8 Common Relationship Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Marriage
By Brenda Shoshanna (Womansday)
Mistake 1: Trying To Change Your Partner
"If they love me enough, they'll change to please me." So many believe that they can and will change their partner. It's only a matter of time. They say, "If he loves me enough, he'll change that small thing to please me." But to your partner, that "small thing" isn't so small. Even if they do try to change to please you, very often they become resentful. "You don't love me for myself, but for the person you want me to be," they say. And it's true. When you try to change them they feel you don't really love them. You just want to turn them into someone to fill your needs.
Mistake 2: Feeling like you’re A Failure in Relationships
When some people see that things aren't working they become depressed. They start to feel as though they're not loveable, that destiny is against them or that they will always be a failure in love. The truth is that you're not a failure. You simple have not yet been taught important truths about relationships. Once you learn and practice new ideas and methods, you'll be able to handle your life in a way you may have never thought possible.
Mistake 3: Believing You Have To Be "Good Enough" To Keep Their Love
Many feel they're not "good enough". They feel they have to turn into a pretzel to keep someone's love. Recently a woman came to me and said, "I finally found a wonderful man but I'm miserable in the relationship. Every day I worry that he'll find out who I really am and leave." This woman not only expected rejection, she actually did little things to bring it about. Soon she began to sabotage the relationship, finding fault with him at every turn. Although she didn't realize it, she did this to feel better about herself. The truth is we can never earn another person's love. The more we try the worse we feel. We must simply understand that who we truly are is entirely loveable. We must learn to make friends with ourselves.
Mistake 4: Rejecting Your Partner So They Can't Do It First
Many reject their partners as protection against being rejected themselves. The bottom line is these may not feel they deserve a relationship, they feel they can't hold onto a partner because they haven't accepted themselves.
Mistake 5: Believing Your Partner Should Read Your Mind, and Know What You Want Without Your "Communicating" Clearly
"If he/she really loved me, they'd know what I needed and give it to me." Many believe that if their partners really loved them, they would read their minds. It wouldn't be necessary to have to actually ask for what they wanted. This is one of the most serious mistakes people make in relationships. Without truthful, open, communication no relationship can flourish. Effective communication, however, can be a skill. And though you may feel that you have repeated yourself a thousand times, that YOU HAVE communicated. There are available communication techniques which, in and of themselves, can save your relationship. Not only is it necessary to know what you want and to ask for it clearly (without producing guilt) -- it is also necessary to be able to accept both yes and no.
Mistake 6: Believing It's Your Partner's Job to Make You Happy
Your partner is not there to meet all your needs. If he/she says no, it doesn't mean he/she doesn't love you. Some demands may be impossible to fulfill. It is not your partner's job to make you happy. Your partner should be here to grow and share with you. You must learn to make yourself happy, and make others happy as well. Love is based upon communicating, consideration and giving. First, however, you must be happy with yourself, before another can make you happy.
Mistake 7: Believing It's Hard To Get Him to Talk
"No matter what I do I can't get him to talk, and I do not believe he is sharing all of his honest feelings with me." Many women claim they can't get men to talk. When time comes for intimate conversation guys clam up, offer a few grunts and expect women to magically understand what's going on. Women feel shut out and men feel misunderstood. However, there is something women don't realize. Men want to talk. Under the right conditions, they'll talk all night long. Men desperately want to let others know what's going on. However, something else many don't realize is, men are more fragile than women. In order for them to talk, things have to be right. All that's needed here is to learn how to create the right conditions, what is necessary for a man to feel safe enough with you to talk.
Mistake 8: Being Addicted to Fighting
Many couples keep relationships alive and exciting by fighting. When they see their partner upset, it reassures them that they care. Others have seen their parents fighting and this is the only role model they have. Some are addicted to the "high" they get out of fighting. A few crave the feeling of domination or control. Domination is not love. If it hurts, it is abuse, not love.