What Makes a Successful Relationship?


On April 26, my incredible husband and I celebrated our 4-year wedding anniversary, which got me to thinking about what makes a successful relationship.Relationships are such a complex and remarkable experience. They can be fulfilling and dazzlingly exciting adventures. Or they can be sad, shriveled and repressed… essentially, a real drag.[A quick aside: In this article, I’m talking specifically about intimate relationships, but the same basic premise applies just as easily in friendships, in families and between people and their pets.]

So, which do you choose?

It seems like an obvious decision, but so many of us are willing to settle for “meh” instead of reaching for “WOW!!!” And it is a choice that is entirely up to you.

I think the biggest problem comes up in relationships when you believe that someone else has to be different so that you can feel better.

“If he would just say more romantic things to me!”

“If she would just stop nagging!”

“If only he would pick up his dirty laundry!”

… and the list goes on, but you get the idea, yes?

The thing is, you don’t want people to change for you. You want to feel better. So, choose to feel better first. Then, see how different your perspective is on all your relationships.

When I discovered this one, huge secret to better relationships, everything changed for me. Now, believe me when I say that I don’t have this perfect and sometimes I slide back into my “blamey” ways. But for the most part, I’m able to catch myself before I explain to him what he should do differently in order to please me.

[Another aside: my fabulous husband/occasional ezine editor just let me know that he sees my perspective on this as a “gift” to him and to our relationship. And not just because it means he gets to leave his dirty socks on the floor, but because he knows he’s honored, appreciated and loved for who he is and not who I expect him to be.]

And, the really cool part about this is that the more you catch yourself, the more you redirect your thoughts to what it is that you’re wanting (and not what it is they should be changing), the less you even notice the things that you wanted them to change before.

Oh, and I can’t forget the part where YOU get to feel really great, because YOU got yourself to feeling really great and not because you are a victim of the whims, desires and actions of others. That’s true empowerment, my friends!