Getting a reading on your relationship should be a last resort. 9 times out of 10, a relationship reading isn’t necessary if you know how to have a good relationship. Now, not everyone is good at relationships for a myriad of reasons- often we simply don’t know how. Here are my top ten suggestions- the ones I find myself most often telling my sitters.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Seriously. This is a big one. There are books about how not to sweat the small stuff. The general rule of thumb is are you going to be mad about it (or even remember it) in a week, a month or a year? If the answer is no, then just let it go. All too often we nitpick with our partners and get angry about little things. Save it. That’s what best friends are for. Have your whinge to your bestie’s about him leaving the toilet seat up or about her habit of leaving the lids off things. Whatever the small stuff is, get over it. When I say let it go, I mean really let it go, not just pretend it doesn’t matter. If it’s an issue you are still thinking about a week, a month or a year later then you need the next bit of advice.
Actually Listen and Talk
You wouldn’t think this really needs to be given as advice, but I cannot being to tell you how many times I have been asked for a reading about issues that would be solved by a simple conversation. If you can’t talk to your partner about anything that is bothering you then you are in the wrong relationship. Honestly. Being able to talk to the one you love is fundamental. Without it, it’s not a relationship, it’s someone you have sex with that lives in your house. When you listen shut your brain up- do not think about what you are going to say next, do not be planning how you are going to come back to your partners accusations/ thoughts/ statements/ whatever. Get into the habit of listening to what they say and then telling them what you have understood from what they have said. For example-
”I’m tired and cranky because this has been a horrible day where everything has gone wrong and I come home and find you’ve had an easy day and it doesn’t looks like you’ve done anything!” he said.
“So what you’re saying is that because your day has been so awful, you are upset that I have had a good one?” she said.
By simply taking the time to understand what your partner is telling you without immediately leaping to the defensive you calm the situation down and you really get it. That’s what communication is. Think of the old saying- you have two ears and one mouth for a reason, you need to do twice as much listening as you do talking. There is a lot to be said about talking and listening but for now, I’m sure you get the idea.
Hubby-to-be has pointed out that sometimes you just have to be patient and listen to your partners issues no matter when, even if it is 3am. Sometimes, you simply have to put their needs first. And if they need to talk when they need to talk, then you need to listen. For a healthy relationship, you have to have a partner who will do the same for you.
On a Scale of One to Ten…
This is one bit of relationship advice I discovered with my beautiful hubby-to-be. Whenever we come up to a decision that needs to be made that we disagree on we pull out the scales. That is, on a scale of one to ten how much does one of us want to do something vs how much does one of us not want to do something. For example, there’s a party on that one of us is very keen on while the other is thinking bed and a cup of tea sounds more inviting. If on the scale of one to ten he wants to go at an 8 whereas I want to stay in bed is a 5 then we go. This only works if you are both 100% honest and willing to compromise. But without honesty and willingness to compromise, again, it’s not a relationship worth keeping. A fundamental rule of a healthy relationship is give and take. This is one method for negotiating that give and take.
Do NOT Bring Up Old Stuff In A Fight
I cannot stress this one enough. When you disagree or fight stick to the issue at hand. If you can’t, walk away and think again about how important this relationship is. It breaks my heart every time I do a reading for someone who is constantly bringing up old issues. Some people store up old issues to use as ammunition because they think fighting with their partner is about winning. It’s not. We sometimes disagree. It’s a fact of life. If you love someone you will not be trying to hurt them or put them down. When you bring up old stuff in a fight it’s about winning, it’s about saying “well I’m more hurt than you”, or “I’m a better person than you”. Long term that just won’t work so, don’t do it.
One of the things I love most about my relationship is our after work hug. Everyday, without fail, hubby-to-be and I will stop whatever we are doing, put whatever is in our hands down, and give each other a long hug. It’s our way of saying, “hey, I’m glad you are here,” and simply reaffirming our connection. It takes a minute, tops but during that time our energy changes from the frantic pace of work and busyness to the calmer and happier ‘togetherness’. Our after work hug isn’t the only affection we show each other. We are both rather touchy feely kind of people, so there is always a lot of casual strokes and caresses and hugs and kisses. Sometimes they are foreplay and sexual in nature, sometimes they are simply teasing, affectionate and fun. No one ever said that foreplay only happens in the moments before sex. Sometimes foreplay happens all day. Stolen kisses, caresses, ass grabs and giggling. Maybe part of this is because I am supremely confident of my hubby-to-be’s affection and attraction to me, but I do think that way too many women worry way too much about their appearance. Seriously, if your partner didn’t find you attractive, he or she wouldn’t be with you. If he or she is putting you down about your body or attractiveness then you don’t need them. Daily affection both given and received makes for a happy relationship.
