Relationships can be challenging. We take two different people with different beliefs, thoughts, and personalities. We put them together and expect them to create a happy life together. Add to the fact that there are so many differences between men and women, and it is a wonder we get together at all. Let’s face it, relationships take work. They are easier to navigate when we know how to do so successfully. Most of us learn a lot of things in school but how to create a long- term loving, healthy relationship is usually not one of them.

In today’s blog, instead of telling you what to do, I am going to talk about ten things I want you to give up in order to have a better relationship.

  1. Stop comparing your relationship to your friends or the ones you see on TV. TV is not reality, yet we can get caught up in the fairytale of how relationships “should” be. If you compare your partner to your friend’s, you can set yourself up for disappointment. Remember, you do not live their life, and you are probably only getting part of the story. Find the good in your relationship and move forward from there.
  2. Stop trying to control your partner. We are unique individuals and have different thoughts, ideas, beliefs, and ways of doing things. In many situations, there is no right or wrong way, just a different way. Learning to love and accept our partner for who they are, including their differences, creates stronger relationships.
  3. Stop blaming your partner for the problems in your relationship. This also means not waiting for them to change to improve your relationship. This takes away your power to positively impact your life and your relationship. When you become the best partner you can be, you elicit the best from your partner as well. In my coaching practice, I will frequently work with just one partner helping them to successfully improve their relationship.
  4. Give up negative talk. This includes what you say to your partner, others and yourself. The thoughts and words you use are powerful! Becoming aware of your words and changing them can be a first step in improving any area of your life.
  5. Get rid of limiting beliefs. Once you look at your words and thoughts, go one step further and look for limiting beliefs that are contributing to those thoughts. What beliefs do you have about relationships that are negative? You might have learned them from your family or your past experiences. It is time to let go of them and replace them with positive beliefs. You cannot make positive changes with negative beliefs.
  6. Stop complaining about all the small things. Then realize that most things are small things. Instead of complaining, make a list of all the things you like about your partner. Once you get into the habit, it is just as easy to focus on what you like. Now take it one step further and tell your partner how much you appreciate them and why.
  7. Stop making excuses and putting off investing in your relationship. I know you are busy with work, children, and all the other priorities in your life. If you want your relationship to continue or to improve, it takes time and effort. Your relationship has to be a priority. Make time for your partner. Learn to understand them better, learn new communication skills, work on problem areas, add more fun to your time together, and make them a priority. Invest in your partnership.
  8. Let go of any resistance to change. If you do the same things you have been doing, you will get the same results. What do you need to change in your relationship in order to grow together as a couple? Start today by doing something small. If you need ideas, I have written a book,Unmasking Secrets to Unstoppable Relationships: How to Find, Keep, and Renew Love and Passion in Your Life. It is full of small things you can do to improve your relationship.
  9. Let go of unrealistic expectations. Know your requirements in a relationship, the essentials you need to build a strong foundation. Focus on those and let go of the rest. Know what issues to compromise on and when it is time to agree to disagree. Take a look at your expectations and make sure they are realistic. Your partner is not responsible for your happiness nor do they have to fulfill all of your needs.

Stop looking behind you and look forward. The past is in the past, and you have a new opportunity every day to create a better future. When you stay stuck in the past, moving forward is impossible. The past provides a great opportunity to learn, but then it is time to let go. I know this can be difficult to do sometimes, and you might need help from a counselor or relationship coach.