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Keeping a Good Strong Relationship.

We are social people, therefore we have relationships. These relationships vary from casual acquaintances like the corner store attendant who gives us our late night gut bombs to deeper and more meaningful relationships that create bonds that can last a lifetime. These can develop into what is called best friends or inner circle or even take you to a level of commitment that inspires you to want to commit your whole life to that one person. These deeper more meaningful relationships are what I want to target today.

These deeper connections offer up times where we are able to let our guard down open up and show a more vulnerable side. For some reason, some folks just have a hard time with deep relationships. They open up and they feel as if they have been betrayed. Another problem is that the other person isn’t fulfilling their obligation of making the other party happy so the couple splits up and goes their separate ways. Why is this? How can some people have a seemingly fairytale relationship while you can’t keep a relationship for more than a month? Maybe you are on your first or even third marriage and after the first six months, it is already on the rocks.  Why are people so hard to get along with?

Key parts of a relationship

It is interesting that we humans have such problems with other people isn’t it? We are socially inclined, yes, even introverts have friends and relationships. Therefore, what is the key part of a relationship that people need to look into and understand is part of the package.

Relationships are not easy

Why are relationships not just as easy as sliding into your favorite sneakers? Let’s not hide the lead, relationships are challenging because we are humans. Each person has their own will and own thought patterns. So we have to learn how to navigate this person so that we can determine if that person is going to be the best fit for us. As we navigate an initial feeling out period, we find different boundaries that other people may have set up and not conveyed that information to the other person. When this happens that person will sometimes easily voice their boundary and reinforce what they deem acceptable and what is not. You may allow for alcohol but heroin is out of the question.

Sometimes those boundaries are crossed and we don’t realize it. The other person may react as if you just threw the family dog across the room. When this happens, you have to have a level of communication. Without communicating in a calm fashion, there is no growth. You have to learn what is acceptable and what is not. It also helps with you connecting but finding out that source of that line. Maybe their parents always just changed the channel on them and they never had a say in what was being watched on the television.

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People just want to be loved. Yeah, they may have been hurt often in their past and their past is all they have to go on. Life experiences and thoughts of those experiences generate not only your emotions but also the person you are in a relationship with. Coming to understand why they believe what they believe helps you both grow and mature in the area of emotional wellbeing. So accept that a relationship is going to have its pitfalls and miss-steps but when you find those bumps you always have the opportunity for making a choice of is this worth understanding or is this something that I need to pay attention to.

You are able to make the decision to stay or go. That choice is not easy you can choose to stay because that boundary is not a big thing that you would happily respect or you may have to make that choice to move on. The decision to keep with a relationship is always challenging because you are worried as to what the other person is going to think of you. When in al respect the emotions that are brought up are their feelings and those feeling are a reflection of what they think of themselves.

Expectations

Now we all have our Manuals of how things are to run. The problem that we face is, did we include the other person in your manual? This manual that I am talking about is also called our expectations. It is interesting how often so many fights and disagreements erupt when someone doesn’t act according to our expectations and we never even told them what we expect. Men you have run into the mindreading flaw that we guys have. Where suddenly we find out wife or girlfriend mad at us because we didn’t do something they thought we should do, this event is also called a covert contract by Jordan Harbinger. That means that someone has an expectation of you and when you fall short of that expectation they react as if you were fully aware of what was expected.

Now when it comes to marriage I have the philosophy of giving 100% to your spouse and expect nothing in return. This is often harder to do than you would think. I do try to give selflessly to my wife and not expect any favors in return but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have expectations. She has her duties in the marriage and I have mine. She pays the bills and I make the money. It isn’t that I give her a back rub and I expect some type of favor in return. Many times that is where we fall short. I expect that she will not run around behind my back. You would think that is a given but it is always good to include the other person in that manual. So that they know what the manual tells them.

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In our house, we have the manual of infidelity that if I ever cheat she will become Lorena Bobbitt. I know that if I want to keep myself intact I should not try to hit on other girls. There is a boundary and know what to expect as a reaction from her. Granted this is an extreme example of a manual but it does serve the point that I am making. If you expect a hot meal when I get home then I need to convey that expectation to the Missus and she can choose to ignore that expectation, or she can choose to say no it is, fend for yourself night tonight. My response to that can be to get upset. I can be grumpy and feel like she doesn’t love me. Then again, I can choose to accept that she doesn’t feel like cooking and so I will have frozen burritos for supper.

