I Don’t Like That: 3 Things Empowered Couples Avoid Doing
Relationships. They are amazing when they flow well and destructive when things go downhill. Each day comes with its own surprises, and each partner will do things that elate and frustrate the other. Some of the bumps along the way are minor and to be expected. Others can be painful and leave lasting marks on the relationship. Empowered Couples seek to continually work together to keep a positive flow in the relationship to ensure they overcome the bumps.
One of the tough parts about bringing two people together is that you are bringing two people together. Does that sound strange? Think about it. You have two very different people, with their unique backgrounds and experiences, coming together to find a couple identity while honoring their individual identities. That’s a lot of work!
Couples that work together towards a united vision of what they want the relationship to be are more likely to endure life’s ups and downs. They actively take steps to make deposits into their relational bank account to keep their connection strong. Empowered Couples understand that their will be times of disagreement, frustration, and stress. It’s what they do with these times that matters.
To help a relationship endure these ups and downs, a couple needs to look at what they are doing to improve the relationship as well as what they must avoid doing. Avoiding certain things keeps unhealthy patterns out of the relationship that can pull the couple away from the Same Team Mindset. These destructive patterns can pit partners against one another rather than working together.
These patterns can start slow, and you don’t really know they are there until they have become too heavy for the relationship to carry. Others can arise from the anxieties or fears of one or both partners. No matter the reason for why they could be there, the better plan is to keep them out in the first place. Here are three things that Empowered Couples avoid doing to keep their relationship strong.
The First Thing They Avoid Doing Is:
Not expressing their individual needs.
It takes a lot of trust and feeling secure in the relationship to be vulnerable enough to open up to your partner about your needs. Whether your needs focus on quality time, personal space, sex, professional endeavors, or needing someone to listen to you, it can be hard to open up and express these to your partner.
Other things that may prevent someone from speaking up are being nervous about what it will do to the relationship, believing that your partner should just know what you want (this is a common relationship myth), and not always knowing what you need. Since it can be a challenge to speak up, there can be a temptation not to speak up at all. This puts the relationship on dangerous ground.
Not speaking up can build resentment in a relationship. The longer the needs go unmet, the more that person gets upset or feels negative about their partner or relationship. Empowered Couples are open about their needs and express them in constructive ways to their partner. The key is for each partner to feel heard and understood, which will allow the couple to create a plan to get those needs met.
In a relationship, it is not selfish to have your own needs and ask for them to be met, nor is it that way for your partner. Each of you are unique people, and some of the greatest times in a relationship are bringing your unique personalities together to find creative ways to meet your needs. If you want to connect with your partner, then make sure you are actually connecting by expressing your needs!
The Second Thing They Avoid Doing Is:
Disregarding their partner’s viewpoint right away because it is different from their own.
This has become a pretty common practice today that if someone has a different viewpoint than your own, but you feel passionate about yours, throw theirs out and hold onto your own. As soon as this starts, collaboration gets replaced with competition, and solutions are replaced with conflict. Nothing positive or constructive for the relationship gets done.
It can be hard to hear a view different than your own on certain subjects, especially when it comes to the inner-workings of a relationship that you have a lot of effort and commitment invested in. The more passionate we are about something, the easier it can be for us to close our minds to anything different. The same is true in a relationship.
As soon as a couple starts closing themselves off to their partner’s views and opinions, communication breaks down. Poor habits begin to form that takes a lot of work and persistence to overcome. Is it really worth it to close yourself off from your partner’s viewpoints? Do you recognize when you are doing it? Their view is just as important to them as yours is to you, why not listen? The truth is reality probably lies somewhere between your viewpoints rather than all on one side!
The Third They Avoid Doing Is:
Getting too focused on individual identities.
This can be a tricky one! Empowered Couples embrace each partner keeping their individual identities while they form a couple identity together. With a healthy balance between “I” and “We,” each partner can continue to grow into the best versions of themselves, which helps the relationship grow stronger too. The trick is maintaining the unique balance that works for the couple.
When the balance tips too far into focusing on individual identities, the relationship will begin to feel strained. Needs that are meant to be met in the relationship will start to go neglected, and chances are this will not be seen or felt right away because the attention is elsewhere. This does nothing to help build an enduring relationship!
When the focus is too much on the individual, the work that is required to build and maintain a healthy relationship will not happen. Relationships do require some sacrifice on the part of each individual to help create something even more powerful. If one or both partners are too busy focusing on themselves, the work and sacrifices necessary will not happen. The fun will disappear in the relationship and be replaced by distance. Empowered Couples routinely monitor their balance to prevent distance and promote connection.
Empowered Couples build strong and enduring relationships by the way they work together. They manage what takes away from the relationship while regularly adding to it. They avoid not being open with their partners, disregarding one another’s views right away, and being too focused on themselves rather than their relationship. What does your relationship look like right now? What are its strengths, and where are its challenges? What do you need to do to go to the empowered level? What do you need to stop doing? Answering those questions is an excellent place to start!