1. Blaming – being right is not as good as being happy
An important step in becoming emotionally mature and acquiring personal power is to recognise there is choice between the stimulus (your partner’s stupid behaviour) and the response (your upset). The most important step to emotional maturity is to choose to not respond to what you interpret as a provocation, to make the choice to not be upset.
People often think they don’t have a choice and automatically respond when they experience a perceived negative situation. Most people are addicted to their emotions, it is bad habit.
2. Being A Therapist – its better to be a friend
As soon as you become a therapist to your partner, it alters the balance of power, you are the parent and they become the child. It can create resentment, as your partner may interpret your advice as, they are wrong and you are right.
3. Trying To Communicate When Upset – the filter of your emotions will stop you from understanding the other person’s perspective.
During an upset it is unlikely you or your partner will be able to understand each other’s needs without being overwhelmed by the negative words and feelings being expressed.
Don’t try and work it out, agree to talk to each other at a later date when you have both calmed down. If that doesn’t work then have a neutral third party present to help you both.
4. Taking The Relationship For Granted – relationships require continual nurturing.
Just because you love each other and are married does not mean it is enough to ensure a long-term relationship. Over time relationships can become stale and boring, usually because people have stopped having fun together. Relationships take time and energy.
5. Making Your Partner Responsible For Your Happiness or Unhappiness – still looking for a parent figure to save you.
No one can make you happy, you have to find your own way to make yourself happy. You have to discover your own needs, desires and meaning from life. You may share your wisdom with your partner but it will not have much meaning for them unless they have discovered it for themselves.
Also your unhappiness is not due to your partner’s behaviour. If they are really abusive then it’s your responsibility to correct it or move on. The more usual scenario is that your partner is activating your family patterns and you are playing out an incomplete relationship from your childhood with your parents or siblings.
6. Not Having Clear Agreements – clarity leads to power.
A relationship has some similarities to a business, people are interacting with each other towards some common purpose. In its simplest form you both live in a home together and it has to function, it’s cleaned, bills are paid and you plan future activities.
If you don’t have a clear understanding of each other’s expectations, then misunderstandings will likely occur. Have clear agreements about every important aspect of your relationship i.e. money, domestic responsibilities, future plans, how to handle conflict, etc.
7. Not Giving Your Partner Space – each person in a relationship has individual needs separate from the relationship, which need to be supported.
It is unrealistic to expect that your partner can fulfil all your needs, or that you can fulfil all of their needs.
A healthy long-term relationship has three sets of needs:
All are important, and the one which takes precedence at this time is the one that has been most neglected.