These expectations can also be that one party of the relationship expects the other person to make them happy. This is in all instances impossible I can no more make my wife happy as to survive a jump off the Empire State Building. Yet many people make this unrealistic expectation and it is good to have communications into that matter. Relationships help each other grow, and to help people find the happiness they desire in themselves is one of the best gifts and displays of love you could provide for the other person. Think back to your marriage vows, you promised to Love Honor and cherish. There is no mention in those vows to make sure the other is happy.

Don’t be exclusive.

Now I don’t mean start swinging or anything like that, but don’t spend every possible amount of time with each other. Yeah, that honeymoon phase does end and with that, you have to have some breathing room. Guys need time with their guy friends the same as girls need time with their girlfriends. It doesn’t matter if their friends don’t meet your muster. True your spouse or girlfriend may have friends who are still single and sleeping around. Humans are terrible mind readers. You don’t know if the other is being unfaithful so don’t treat them as such until you have proof.  So let them have their poker night or Wine night. If you are feeling uneasy about something, you can talk to them but don’t punish them if they don’t feel the same way as you do.  If you have expressed your concerns, they can do what they want with that information. The choices they make are on them. You have the choice as to how you want to feel about that. It doesn’t mean that they aren’t respecting you because they did go out and you chose to stay home.

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There are also the times that you need to just be by yourself the same goes for your significant other. It doesn’t mean they don’t care about you. They may need to go out and take a weekend off and go camping. When you are working out you really don’t want to have others asking deep and personal questions you just want to run or walk and be with your thoughts. The same goes for your spouse. Don’t try to read into an intention that is like trying to read their mind. We all need time away from each other at some.

If you need your girl by your side every moment while you are at home I would ask you why. Why is it imperative that she not spend time with her friends? Why does she have to be in the house when you are in the house? Again, this is about communication. Are you feeling insecure when she goes out? If so, why are you feeling that? Is it because the last three girlfriends who had close friends ended up cheating on you? It could be because you are being so needy and demanding her attention. There are many reasons why you could be feeling like you have to have her around. Ask yourself why and start looking at the root of the cause instead of assuming it is always her.

Keep up with your friends

When we enter a relationship, we often start to let our friends go to the wayside, especially when you get married. I would recommend that you don’t forsake those other people. There are times that you will need the insight of another guy when you are being faced with different problems. If we keep telling our friends and old friends no I can do this or no I can’t go camping with you they will eventually carry one without you. They won’t even bother asking because if they know that the answer is always no then why even ask.

Relationships are a give and take venture. Yes, it can be broken down to a very elemental level like that. You have to contribute to a social bank account so that you have emotional capital to withdraw when you need help. If you don’t keep contributing, then the interest starts to dwindle the balance and eventually the account is closed due to inactivity. Yeah we do have friends who have a very low social interest and so we can go for a long time and be able to pick back up but those can be rare instances. It is far better if you keep in contact with your friends that way they are there when you really need them.

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Uphold your promises.

As mentioned before relationships with your spouse are going to be challenging. Yet if you remember one important factor is that you made a promise to that person. Marriage often has many different compromises. You may be the one who does the laundry while she makes sure that the floors are swept up. You may always have the bathroom detail while she carries a bottle of Windex. Those compromises are parts of what makes you a team. You get upset about something she sees as a nonstarter while you are there to help her through a rough patch she is going through.

Help each other this is part of the Give 100%. If you see, your wife is showing interest in something then do what you can to help encourage her. Even if this is the 37 project, she has not finished keep encouraging her. She is finding herself the same as you are doing. You are both apart of the same team. It is you against the world and together you are unstoppable. To be a team though she has to trust that you will do what you say you are going to do and if you can’t or won’t be able to uphold that promise then have the difficult conversation. Communication is very important. We always have a tendency to swing to the negative when we as people don’t have all the information needed.

Get out of the scarcity mindset

This can cause so many different problems. Scarcity mindsets come from fear and insecurity. It is the cause of more fights than anything else. This is why money often is the root of may divorces. People see what they don’t have and ignore what they do have and start to argue over the scraps instead of finding solutions to the problems they are having.

