The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do to Improve Your Relationship

shutterstock_60504643February is the time of year when our thoughts turn to romance and love. In that spirit, I have a Valentine’s gift for each of you. As someone who genuinely cares about other peoples’ happiness, I have set out on a quest to help create real life happily-ever-afters. I genuinely want to live in a world where marriages last, where cheating is only a plotline in novels and where love is visible wherever you go.

So today, I am sharing what I believe to be the MOST important way to have a long, happy, healthy relationship. It’s all about mindset and here it is:

Wake up every day and choose to do your very best to take care of the one you love. Make that your goal. Also start each day with the faith that he will do the same. Trust that he is doing that. Ask him to trust that you are as well.

Pretty simple, right? But it can make all the difference. Here’s how:

Because if you start out each day believing in each other, when things go wrong, you’ll stick together instead of tearing each other apart. Are either of you going to be on top of your game every day? No. Sometimes things will fall between the cracks. Sometimes you or he will make a mistake and forget to pay the electricity bill or take the casserole out of the oven.

When those things do happen, you will approach mistakes and problems differently. Instead of coming from a place of total irritation/anger, you will come from a place of compassion. What happened today that caused him to forget to pick up the birthday cake on his way home from work? Is everything okay with him? He already knows he messed up. Even though giving him a piece of your mind may feel good for a moment, it will drive a wedge between you. So instead of getting angry, try asking him how his day was and watch as he lets you in. You can have that patience and understanding because you’ve already committed to trusting him and you know he’s committed to taking care of you. Just try this for a few weeks and see what a difference it makes. I guarantee, you’ll both feel closer in no time.

Imagine living like this. Knowing that your partner is doing his best to take care of you and that if you make a mistake, he will be understanding instead of annoyed. Doesn’t that sound so warm and comforting? Isn’t that what being in love should feel like?

To illustrate my point, I’m going to share a story with you about a man I met last winter. It was in the middle of a huge snowstorm, and I found an expensive travel golf bag (no clubs in it; it was empty). It was on the road near our house. I brought it home and called the number on the business card enclosed. The man’s secretary passed my number onto his wife, who called me. It seems the bag slipped under the rear tire of her car as she backed out of the garage that morning. She dragged it about twelve blocks before it finally came loose. She was very embarrassed when she called, but I offered my understanding of how this could easily happen to anyone. She was in a hurry; the snow on the road was literally two feet deep that morning. She heard the strange sound and got out twice to look but didn’t see the bag because of the snow, so she kept going. Surprisingly, the bag was not in any way wrecked. After a lovely chat, we hung up.

She gave her husband our address, and he stopped that night on the way home from his office to get it. He had a gleam in his eye and was excited to go home and make fun of her. He couldn’t believe she dragged it that far without figuring it out. Now, this man was a CFO at a large company. He was accomplished and intelligent. Except, apparently, when it comes to women. He could have been understanding about it, told her he was just glad she’d made it home safely in the big storm. He could have said, “I can totally see how that could happen.” But no. He was going home to make fun of her.

Would that have been how he wooed her in the first place? I doubt it. Had this happened thirty years earlier when they first started dating, he would have offered compassion and understanding. But not anymore. My guess is this same man complains to his golf buddies because his wife isn’t ever in the mood. And even though he’s so smart in business, he likely wasn’t going to put two and two together here.

So remember that man from time to time. Learn from his mistakes. Agree to try making compassion and understanding your first response to problems that you face as a couple. Commit to do your best to care for your partner and commit to trust that your partner is doing the same.

I wish you happiness and love always,

MJ

P.S. Click here for the Single WORST Thing You Can Do to Your Relationship

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