It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, but we’re trying. Yes, my fiancé and I love each other. Yes, our relationship is amazing and I can’t imagine my life without him. He makes me so so so so happy. But it wasn’t always like that. Our relationship started out very badly.
Looking back, I never thought this man would be my future husband. So, what’s the secret? Here’s my advice for building a healthy, loving relationship.
The reality is that couples fight. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s normal and healthy. What is not normal, however, is repressing negative feelings and being unable to talk about it with your significant other. If you can’t talk to them about how you feel, how are they going to know?
- Don’t expect them to be psychic.
- Don’t use passive-aggressive behavior to try to “make them realize” how you feel.
- Don’t push blame onto them when you are fighting.
- Don’t talk about it with other people in the hopes that they will talk to your significant other for you.
- Do be upfront and honest about your feelings.
- Do take responsibility for how you feel and work out why you feel that way.
- Do try to understand their perspective.
- Do discuss it with other people if you have to, but keep them out of your relationship.
We apologize and forgive.
As a kid, I watched my parents fight, pretend they never fought, then fight about the same thing over and over again. It’s a vicious cycle, and I vowed I would never become like them. I’m not the kind of person who can go on with my life pretending a fight never happened.
When Allen and I fight, I refuse to let it go until we work it out. I insist on talking it over until we understand each other. At that point, we are then able to apologize, forgive, and move on. We don’t bring up old arguments because we come to understand each other. This is a HUGE part of why we’ve stayed together even after some pretty nasty fights.
We give each other space.
We love being together. We love doing things together. We share a lot of the same interests. However, we are still two separate people and acknowledge that. I’m not going to hold it against Allen if he wants to play Dragon Ball Super or Fortnite (sometimes for an entire day). I give him time and space to just be him while I do my own thing. We don’t need to spend every waking moment wrapped around each other’s existences. At the end of the day, I’m secure enough in our relationship to know that he still loves me and loves spending time with me.
Give your significant other time and space to do the things they enjoy even if it doesn’t involve you. Appreciate that it also gives you time to yourself. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you need to constantly be in each other’s company. It means that you are each other’s person. Giving each other space doesn’t take away from that.