The Best Decision I Ever Made was giving marriage a second chance. After my first marriage ended in divorce many years ago, I had basically written off ever walking down the aisle again, especially after experiencing subsequent disappointing dating experiences as well.
Many of us can probably relate to making similar proclamations when looking over our unsatisfying dating and marriage histories thus far. It might seem like there ‘just aren’t any good men or women out there anymore’ and become discouraged of ever finding that special someone.
Fortunately, when we remember that we’re the other half of our unsuccessful relationships, this can be a very empowering piece of information. Not that we have to change who we are or play games in order to land a desired mate but by enhancing certain aspects of ourselves we’re more likely to meet the type of person we wish to attract.
For instance, if we want a mature, thoughtful, confident, honest partner with integrity, than we need to become that type of person too.
When we ask ourselves, “What is it about me that is choosing a certain type of mate or putting up with certain types of behavior?” then we can increase our chances of finding a more fulfilling relationship by learning how we might be sabotaging ourselves.
It is extremely beneficial to look at each relationship we’ve ever been involved in and notice any similarities among them. Upon review, we may find that we’ve had the same relationship over and over again with the same dynamics playing out over and over again. The names and faces may have been different in each relationship but the repetitive patterns of behavior, and interactions were eerily the same.
We’ll want to observe what it was about each partner that attracted us in the first place? Certainly, physical attractiveness is often an initial enticement but what else did we want in a companion? Are we only attracted to someone with a good sense of humor, who makes us laugh and showers us with compliments?
Upon further investigation, we might realize that we don’t really have much in the way of criteria for what we desire in a relationship or what type of person we desire. Doing a self-appraisal will help us to start looking at how we treat ourselves and others, gain clarity on what we want and improve our self-esteem.
Having low self-esteem can cause us to do the following:
- Ignore much of another’s character issues because we feel honored and validated to have been chosen by that person for a date.
- Not speak up for ourselves when we don’t feel good about the words and behavior directed at us by our mate.
- Excuse missed phone calls, late date arrivals and accepting last minute dates.
- Teach others that we don’t require much of them by allowing certain treatment to continue uncorrected or expressed.
- Work hard to be who others want us to be and fulfill what they need at our own expense.
- Accept certain behaviors because we lack personal boundaries and have poor self-care.
- Have difficulty asking for what we need because we fear abandonment or hurting others feelings while ignoring our own.
Over time, stuffing our feelings and ignoring certain behaviors inevitably leads to fighting, nagging, self-pity and depression which doesn’t benefit anyone or make for a happy relationship.
So, when we invest in taking care of ourselves and increase our self-esteem we can look forward to healthier behaviors such as:
- Releasing attempts to control another through martyrdom, guilt and feeling sorry for ourselves to get someone to do as we want.
- Staying away from trying to force someone do, feel, or think anything.
- Realizing that someone else’s character or ways of being is not our job to fix.
- Maximizing our own happiness and focus on our own character building.
- Learning to communicate what we need, want and desire while feeling strong enough to walk away if we are unable to reach an agreement.
- Stop settling for what doesn’t work for us.
- Look to share positive interests, insights and viewpoints of life.
Had I not looked within myself or continued to view marriage and potential partners as the enemy, I would have missed out on experiencing the wonderful relationship I enjoy today!
Review your relationships, and lovingly see what part you play in its success or discomfort.