Does your relationship drive you CRAZY sometimes? I'm talking about feeling so aggravated because you and your partner keep bumping up against the same issues over and over again, with no resolution.
Doesn’t this drive you nuts? And you know if it continues long enough you two might end up broken up/divorced. Ugh, another failed relationship!
You can keep blaming your partner, but allow me to point out the one common denominator in all of your relationships — you.
You already know that 50 percent of marriages in the United States end in divorce. When we break that down by the number of marriages, it's: 41 percent of first marriages, 60 percent of second marriages, and 73 percent of third marriages.
Whether we're talking about divorce or failed long-term relationships, the fact is — so many are not surviving and this is a huge concern for the health and harmony of our society.
Wouldn’t it be amazing to know how to prevent divorce and failed relationships?
Can you image the tremendous value this would add to your life, as well as others?
Let’s take a closer look at what you can do to break out of the negative pattern of repeating the same crazy-making mistakes over and over again.
With a better understanding of where you typically go wrong, you can set a new course, gain new skills, and build a rock solid foundation for love that lasts a lifetime. Here are the three biggest crazy-making behaviors YOU repeat that tear your relationships apart:
1. You unconsciously settle for less than you deserve
Sometimes we're in a relationship that's just not compatible to who we are at our core. That's why it's so important to know the difference between relationship requirements, needs, and wants.
I believe we easily fall into settling for less because we all want to feel loved by that special someone. However, you must know the criteria for your ideal relationship to avoid ending up with less than you truly deserve. Here are the criteria for knowing what your ideal relationship includes:
- Requirements — these relate directly to what's most important to you. They are 100 percent non-negotiable; the essential elements you need for a happy, fulfilling long-term partnership. These are often referred to as "deal breakers." An unmet requirement leads to unsolvable problems.
- Needs — these are not necessarily deal breakers but significant issues will arise in the relationship if these go unmet for you. You may not divorce over it, but your relationship will not ultimately thrive without these. And I'll tell you a little secret: ALL solvable relationship issues are unmet needs.
- Wants — these are the desires that, when met, make life enjoyable. For example, a relationship is pretty boring without having fun together (whether it’s going camping, listening to music, reading silently next to each other, or going skiing together). The problem with wants is that sometimes we confuse wants with needs or with requirements.
2. You give in (or give up) too easily
The fact is that all solvable relationship issues are simply a matter of unmet needs. But you don’t know how to resolve relationship issues, so you shut down or walk away.
When it comes to needs … we're either unclear about what we need, so we have a difficult time asking for it (and so, our needs go unmet). Or, we’re just uncomfortable with the fact that we have needs in the first place because we don’t want to come across as too "needy". As a result, relationship issues spring up.
Needs are negotiable, and there are many ways for your partner to meet your needs. How do you know if it's a true need versus a want? Because you'll experience an emotional pang EVERY time it goes unattended. That's how you know it's truly important to you. You feel it deeply every time you go without it. Needs make the difference between feeling happy or unhappy in your relationship.
3. You’re hoping your partner will suddenly (and drastically) change
Remember, we all have non-negotiable relationship requirements for a relationship to work. If even one is missing, it creates an unsolvable problem that fractures the partnership irreparably.
Therefore, you MUST define your relationship requirements well before formally settling into a long-term relationship with your partner. When you're dating, you can assess and test whether the person you're with has the attributes and qualities essential for supporting your relationship requirements. We all want love, but it's up to you to decide (honestly) if this person is truly the right fit for you (and likewise, you for them ... as your partner has their own set of requirements, needs, and wants).
If you're currently single, take time to prepare for love before you begin dating seriously or committing to a relationship. Gaining the knowledge and skills to build a rock-solid foundation is part of getting yourself relationship-ready.
Get clear about who you are and what you're seeking (your relationship requirements, needs and wants). It takes the time to figure those out for certain.
This shift in perspective is significant on so many levels, but primarily it represents a core understanding that finding your dream relationship begins with you — from the inside out.
You'll never find a partner who loves, respects and cherishes you until you first feel the same way about yourself. So pause, take a breather from dating and determine what you really want so you avoid repeating the same maddening mistakes over and over and over. Your romantic future will be so much brighter for it.
Teena Evert is a licensed marriage and family therapist and love relationship coach helping proactive, savvy women design the life they want and find the love they deserve. Make sure to download Teena’s FREE Prepare for Love Checklist.