I wish I’d known these things about marriage at 20 years of age and how to fix them…. do you?

As a young bride at 23 years of age, I had no idea what lay ahead, what marriage was really about or what to expect. I was young, innocent and actually quite clueless so I wanted to share with you a few things that I would have done differently that might just change how you see your relationship. You see no one ever mentioned any of these things, and what would have happened if they had? Perhaps I would have saved myself a lot of heartache. 

Now, 27 years on, and 3 children later and I can honestly say I am the happiest I have ever been, so long term relationships are worth the effort and the heartache. We all have problems; that’s life, but it’s how we deal with them that counts and understanding WHY they happen in the first place is the key.

Here are the things I wished I’d known early on in my marriage:

1. Judgment – when we continually judge someone what we are really saying is that their personality is the problem – we see flaws in them as people as opposed to what they are perhaps doing. I did this for years causing argument after argument but if I had looked at myself first and found out how Ian felt and what he needed the whole situation would have been diffused.

So get to know your partner inside out and you’ll stop the judgment – spend TIME with your partner, the better you get to know him the deeper your relationship. It’s rare to be like this, I know, but it works.

2. Being Defensive – are you always on the defensive, always on the attack if you are criticised? Do you continually moan and whine? Do you just refuse to listen? This is one of the biggest disasters for any relationship and I did it for years taking every comment personally when in reality it was nothing to do with ME as a person, it was about my behaviour, which I could have learnt from.

So… if your partner continually criticises you, you can learn to accept the criticism, take responsibility for it and even ask them to talk to you about it. This diffuses the whole situation and you can learn from it, but perhaps there are changes you could make in your life. Try being positive to your partner in even the smallest of situations and the criticism won’t seem as bad, this really helps to build a relationship – ENGAGE in conversation and notice the humour in situations – very powerful in relationship building.

3. Being Condescending – this is the biggest issue of all I think where you try to be one up on your partner, always putting your partner down and making yourself look better. The real WHY you do this is because of your insecurities and not his.

To help, take a step back and start looking at yourself, building your own self-esteem up, boosting your self-worth and you’ll stop feeling inferior and putting him down. Start acting like your partner is a hero, start admiring him, start looking at his great qualities – you’ll be onto a winner here as this is key in any healthy long-term relationship.

4. Rebuffing Him – blocking him out, not speaking, sulking, and shutting him out of your life – all this tells him is that you don’t care about him.  And that’s not really what you mean, is it?

Learn to talk to him, to ask questions, putting up blocks and expecting him to guess causes a larger divide between you. Write it down if it’s not clear but stop stonewalling him.

5. Focusing on the Negative – are you continually looking for the negative in your relationship, focusing on everything that’s going wrong, that you don’t like, that could be better, that others have and you don’t? This leads to real resentment.

Instead, learn about gratitude, learn how to focus on the positive in your relationship, build on what you have and the negatives will start to seem insignificant. Talk about your future in a positive way, what your dreams are, what you would like to achieve together, not what you can’t have or can’t do.

I hope some of these help you, as they have been an incredible part of my life and the relationship I enjoy with Ian. Communication and having conversations are the key part in any healthy relationship – focusing on how you start these conversations can change the whole relationship energy. Relationships are a rollercoaster ride – they are all unique with their own formulas – I’d love to hear what makes your tick?

Written by British mum Louis Armstrong.

You can take the Relationship Quiz right here –https://louisearmstrong.clickfunnels.com/relationship-quiz

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