My favorite love stories are the ones that never forgot about the important things in their relationship: each other and their love.
Call me a hopeless romantic or old fashion (guilty as charged), but I believe you CAN do it right the first time when it comes to relationships and especially marriage. But here’s where I see we so often go wrong: we forget to put each other first.
In fact, we completely forget about the importance of giving to give or loving simply to love, and especially prioritizing the happiness of your significant other. Whether it be your boyfriend, girlfriend, fiance, husband or wife, every person is deserving of love and happiness and this should a top priority.
Before we dive in, here’s what I’m not saying: I’m not saying lose your identity or sense of self. You can prioritize the happiness of your significant other without completely losing yourself, it’s called balance.
What I am saying is that all too often I hear about or see relationships falling apart because one, or both people, will begin to become so focused on themselves and what they want (not what they need) and completely forget about what it is they can give to their relationships.
When you become so focused on YOU and only you, the other person in the relationship (REMEMBER, there are TWO of you) will inevitably feel completely unimportant, unappreciated, and unloved. If you’re lucky, they will share this information with you as communication is key in a relationship.
When you don’t make your partner or spouse a priority one of these three things will happen and it will happen:
1. RESENTMENT. A feeling of resentment will start to grow because it’s a one sided relationships. It’s off balance. Your significant other will actually stop doing things for you, or worse shut down completely because it’s hard to make someone a priority when you make them feel as though they are just an option. Overtime, when someone feels they are the only one truly contributing to the relationship, they’ll start to resent it and you because they feel taken for granted or their needs are not being met by you.
2. LOOKING OUTSIDE. When someone in a relationship is not feeling loved because you are not putting them as a priority, they’ll likely start to withdraw from the relationship and look for anyone, or anywhere, who will give them love or attention. It’s the ‘grass is greener concept’. When someone doesn’t feel like a priority, they’ll start to think “maybe there’s someone better out there” outside of the relationship, someone to love them, praise them, appreciate them. Whether this is happening consciously or subconsciously, when a person who does make them feel important comes along, they’ll start to wonder or have doubts about the relationship they are in currently.
3. FIGHTS. Marianne Williamson once said “All communication is either an act of love or a cry for help.” Therefore, if you have notice more fights or arguments happening, ask yourself this “is this an act of love or a cry for help?”. If you haven’t been prioritizing the love or happiness of your boo, there’s a great chance that these continuous fights are simply a cry for help, for your love, attention or affection. Though fights are negative attention, sometimes people will settle for any attention, if they can’t have your loving, thoughtful, caring attention.
Sometimes we get so caught up in what we want that we forget what we actually need, and in turn we begin to jeopardize our relationships. So next time, you get the chance to include your significant other in plans or decision making, include them! Let them lead, ask their opinion or simply do things for THEM, not you. Make them feel important!
Remember this isn’t about losing your identity, it’s about making someone else feel important and loved by you, which is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, your love, and your relationship!
Stay tuned this week for a healthier way to fight and how to agree to disagree!