At home we most likely don’t have a tip box, but we give our concerns and suggestions as we walk by one another, sit down at a meal, or in between commercials in front of the television screen. He hears you and you hear him, but what comes of the conversation, my friend? Do you plan, make changes and set dates to get things done? Does he strategize to do anything differently? The answer to these questions is most likely not, because if you did you wouldn’t have as many relationship problems as you do. Some of you wouldn’t post on sites like popular social networking site, Facebook, under relationship status “complicated.” Your concerns, suggestions, and tips have been falling on deaf ears for days, weeks, even decades. What will it take to make something happen in your relationship? What will you have to do to see to it that everything you and your partner discussed gets done?
The best way to teach someone is by example. If there is something he or she is doing that you don’t like, you have to be the example. You get out there and get the support you need for your own habits. You start making the changes on the outside and inside that will make you feel better about yourself. You put aside the money you need to get the tasks done around the house. You do whatever you need to do to send a loud and clear message, “I don’t have time to be sitting down waiting around for you.” For instance, when a person cheats although it is a heartless, evil way to send a message to the one they supposedly love, it gets results, doesn’t it? Either the couple will stay together and make some changes in their relationship or break away from one other while realizing what failed in their past relationship. Do I advocate such a cruel act to get results, no way! But what I am saying is that it takes something either good or bad to wake people up in a relationship that seems to be spiraling downward.
I personally have been a victim of cheating back in my twenties and early 30s and the person doing the cheating, but I realized the things I did and didn’t do early on in the relationship such as, when my advisors told me, “He’s not the one. He’s no good for you” and I chose not to listen. I also have been the one to attend church alone, the one who separated from my partners days, weeks, and months at a time until they behaved or the relationship ended, sacrifice jobs, stop drinking and going out clubs and bars, cut off certain toxic friends, rearrange the household to benefit everyone even though I didn’t want to, limit spending including not buying the latest fashions and getting my hair done at the salon, and the one who had to apologize and make things right when I was in the wrong. I could go on and on but you understand that the only way sometimes to achieve peace in the household is to make a sacrifice of some sort.
If you have ever been called hard-headed, stubborn, immature, or self-righteous and nothing major has happened yet in your relationship to get you to change, well just stay in it long enough and some serious changes are bound to happen within days, weeks or years of you reading this article. Why wait until something negative occurs in your relationship to influence you to change? Why not take the gentle reminders, the notes on the wall, the light-hearted talks, the recent arguments, the tears you recently witnessed from your mate to motivate you toward change?
Not only should we listen to our partner, but we have to do too! She wants you to fix something, take her out, buy her something, why not do it? He wants you to be cautious of your tone of voice, help out more, or watch your spending habits? Why not do it? You may already know what will happen if you don’t. Some of you women reading this are feeling threatened in your relationship by someone or something, you know why you feel this way. Because there is something you know you aren’t doing. Maybe you should have ended the relationship a long time ago, but chose not to.
Nowadays you are mentally and physically suffering staying in something you don’t really want. Maybe some of you men reading this should stop drinking, because you know how alcohol affects you. It’s only a matter of time that someone will end up in jail or dead due to your abuse. Maybe you are one of those workaholics that should really consider what your partner is saying when he or she says, “I need you.” Maybe you are a man reading this whose partner says, “I need your attention,” but you rather yell about who she is talking to on the Internet and that co-worker she talks about at work. Maybe all of us need to stop spending so much time on the Internet and spend more time with those we say we love while doing the things around the house we have been putting off for weeks. Ask yourself, “Is it too late? Am I willing to do my part to see this relationship through until death do us part or is it better I leave?”
“Life is too short” so the old adage goes. So with that said, you need to make up in your mind how you want to live your last days on this earth. Do you want to live a life with someone who is willing to do whatever it takes to make your relationship work or would you rather go off on your own and hopefully find someone who may be better for you? Whatever you choose, don’t let another year go by without making a decision.
Nicholl McGuire also manages the blog Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate.