Last week I promised more thoughts on Where Did I Go Wrong and my hard earned advice on keeping a marriage, or LGBT partnership together. Here is part 2 of that blog.
Looking back I see so clearly that there are simple ways I could have been an excellent partner without losing my essence.
I confused compromise with surrender. But you don’t have to. You can learn from my mistakes. And here’s where you can start to create change that will have a cyclical effect upward.
Don’t take yourself seriously. Teasing — not sarcasm — and be playful. One laugh a day keeps the divorce lawyer away.
Every day make your partner feel important, validated and cherished. Each of you can write a list that equals love to each of you. Honor one another’s love language. Give what your partner wants not what you would want. I feel love with touch. My partner feels love when I cook him a meal.
It is super important to be really present. No watching television while trying to talk or listen. Your focus and attention and open mindedness to what your partner has to say is the best gift you can give.
Allow for space. Give time graciously and from a heartfelt place. “I want you to take a few hours on Saturday to renew. Do whatever pleases you. I will feel good knowing I can provide that.”
You need to take the risk to be vulnerable. Share your fears and feeling and be quick to acknowledge your mistakes. I do not mean complaining when I say share your feelings. An example is: “I feel unhappy and I would like to discuss what I believe is at the root of it.”
There is never a need to criticize or complain. Find a way to turn your complaint into a request. Not You never…. Instead I would like to have time with just the two of us. How can we make that happen?
Drop that bag filled with past mistakes. Forgive immediately and focus on the solution. Holding onto past mistakes is like taking poison expecting the other poison to die. It kills your relationship.
Keep growing and bring your partner along with you. If your relationship is stale and uninteresting your life juices dry up. Establish dreams that excite you both and work on them by taking small steps toward that vision.
I am hoping that if you are reading this you will recognize that the ups and downs can bring you closer. Stop waiting for your partner to change.
These are lessons I learned after many painful losses. I have learned them and the last nine years have been the happiest for me. I am the person I want to be in this relationship. The pleasure is mine.