on one of our regular ‘child-free’ weekends away, I find myself reflecting on what I had to change in order to build our relationship to the strongest point it’s ever been.

If you take away nothing else know this; If you are saying ‘he/she doesn’t love me enough’, you really mean ‘I don’t love me enough.’ The change must come from you.

Here are the five things I believe contribute to a wonderful relationship.

Your partner will not love you the way you love them and that’s ok

Have you ever felt let down because your partner hasn’t done something the way you would? Hasn’t made a huge fuss about the anniversary of the day you first met. Maybe they don’t seem as overjoyed as you are by the fact you have been asked to speak in front of your colleagues at work they just want to go to sleep when you decide it’s a great time to talk about holiday planning. We each have a different map of the world, a different filter that gives the same thing a different meaning for each of us. How your partner loves you is not how you love them, but it doesn’t mean they love you any more or less; they simply love you differently. Removing your own expectations and valuing your partner’s way of showing love and affection is important.

Your partner is not a mind-reader

If only your partner had a super-power to read your mind, wouldn’t life be so much easier? The truth is, there is no such super-power and they can’t. But still, you expect them to be able to. You use responses such as ‘I’m fine’ whilst silently screaming ‘when are you going to realise, I’m not fine!’ Your partner knows you are not fine, this is why they are asking how you are but you are not giving them the chance to help you. The key to moving through situations are getting support from your loved one is to communicate how you feel explicitly and stop relying on your partner reading between the very blurred lines.

You are not a doormat and nor is your partner

Your partner will show you the utmost respect if you have the utmost respect for yourself. Similarly, if you show your partner love and respect then they will respond appropriately. A partnership is about equality, love and support. You are there to build each other up, n