I work with people, so naturally, I hear a lot about relationships. I hear about relationships in all aspects of my life, really. So, I’ve made a list of some things to avoid in relationships based on what I’ve seen in the people around me (it’s always easier to see problems and solutions in someone else’s life!)
So, here we go. Here are some mistakes to avoid making in your romantic relationships.
Mistake #1: Not communicating.
I know, I know, you’ve heard this one before. But have you ever really thought about communication? Yes, talk about your feelings with your partner and tell them what you’re upset about and have honest and clear conversations. But communication also involves listening. That’s the part we forget sometimes. We might be ready to pour out our hearts, but we need to be ready to listen to our spouse’s heart too. Listen and be ready to take what your partner is telling you seriously.
Mistake #2: Not knowing or considering your significant other’s love language.
If you haven’t read The 5 Love Languages, do. If you refuse to read it, at least take the quiz for you and your partner online and read a little synopsis of the languages. The idea of the love languages makes a lot of sense, but I’ve actually seen a lack of understanding of them affect marriages. I see people who need quality time with their spouses and they don’t realize it because it’s not what they need. Some people give their all in a relationship, like buying their husband or wife endless gifts, but their partner doesn’t respond because he or she doesn’t communicate love that way. It’s amazing to see how a relationship can change once a couple discovers what each other needs to feel loved.
Mistake #3: “We don’t have a problem. We’re doing fine.”
If your significant other says that there is a problem, then there is a problem. Please don’t brush it off as nothing just because you are perfectly happy with how life is going. Your relationship is going to be awfully rocky if you don’t take your partner’s concerns seriously and if you are only working toward your own personal happiness. And eventually, your partner’s unhappiness will lead to your unhappiness.
Mistake #4: Bringing up the past.
If you feel like an argument from the past is not fully settled or that something your partner did is still bothering you, have a conversation about it. Do not bring it up during a fight about something else. Sometimes, every fight starts to come full circle to “that thing you did that really hurt me.” That is not solving anything.
Mistake #5: Making ending a marriage an option.
Don’t give yourself an escape route so you don’t have to work through the hard parts of marriage. Read this post for more about this mistake.
Mistake #6: Giving up on trying.
It’s heartbreaking to see people reach this point. I don’t blame people for wanting to stop trying when their spouse is not putting any effort in, but if you give up, then there is no hope for the relationship. Try everything. See a marriage counselor. See one by yourself until your spouse is willing to go too, if you have to. Never stop trying to communicate what is bothering you (without being naggy or mean). Read resources, watch videos, make a plan, pray about it, talk to someone who has been through the same thing… just do everything you can… because it is that important.
Mistake #7: Making something other than God the center of your relationship.
Nothing could make your relationship stronger than putting God at the center of it. If both of your eyes are on God, then you’ll both be moving in the same direction. Just because you have a Christian marriage does not mean everything is going to be perfect, but you will always have a reason to keep trying! God can strengthen your relationship, encourage you to not sin against your partner, and lead you both on the same path. God can do anything, including save a broken marriage (with some effort on your part). Remember, if you, your spouse, and God are at the three points of a triangle and you and your spouse are moving toward God, you and your spouse will be closer together too.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” You, your spouse, and God are stronger than just you and your spouse.
Obviously, there are about a billion other mistakes that you can make in your relationships, but these were just some that I have been hearing about recently, so they’ve been on my mind. I’m hoping that I will remember the mistakes that I’ve seen others make so that I can avoid making them in my own marriage!
Here are some of my other posts on relationships:
5 Tips to Reduce Arguing
Falling in Love
Not Everyone Experiences Marriage the Way You Do
Wives, Submit to Your Husbands
Featured image edited from eharmony.com