Attitude is everything.
You’ve heard this before. Your middle school basketball coach probably even said it during a pre-game speech, or maybe it was the mid-level manager at your very first job.
But have you ever applied that motto to your relationships? If you haven’t, well, it’s time to start.
When I see couples who have the right attitude, there is nothing that can stop them from building the relationship they want and deserve. They learn to overcome their challenges, and they don’t run from the work that it takes to make their relationship thrive.
They are unstoppable.
But what about those couples who refuse to acknowledge their mindset hangups? You know who I’m talking about (maybe… gulp… it’s you). These are the couples who think they can coast on pure love but who are not open to learning about how their partner thinks or finding new approaches to conflict resolution.
They are in serious denial. And they are in serious trouble.
That’s because their relationships never improve — no matter how much effort they (or I) put in. They stay stuck, frustrated and confused. They can’t agree on anything. Their unwillingness to shift how they’re looking at their partner and their problems fuels resentment, anger and loneliness.
Then one day, they wake up next to a stranger.
When it comes to healthy relationships, attitude really is everything, and a bad attitude can take different forms in relationships. Here are the most common mindset mistakes I see people make — and how to banish them from your happily ever after:
Mistake 1: “The only way my relationship will get better is if my partner changes.”
It’s very easy to see only your own perspective, and it’s even easier to blame your partner for all your relationship woes without thinking about how you contributed. But easy does not cut it if you want a happy, healthy partnership.
The reality is that you have no control over your partner or their actions. The only person you have control over is you.
By taking responsibility for the role you play in your relationship, by learning how to be the best partner possible and by changing your mindset and behaviors, you can cause a revolution in your relationship.
If you take an honest look at your actions (or inactions) and become accountable, you are more likely to motivate your partner to do the same. And you do it without finger pointing, nagging or blaming.
Again, it is easier to cast blame than to take responsibility. However, when you decide that you’re willing to make a change, your partner will be happy to step up and mirror your positive example, and you become a relationship role model.
Mistake 2: “It’s better if I don’t come forward with issues, in case I’m misunderstood or start a fight.”
Openness and honesty are the cornerstones of any healthy relationship. Choosing not to talk about problems in order to avoid conflict is not a solution.
I know, in the moment, it seems like the right thing to do. You don’t want to rock the boat. You don’t want to argue. You don’t want to feel guilty or misunderstood or at fault.
You want peace.
Trust me, I understand. But keeping “peace” now is a recipe for an even bigger fight in the future. Probably the near future, when all your bottled-up emotions begin to swell, when the stakes are raised and you can’t keep your feelings trapped inside any longer.
And then, POP!
Remember, avoidance turns into resentment over time. When you fail to share your feelings with your partner, not only do you miss an important opportunity to connect, but it is also extremely unfair to your partner. All of a sudden you unload a big load of angry on them, and you never even gave them an opportunity to make a change or apologize.
You cannot hold your partner responsible for your frustration — when you’re the one who chose not to engage in the first place.
Mistake 3: “If my partner truly cares about me, they should know what I need and want without me having to ask.”
I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but your partner is not a mind-reader or a psychic. They don’t know what you are thinking, and they can’t meet your expectations if they don’t know what your expectations are.
“Well, you should have known…” Putting this kind of unrealistic expectation on your partner not only sets them up for failure, but it leaves you feeling dissatisfied when they don’t recognize your desires. Playing a game of “guess how I’m feeling” is unfair to you and them.
While your partner may love you and care about your well-being, you can misread their lack of support as neglect.
In reality, they may just not understand exactly what you need or want from them.
Setting up certain relationship guidelines and expectations with your partner early on — and learning how to communicate them compassionately and review them regularly — can help you make each other happier without resorting to shame, blame or games.
You have the power to choose how you speak, treat and relate to your significant other.
Maybe you see yourself and your partner in these three mindset mistakes.
You are not alone. These are common attitudes adopted by many couples, and they are not easy to overcome. While making small efforts can have a big difference in the level of happiness and fulfillment you and your partner find in your relationship, most people don’t know where to start or what conversations and actions they should be focusing on.
But you should feel empowered to face these challenges head on and to work toward a better partnership. The couples who work on their relationships consistently are the ones who enjoy their time together the most. While their friends or family members are breaking up and getting divorced, they stand the test of time.
But the question becomes HOW?
If you want to have a better relationship, the most important thing you can do is invest in it.
Sometimes the process can be messy and overwhelming. But if you stick it out and do the work, the connection and intimacy you create will be worth it. You deserve it. You deserve communication, trust, honesty and support.
And it’s all possible. The love you want is in sight. You just have to grab it.
If you want to learn how to build a relationship that lasts, I invite you to join me for the Relationship Roadmap Private Facebook Group! This Facebook group is where you get to see additional activities from the Relationship Roadmap Online Course video series. Join the Facebook Group now to see the first video.
I can’t wait to see you there!
Ready For A Change?
There’s no shame in wanting a better life or relationship for yourself. Try one counseling session – no pressure to commit. Book your In-office session today by filling out the contact form below or giving me a ring at 864-559-8181