The foundation of every healthy relationship always comes back to the importance of having clear and firm boundaries. The first time you get a bit of criticism you can let your partner know that isn’t okay. “I’m sure you didn’t mean to come across that way, but that sounded like a critical remark.” The sooner you stop destructive behaviors the better. Don’t wait, do it now.
The courtship phase is the ideal time to let your partner know how you like to be treated. For instance, some people insist on picking up the check while others prefer to be treated. There are people who like the door opened for them while others prefer to open the door. Some people like gifts and flowers while some people would be mortified with the same. Everyone is different and has different personal and emotional needs. Some people might have the need to be loved and cherished, while others have a need for freedom and independence.
As much as your friends and family love you, they won’t know what your emotional needs are unless you specifically tell them what it is you want them to say or do. Don’t worry, it won’t spoil things. I write extensively about the top 21 different personal and emotional needs and how to satisfy them in The Secret Laws of Attraction, as well as the online course, Raise Your Emotional IQ. If you want to discover your own top four personal and emotional needs, take the free Emotional Index Quiz.
You can use the 4-Step Communication Model to nip problems in the bud before they poison your relationship permanently, as I’ve described in depth in The Secret Laws of Attraction. Most women make the mistake of thinking they don’t need boundaries with their loved ones. All healthy relationships are based on boundaries. Children, spouses, family, friends and bosses need to know what your boundaries are. Without boundaries, people lose respect for us. Without respect, we lose the feeling of love we once had. It happens slowly over time, as the relationship gradually disintegrates into a blame game or spirals into negativity, and worse yet, contempt.
In addition to having strong boundaries, the antidote to contempt is to enhance and foster feelings of kindness and admiration. Focus on the good qualities in your partner. Remind yourself why you got together in the first place.
Our natural human tendency is to focus on the negative. This is why negative headlines sell more. We are drawn to the negative and tend to remember negative incidents more than positive ones, even years later. This natural negative bias can cause you to forget your partner’s positive qualities and hyper focus on their negative qualities. This fans the feelings of contempt, worsening the relationship over time. Happy couples actively work to reverse this natural trend or risk letting those four horsemen trample your love to death. Just as good managers need to say two positive things for every critical remark, so too, does your partner need to hear the good things. Every day say one or two things that you appreciate about your partner. You can turn the tide of negativity. Yes, ignore the annoying things for a change and say only positive things.
Read this article to learn more about Fighting Fair in Love Relationships.