Negativity is Exhausting
Does it ever feel like you’ve hit a wall in your relationship?
It’s not your fault. It happens to the best of us. The drift into a default relationship is REAL.
UNLESS you invest in aiming for awesome in your relationship.
I remember the early years of my relationship when we hit a wall. We were engaged, but nobody was betting on us working out, let alone making it to the altar.
We spent too much of our time focused on our complaints. (About each other of course.)
- He didn’t like how loud I was. I didn’t like how quiet he was.
- I didn’t like how introverted he was. He didn’t like how extroverted I was.
- He didn’t like how I made the bed. I didn’t like how he had to have everything just so.
- I thought he was too much of a skeptic. He thought I was too optimistic.
- He felt disdain for my “gist” nature and I felt the same for his detailed focus.
And on and on and round and round. We had PLENTY of complaints. And the arguments to go with it.
We took turns, (barely), making each other wrong for who we were or were not being and what we were or were not doing.
Our complaints were habitual. And it was EXHAUSTING.
Negativity is exhausting. Alignment is enlivening. You get to choose. Then make it a habit.
Early Days = Big Mess
Our relationship was viewed so poorly by others that AT our engagement party, a friend pulled us aside, we THOUGHT to give us a gift, but instead, he said, “I don’t think you should do this. It looks pretty messy to me from here.” OUCH.
Our relationship habits were so unhealthy others took notice and even SAID SOMETHING! It was embarrassing but also eye-opening.
We took note and got to work to SHIFT our relationship habits so that what people would notice was not how messy it was, but how GREAT it was between us.
It took us a while to figure things out, but we did and now our relationship habits create play, peace, and passion for a happy, healthy, and hot relationship. We’re fifteen years in, happier than ever, and just getting started.
Now we did NOT go from messy to magnificent overnight. And it CERTAINLY didn’t happen on its own, still, having a happy, healthy, and hot relationship doesn’t have to be so hard, (or as embarrassing), for you as it was for us.
There is a simple HACK to a happy, healthy, and hot relationship.
It’s your relationship HABITS.
Most people think it’s the big things that make or break a relationship. In reality, it’s the little things done again and again over and over that add up over time to become the sum of your COUPLE CULTURE.
That COUPLE CULTURE dictates what’s normal or not normal in your relationship.
- Do you pursue goals together?
- Is your communication compassionate and empowering with each other?
- Do you express affection daily?
- Do you have special names or inside jokes with each other?
- Are you honest, transparent, and regularly clear the air together?
- Do you wait to see what happens and let your relationship “do its thing”?
- Is your communication together cut-throat or disempowering?
- Is affection largely absent?
- Do you treat each other like roommates more than lovers?
- Do you conceal what’s really going on for you or do you let conflicts build up?
Your day-to-day relationship habits, your COUPLE CULTURE will determine your relationship happiness.
Awesome on Automatic
Once you turn a behavior into a habit, once you do it so often that it becomes second nature, then it is just a part of who you are. It’s what you do.
What was once a stretch behavior or action no longer takes much effort, thought or energy on your part to make it happen. You just do it naturally.
Now, most people find it all too natural to drift into blaming, shaming, or complaining in our relationship. So it can take some intention and practice over time, but you can make awesome automatic.
Right now there is a good chance your relationship health and happiness habits are less than intentional.
Your relationship habits are most likely unconscious, willy nilly, and are even working AGAINST you.
These unhealthy habits sabotage any efforts to create your next-level love life.
But, you can turn that around so your habits help move you forward TOWARDS the relationship of your dreams.
Simple, Not Easy
Examining your habits honestly can sometimes seem daunting and difficult so here are a few steps to walk you through it. It may not be easy, but it is simple. And so worth it. Your courage and effort will be rewarded in the quality of your relationship.
- Make a list of the relationship habits you know you have. Healthy and unhealthy.
- Then ask yourself if those habits are slowing you taking your closer or farther to the relationship you want.
- Label each of your habits as either helping, hurting, or neutral in enjoying your ideal relationship.
- Finally, make a list of the things you would like to do to replace your unhealthy relationship habits with healthy ones. Set specific goals and take baby steps.
Once you’ve named the habits you’ve been doing unconsciously, then you can intentionally start REPLACING any old, unhealthy relationship habits with new empowering ones.
Give yourself time
Now as I said before, this doesn’t happen overnight. But if you intentionally create relationship HABITS and a COUPLE CULTURE, you set yourself up for Awesome to be Automatic.
At one point, scientists believed it took 21 days to create a habit. That somehow three weeks was all it took for you to retrain your brain after months or years on autopilot.
In reality, positive habits only take hold when we start to crave them instead of our old ways – which can take up to 60 days.
This is one reason my husband and I and all the couples I coach, like to set 90-day goals three times a year. (Find out about creating a Shared Relationship Vision and a 90 Day Game for your relationship goals here).
It takes time to make something a habit and often we don’t have the stamina to go the long haul from intentional to habitual on our own.
So get a buddy couple, get a coach, but get going on your relationship habits and goals today.
What new healthy, happy, and hot relationship habits are you looking forward to creating?
Your Partners in a P3 Relationship,
P.S. Find us online at relationshipfunandgames.com and discover more ways you can experience greater success with your relationship!