How to Improve Your Most Important Relationship

Getting the Right Perspective

I’m not a believer in soul mates, and I don’t think there is just one right person to make your marriage magically easy. It takes perspective to realize the lessons we learn in marriage are building a stronger relationship.

1 | Drop Expectations

We have expectations when it comes to our spouse. Our number one expectation could be the infamous line in the movie Jerry Maguire — “You complete me.”

2 | Choose the Story You Tell

Our story is what we decide to think about our spouse. It is the thoughts circulating in our head. And once our story is formulated, we most often share it with others. The more we hear the story, the more it becomes truth.

3 | Stop Trying to Change Them

Stop because it won’t work. I tried to change my husband. I’m still trying to change my kids, and it’s not working. Here’s what I’ve noticed. They don’t like it when we try to change them, and I certainly don’t like it when someone tries to change me.

4 | Take Responsibility for Your Feelings

Create your happiness and meet your own needs, they are your responsibility. Just like you can’t change your spouse, he will never be able to make you happy unless you want to feel happy.

5 | Decide Who You Want to Be

What kind of spouse do you want to be? Decide to be that person. Do you want to be more affectionate? Maybe you wish you could be nicer, more giving, more loving? Figure out what the best version of you might be. How would you show up each day in your marriage? Whatever it is — decide and then do it.

6 | Let it Go!

When our kids were teenagers, I can’t tell you how many times we received the great advice “pick your battles.” Picking your battles, whether with your kids or your spouse, lends to the idea of holding on to something.

7 | Keep Loving Your Choice

Too many people look outside their relationship when things get a little challenging. You remember the old boyfriend from college and wonder how things might have been different if you’d married him instead. These thoughts stir up old feelings, and then you start to wonder. Just because you have feelings for someone else doesn’t mean you don’t love our spouse. We have control over who we choose to love.

Takeaways

As humans we need connection, we are drawn to feelings that help us feel valued and loved. While relationships are meaningful because of how they fill our need to be connected, the happiness we feel from our relationships is not based on how the other person acts or feels about us.

How do you work to improve your relationship?

If you enjoyed this article, click here to get access to my free printable library, including my eBook How to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence.

Tandem biker, lemon lover, and wisdom searcher. You can find more of Lori’s writing at https://www.lorijackson.online/

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