I recently read a beautiful thought: “We judge others by their actions, and ourselves by our intentions.” So true! In our own mind, we are often justified in what we say and do, but the truth is, relationships start crumbling when we continue to make mistakes. It is important, every now and then, to stop and introspect. Here is some relationship-repair advice I’ve learned through my own life experiences:
Don‘t confuse “control“ with caring; Do you want to know everything–or at least most things–about your partner’s day, work, schedules? Do you start pacing, texting or even calling if they are “taking too long” somewhere other than being with you? And when they protest, is your answer often something like, “Oh, I was just worried about you.” If so, sooner or later, the other person is going to start feeling suffocated. Because they care, they might dutifully tell you all about their movements and plans, but such a relationship slowly grows into one among unequals. Of course, your concern could be genuine, but if you let it grow into a pattern, it can be perceived as an urge to control, replacing feelings of love with resentment. For you, here is a positive mantra:
Don‘t give conditionally: So, you are the one your partner turns to in his or her time of need. That is only natural, and a wonderful sign that they feel you are there, no matter what. And of course, you offer your help and support without hesitation. But are you also offering it without condition? While it is only human to have expectations from those to whom we give, sometimes, that expectation can ruin relationships. †I am not talking in terms of monetary returnsóit is the attitude that often changes: I helped you out, so now you owe me more attention, time, caring, even love! But this actually makes the other person feel guilty and implies that they are ungrateful. How much nicer it would be to give and to do only because you care enough. A beautiful mantra for those who tend to get weighed down by expectations:
Don‘t overlook the small gestures: It is only too easy to conclude that the other personóbe it your parent, child, spouse or friendódoes not love you. All it takes is a few refusals on their part to give you their time or not saying “those three words” often enough. But it is important to stop before you judge: sometimes, we overlook the little acts of kindness and love that our dear ones show us. It could be something as simple as offering to do the dishes or shovel the snow so you don’t have to. Or making you a cup of tea when your back hurts. Believe you me: they speak of deep caring! Some people are simply made such that they cannot demonstrate their love in words or even by giving you regular doses of hugs and kisses. If you have been equating lack of show with lack of love, here is a gentle reminder:
He‘s not perfect. You aren‘t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn‘t going to quote poetry, he‘s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don‘t hurt him, don‘t change him, and don‘t expect for more than he can give.