I vividly remember the first time I watched Casino with Robert DeNiro and Sharon Stone. That movie single handedly shaped the way I view relationships. Casino taught me that your life partner can either make you or break you. They will either build you up, to levels you might have not achieved independently or they will suckle your energy and leave you feeling depleted and exhausted in life.
Relationships are tough, we all know that, but the right relationship will be a catalyst for success in your life.
The wrong relationship will do the exact opposite. If you are in the wrong relationship you are wasting time and energy on someone which could be better utilized in your life. For example, if there is a lack of trust in your relationship, you always have to play detective. You have to search for the truth because you do not always get the truth from your partner. Searching takes time and energy and is emotionally draining. It also is extremely isolating; I have always said that it is better to be single than to be with someone who makes you feel alone.
If your relationship lacks respect it is very difficult to be yourself. You feel like anything you say or do could be ridiculed, mocked, judged, critiqued or ignored. It is a very upsetting emotion, to feel less than another human being or that your issues, life, wants, needs, or desires do not level up to your partners. You should never feel ashamed or put down for what is important to you and what is important to you should be important to your partner, so start reflecting if this is not the case for you.
If your relationship lacks love it lacks colour. Love is love; it is pretty difficult to make it through life without loving at least a few people. Loving people is the best medication for a bad day. Love is what makes people get through the toughest times of their life. Love is what makes people work harder. Love is what makes most things in life memorable.
If your relationship lacks encouragement you must seek it out elsewhere. If this is not a deal breaker for you, you must at least acknowledge that you need a cheerleader in your life. Your partner should be doing a backflip for all your successes. You went to the gym, give me a high five! You finally stood up to that bully at work, you deserve a bear hug! You did absolutely nothing today? I still adore you and think you are the best person on the planet. There are so many hits in life, shouldn’t we just give unconditional love to our loved ones?
What should you do if you know your relationship is not bringing out the best in you? This is a very difficult topic because if you are in a great relationship, this conversation might shed some light on areas where you relationship may need a bit of tweaking, but if you are in a dysfunctional relationship, this conversation can really outline the unacceptable situations you are dealing with. Consider going to therapy with your partner, if they are willing to work on issues with you. Discuss areas of concern with your partner and see if they are willing to start working together on addressing them.
If this feels like it might be more of an independent journey for you, consider going to counseling or therapy alone. Speak with family or friends, not everyone, only the individuals you really trust and let them know the difficulties you are dealing with. Sometimes, as hard as it is, leaving is the best answer.
Relationships are work and when you are in it, you are so invested that the idea of not being in it seems completely incomprehensible. Just because something is normal does not make it right and if you are unhappy with your life, only you can change it. Staying in an unhappy relationship does not make you a martyr; there is no prize at the end of the road for being unhappy in life, so do not put that on yourself.
Your relationship needs as much attention, love, respect and energy as any other aspect of your life. If you do not tend to it, other people’s relationships are always going to appear better. Quit spending time peeking over other people’s fences; spend time on your relationship and it will work and be successful.
Take time this month to tackle your relationship. Work on areas that could use some minor improvement and congratulate yourselves on areas you are really killing it in. Your home is your sanctuary, we all work so hard to pay for that roof over our heads, make sure the heads under that roof are all on the same team.
Tell someone how much you love them today.