At some point however, generally within the first year and a half, we start to discover things about our partners that we don’t necessarily like. These things may or may not be deal-breakers. And, how we express ourselves and choose to address these issues can be detrimental to the next phase of the relationship. What happens too often however is that we start to nit-pick, nag, criticize, and even worse insult or humiliate our partner because they do not meet up to some standard we have in our head. If our partner still decides to stay in the relationship these can lead to anger, resentment, which are ultimately sex and relationship killers. No one wants this for their relationship, but inevitably it happens all to often. The good thing is that it is totally avoidable.
One of the most important things in a successful relationship is acceptance. Our goal should be to always try to accept our partner as much as we can for who they already are, who they were when they came into the relationship and with the baggage they come with. Some compromise of course is okay, expected and part of being in a working relationship. We do need to meet our partners half way. But we need to limit the changes we expect our partner to make. Essentially we need to pick our battles.
The other important thing to remember is that using positive and affirmative words and language will always yield better results over nagging, nitpicking and/or criticizing. Focus on the positive things your partner brings to the relationship and to your life. And, your partner will melt like butter in your hands.
Sometimes, understandably, problems or issues that we have with our partners are too big or too glaring for us to let go. Focusing on the positive just won’t do. These are what I call deal-breakers. A deal breaker is a behavior, which absolutely must change in order for you to feel that the relationship will work for you. In these situations you can and definitely should express your concerns, and your feelings to your partner (of course using as much positive and affirmative language as possible, and focusing on your feelings as opposed to pointing the finger at your partners behaviors), and then let the cards fall where they may. Your partner may indicate that he/she wants to change, but whether or not they really do is up to them ultimately. People will do what they do, and holding them to their word can be like pulling teeth, often causing more anger and resentment from the nagging and nitpicking you’ll be doing. If your partner has a difficult time accommodating your desire and need that which you believe to be a deal breaker you need to really rethink, “Can I live with this?” If you cannot then it is a deal breaker.
I also recommend not having too long a list of deal breakers. If you have more than two this should be a sign for you to really take a look at yourself, what your needs are, how important this relationship is to you, how important it is to have this person in your life, and do you really love/accept this person for who they are? Too long of a laundry list is heavy, and weighted and will add nothing more but burden and stress to your relationship, undermines your partners worth, may also be a strong indicator of unrealistic expectations, and may ultimately destroy any desire, passion, romance and sex left in the relationship.
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