What makes a good relationship? I am always interested to learn from experts in the field their ideas on what makes a loving relationship work well. Recently I came across a book “Love and Sex Therapy Lessons” by Patricia Morris. In one of the earlier chapters, she outlines factors for a strong relationship.
What I really like about her approach is the focus on you and your own contribution to the relationship, including your attitudes, self-awareness, and behaviors.
Here are some key points that she mentions in her book:
- Find out what you really want
- Blame only yourself for not getting it
- Be honest, starting with yourself, and admit the responsibility for your actions and take the consequences
- Don’t badmouth or manipulate others in order to elevate yourself
- Observe and manage your envy and pride.
All of them make perfect sense, and the first two are crucial. We often miss something in our relationship but hope it will be exactly what our partner wants too, or we expect that our partner will change instinctively, or that we will make our partner change. Of course, that does not work, and after many attempts, we learn to recognize that we can’t change others. People only change when they decide to do it, otherwise, any alterations are just temporary.
Change can start simply with you today, I am sure that life might seem to be easier if you simply asked your partner to change all their annoying habits. But the truth is we need to be willing to take the first step and look within ourselves.