It's Not Them; It's You

You know the familiar breakup line you hear in movies: "It's not you; it's me." But how do you explain the problems during the relationship that lead to that point? Do you feel that it always seems to be your partner's fault when you're having issues?

News flash! It takes two to make a relationship work and two to break it. If you're tired of the cliché breakup scenario, then maybe you should consider doing something to change it.

That means doing something to shift the balance in your relationship before it's too late. How so?

Get a Fresh Viewpoint
Try taking a different perspective. Say to yourself, "It's not you; it's me." And think about what that could mean in terms of the problems you're having with your sweetheart. Consider this mundane example of what could be going wrong and how you could look at things differently:

The issue: You come home and nothing's on the stove and your honey is plopped in front of the TV. You try to talk about dinner, and all he or she wants to do is veg out. You're getting the shoulder shrug and the mumbled response when you ask what you two should do about dinner. You're tired of having to drag out a discussion about meal planning every night. You're tired of your sweetheart's lazy responses. You want to throw up your hands and say, "You figure something out, then!"

The new tack: Instead of getting irritated that your partner won't communicate and take initiative, try doing that yourself—in a supportive, rather than an attacking, way. "Have you had a rough day? How about if I grill some burgers? Would that make your day better? What else can we have with it?" That way, you're empathizing with your partner, taking initiative rather than putting pressure on, showing you care, and asking for a specific suggestion to help take the plan to completion as a team.

That's a minor example, but as we all know, those petty annoyances can become big problems when we let them signify everything that's wrong with the relationship. They become big problems when we let them fester and don't deal with them. They become big problems when we see the issue as totally our lover's fault.

Embrace Your Power
Criticizing and attacking will rarely makes things better. Showing you care and you're willing to do something to change the situation can help you take responsibility for what's wonky with your relationship and get you back on the right track.

Fess up! It's not your partner, it's both of you. But you can do something to fix it before it's broken, if you're willing to stop blaming and shaming and start caring and sharing. It really is you—you've got the power to change the vibe for the better. So do it before it's too late!

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