Men often will turn to porn out of a scarcity mindset. We see that our multi-week romps in the hay have dwindled to once a week to once a month or even worse. Maybe your wife had a hysterectomy a year or two ago and now she has no drive what so ever. We start to wonder if it is us or something about us that is caused the love spigot to be turned off. Ever go to a corner store and look at all the herbal aids that are supposed to help men “perform” better. You see the Ads for erectile dysfunction. That isn’t because are having sex it is because men are trying to figure out what is their problem.

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The scarcity mindset men have about their bodies and how good they are in bed are the root causes of so many problems. Turning to porn is only one indicator. Their mindset often contributes to their wife not taking interest in being amorous. Why would they want to sleep with a grown man who is acting like a child?  That scarcity mindset only exasperates the problem. Often if you open up about what you are thinking, you start to reconnect with your wife. There is a need for an emotional connection that comes from talking problems out. You find out what is going on you may see that her scarcity of sex is actually her thinking that she doesn’t have the swimsuit bod that she did 5 years ago. Maybe she is struggling with how to be happy and she is feeling stuck. You will be able to support her by helping her coming to understand she is still the goddess of your life.  

Scarcity mindset will away creep in if you don’t pay attention to what is going on. You have to ask yourself from time to time some hard questions, you will find the problem is more often something with your mindset and changing it will often relieve the needed pressure of negativity in your life and relationship.

Have a Councilor.

We all have emotional baggage. This baggage is what keeps us from clearly seeing fully what the problems with our relationships actually are. So it is good to have a nonbiased third party to help play referee.  Marriage counselors are great for this. It is good to at least once a year goes in and have a series of sessions that help you see where the relationship is being hung up. Getting a bit of counseling is like a checkup for your relationship. In addition, is always good to have.

Express Your Love

Finally, though you can make your spouse feel love nor can they feel the love you have for them so it is always good to express your love. It may be bringing in her shoes in the dead of winter so that they are warm or it could be that you start the car 15 minutes before she takes off so that she doesn’t have to sit in a cold car waiting for it to warm up. It doesn’t always have to be flowers but it is a nice gesture. We can get a bit rusty in the day-to-day run of life. Therefore, you can fall into the ruts. If so, it can take some feeling cheesy to start showing her love. Stating that you love her is good and she likes it but if you can express it in other ways that are good too.

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Conflicts

Now there are times you are her are going to mess up. You will break a promise or you will break a boundary that has been set up. There is a good way to apologize

How to apologize

  1. State what you did wrong
  2. Take full responsibility for your actions
  3. Express why you see the way of your error and the effect that it has on the relationship
  4. Sit there and be silent allow them to forgive you if they choose to.
  5. Ask them for help on rectifying the problem
  6. Then recommit

How does this work?

When you state what you did wrong you are taking responsibility. You are recognizing that there was a breach of trust. You understand where and why it is important to the other person. This shows the other person that you are taking responsibility for your actions. You then shut up and allow the other person to decide if they forgive you if they choose to forgive you great if not great also. You can’t force them to change their mind so you have to accept those consequences and then proceed from there. If they have, something to say then let them say it. You keep your mouth closed until they are finished. Don’t try to blame own your dirt and you will be a bigger person for it. From there you commencing to reconnect and rebuild the damage that was done.

As mentioned before, Relationships are tough. Yet they are so very worth it. You have to lay our soul on the line and your partner has to do the same. With honesty and communication, you are able to build a relationship that will last. Yeah, there are rough spots you will find yourself in a scarcity mindset. When you are in a scarcity mindset, change the story you are telling yourself. Playing the victim never, works and your spouse will have a harder time respecting you when you come from a victim mindset. So keep working and know that her feelings are hers. While your feelings are only felt by you. They are no reflection of your spouse just what you believe you see in your spouse.

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About Bryan Goodwin

I like being able to help people find their "why" and achieve the personal freedom they desire. Besides writing for Relaxed Male I also am a life coach. By helping men find the leader that is found in each and every one of us. I do this by encouraging men to get outdoors and find the balance they are missing. Realize that they need to be in contact with the outside as often as they can. It is not only good for them but for their families and relationships.

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