Are you completely satisfied with the state of your intimate relationship or marriage? If not, how do you demand what you want from your relationship without begging or appearing bossy or worst yet, desperate? The fine art of being at peace in our relationship is a combination of set of core factors. These include knowing our worth, having realistic expectations about our partner, and demonstrating an unwillingness to settle for long-term mediocrity. Of course the glue that holds these factors all together should be the practice of unconditional love. But I don’t mean to get ahead of myself by suggesting that real love will gloss over or tolerate all wrong doing. So let’s head back to factor one.
Know Your Worth
While unconditional love or loving our spouse in spite of, is very necessary for a successful relationship, even more important is a healthy dose of self love. Love which comes from a place of self worth and value allows us to understand that our love is precious and not to be taken for granted. When we love ourselves, we expect to be treated well. We know when to say “I don’t deserve this”. That self-love and confidence also exudes a level of inner strength which can be very appealing. It can make our partner sit up and take notice when the situation demands it and this can be a pathway to relationship improvement. Of course this attitude can also produce fear or intimidation in a potential abuser but this is why it’s completely necessary to demonstrate this in the early stages of a relationship. It can alert us to common relationship red flags. If we came into self-love later in our relationship or marriage, it gives us options; especially in the case of serious relationship infractions like infidelity or abuse. When we know our worth, it becomes easier to be assertive or to find our voice in terms of articulating our core needs and desires.
Have Realistic Expectations
Many times we’re unhappy in love because we expect too much. We have that old fairy tale etched deeply in our minds and when our partner flops at being our prized prince or princess, we protest; loudly. It’s a great thing to have high relationship expectations but the practice of putting our partner on a pedestal can be fairly problematic. Our relationship peace can be disturbed because we appear to have infantile needs or we approach our needs with a certain level of immaturity. We can expect constant affirmation from our spouse or we expect a relationship that is free from major challenges. But life happens even when we’re in love. We gain weight, we don’t always look our best, sometimes illness interrupts, babies get cranky, teens cause stress, our parents age, we lose jobs and yet we have to adjust. Understanding that your life with your partner will be no bed of roses must then be carefully balanced against knowing what you will not tolerate. Discerning what you will battle out together as a couple, must, therefore, be distinguished from major relationship deal breakers, which yo will not tolerate for the long term.
While problems and challenges are unavoidable in an imperfect world, any relationship worth its salt must be buttressed by a healthy set of relationship goals. It’s important that a couple shares what is most important to each of them, in the relationship. Differences in age, sex, religious persuasion and socialization, can often cause a couple to start out on different pages even when the physical or sexual attraction is strong. Starting the conversation towards critical core needs, should ensure that each knows what is most important to the other. Having reached that stage of initial understanding, working towards aligning goals and dreams for the present and future, is a great way to safe guard against settling for relationship mediocrity. Above all else, loving your partner unconditionally, is a great way to be at peace in knowing that in spite of it all, he or she is your chosen number one.