Division of Labour
Fundamental to the division of labour is the ability to talk and listen. So, if you can’t do that one, don’t expect this one to work. Do NOT rely on unspoken agreements about the division of labour (ie- who does what around the house, when and how often). You really, really need to talk about this one. Our division of labour, by mutual agreement is that I handle pretty much all the inside stuff (except the bathroom scrubbing because it bothers him quicker then it bothers me) while he tackles all the outside stuff. I think it’s fair to do all the washing, cooking, dishes, beds and stuff because I don’t mow the lawn (we have a lot of lawn on 5 acres), or weed, or build fences, renovate buildings, clean gutters, fix the car or chop wood. We didn’t just fall into this- we agreed to it. However it works out in your relationship make sure you have agreed who does what. At the end of the day, housework is a fundamental part of our lives. It has to be done because it just won’t do itself (though I’m sure that doesn’t stop us all from wishing it would do itself). You would not believe the amount of relationships that have fallen apart because of resentments that were born from this, stoked by a fire of hanging on to old stuff and regurgitating it in fights. Save yourself the drama and get this one right. Reserve the right for either of you to renegotiate the division of labour as circumstances change.
A little praise goes a long way. I think of it as the salt in a relationship. Too much (especially if it’s false) spoils things but just the right amount makes all the difference. Praise, appreciation and gratitude. Simple things that can make or break relationships. I don’t think we think of them often enough. I have seen many people who simply refused to recognise when their partners were putting in effort, instead expecting more of them, saying for example, “well if he or she can do this then why can’t they do that as well?” Stop if you ever find yourself saying or thinking this. Back up. Did you say ‘thank you’ or ‘I appreciate the effort’ for whatever they did? If not, then say it. Verbalise your appreciation for efforts made. When you praise, keep it real. If someone has made a meal for you that wasn’t the best tasting in the world, don’t bag them out for it, thank them for making the effort. They’ll be happier and you’ll be happier because they will want to keep doing stuff for you. For every criticism that you make find ten positives. It’s really not that hard.
Cultivate In Jokes
The glue that keeps couples together is a shared culture. It’s the glue for society as well- pop culture, references that make sense. If I say “Luke, I am your father” in a deep and silly voice, you’ll get the joke (unless you have had no contact with western culture for the last 40 years). The same thing applies to relationships. Sometimes you’ll be the only two who get the joke. But that’s what makes it fun. I always hated the word “boobs”. The feminist part of me thought it was ridiculous. It now forms the basis of a private in joke so I giggle every time I hear it. We both do. And every time we do I feel just that little bit closer to hubby-to-be. You can’t make in jokes happen. But when you have a free and easy communication, when you praise each other and appreciate each other, warts and all, then in jokes will flow naturally. It helps if you have the same sense of humour. But you wouldn’t be with someone who doesn’t have the same sense of humour would you? If you can make each other laugh then pretty much all else can be forgiven.
Love Them Because of Their Faults, Not Despite Them
Now this is something I have believed my whole life and my relationship with hubby-to-be has proven it to me. When you are searching for a partner, don’t be looking for someone who has the traits you love. Look for someone who’s faults you can live with. You can grow to love just about anything, but faults are what drive us apart. If biting your nails sends chills down your spine, don’t hook up with someone who does it without thinking. If the toilet seat is a massive issue for you, again, it’s a deal breaker. But if drinking milk out of the carton from the fridge annoys you but isn’t that big a deal then live with it. Pick a partner whose faults you can live with for the rest of your life. We all have faults. It’s ridiculous to pretend we don’t. Even Mr or Ms Right has faults. None of us are perfect and an unreasonable demand for perfection has been the death of more relationships than I can count. You can save yourself a lot of drama if you simply pick a partner whose faults are actually kind of cute rather than bone jarring.
Admit When You Are Wrong
It is not the end of the world if you have stuffed up. Honestly. In the right relationship it is safe for you to make mistakes. As I said above, none of us are perfect. Sometimes we stuff up. Some of our mistakes are small ones (it was the wrong brand of cheese) some of our mistakes are big ones (I should never have taken that job). With the person who loves you most, with your life partner, the person you are spending the rest of your life with, you have to be able to admit when you are wrong. But it is the end of the world if you can’t admit you made a mistake. In it’s way, it’s the worst kind of lying. It’s the sort of lying that is obvious to anyone who knows you. So often we are programmed from a young age to be perfect and never make mistakes. We grow up and become adults who are “always in the right”. All that does is leave your partner feeling wronged, angry and determined to make you see things from their point of view. As a reader I have so often found myself in the position of having to tell someone that the mistake was theirs. Far more often then not, they know this at some level, but just didn’t want to admit it- as if admitting it makes them weak or vulnerable. If you can admit when you are wrong and not hate yourself for it then you are on your way to a healthy relationship. A true love will support you; will hold you when you feel bad; will trust you to fix it or simply move on. Anyone who throws your mistakes back in your face isn’t worth keeping.
This isn’t a comprehensive list or a relationship How To. This is just a list of the top ten things that work for me and hubby-to-be. All relationships are different and how things work for you may be just right. But that’s the thing about relationships. At the end of the day it’s about how two people relate to each other. No one else can do it for you. If you are thinking about getting a reading for a relationship you are already in, run it by this list and see if it’s something you can solve without a reading first. If you have to ask yourself if it’s the right person for you, then there’s a good chance that it isn’t. When it’s the right person, the first place you’ll go when you have a problem is to your partner, not a fortune teller or psychic.