“A fool learns from their own mistakes, a wise person learns from the mistakes of others”
Based on this quote, I‘ve been pretty foolish in my life. I’ve made countless mistakes and I’m not done yet….there’s plenty more to come. Screwing up royally from time to time has its advantages, but only if we are learning from it and not repeating the same mistakes.
Often the greatest lessons are the ones that we learn from other people messing up, so that we never have to suffer the consequences of their mistakes. Sometimes just watching people make mistakes can be painful enough.
Over the past several years when clients talk with me about their relationship challenges and reveal their operating behaviors occasionally a booming voice in my brain says…”remember to never do this.”
Sometimes people aren’t really thinking about what they are doing to the point of absurdity. For example if you start calling your spouse your favorite f-ing c word and wonder why she resents you it’s time to talk. If you start calling your man a f-ing worthless p of s and wonder why you don’t seem to be able to communicate we also need to talk. This is actually occurring more frequently than I would have imagined.
Most couples argue from time to time and in the heat of the moment people can say and do things that are completely outside the borders of reasonability.
11 not so precious gems. Do them at the risk of your relationship:
1. Do not call your partner degrading, vial, derogatory names and expect them to just forget about it.
2. Making fun of your partner in front of their family and friends doesn’t bring the love.
3. Do not have sex with your partner’s best friend and act like it’s not a big deal.
4. Do not take your children with you to see this best friend that you are screwing while your partner is away.
5. Saying what’s f…ing wrong with you 10 times in the course of an hour is not considered heartfelt understanding.
6. Constantly trying to fix your partner and tell them what to do all the time will not create trust and respect.
7. Imagining that I will fix them and tell them what to do for you is a serious hallucination.
8. While I value your opinion, just because you have been married 5 times so far does not mean that you know what to do.
9. Blaming your partner for everything that’s not working in your life will not create a deeper sense of connection.
10. If your relationship is on the edge of divorce and your partner is totally committed to working on the relationship, while you are waiting for them to decide before you decide to do anything or commit, time to get a good divorce attorney.
11. Before your anniversary when your partner tells you they have a baby sitter for the night, saying “cancel the baby sitter we aren’t going anywhere together” is unlikely to increase sexual activity.
Clearly emotions rage in relationships and common sense often gives way to non-sense. Far better to imagine that your significant other is really a precious gem and start treating them that way.
Your relationship future rests is in your hands more powerfully than you realize. You get to decide always how you respond. You get to decide always what you will do. You get to decide always your willingness to be playful, fun loving and creative.
Relationships are not always easy, but there is no reason to make them impossible. Stop doing the things that are destroying your relationship today. If you are doing any of these 11 things, your relationship is on the edge of change. It will not stay the same. It will either get better, or it will be over.
“Make one less mistake every day and pretty soon you own the world”