Autumn a Time for Reaping Love Part Two
By Timothy Olsen
Be Honest About What Your Needs Are
What are your needs? When you go to a restaurant, you order from the menu based off of what sounds appetizing; you don’t say “Surprise me.” When you buy clothing, you have an idea of what size fits you and what colors might look good. Why, then, do you not share your concerns with your partner? Is it fear of rejection? Fear of an argument? These are valid concerns, but know that if you don’t ask, you will find it difficult to have. The idea here, of course, isn’t to place demands on your spouse. Rather, it is to be clear about what you need in the relationship, and a hope that your partner can do the same. Only by walking together can you arrive at the same destination, after all.
Yes It’s About You, But Don’t Take it Personally
When repairing a relationship, there will inevitably be some discussion about your partner’s wants, needs, and concerns. It can be effortless to take these statements not as requests for what one needs in a relationship, but as personal attacks. Commit not to do this. Trust that, no matter how poorly worded or angrily seeded, the statements being shared are coming from a place of honesty and not a place of malice.
You are not Mormon the Mindreader!
After all, you can’t read your partner’s mind, which means they need to be able to share these concerns with you. Isn’t it better to know about a leaking faucet, so you can fix it, instead of ignoring it and then being surprised when there’s lots of water damage underneath it later? Discussing a relationship is a lot like that. Sure, it takes a bit of focus, elbow grease, and you’ll probably get frustrated at some point. The result, of course, is getting closer to the relationship you both need.
Don’t Be Afraid to Not Argue…
Rome wasn’t built in a day, the saying goes, and if your relationship needs repair, it’s not going to happen overnight. A plan may need to be put into place, or an agreement into some sort of change might need to come to fruition. This may mean being willing to walk away from the argument, or at least understanding that there are concerns while also understanding that the groundwork isn’t firm enough for the change that is being requested or needed.
… But Don’t Put it Off Either.
Just because you’re looking for solutions and not an argument doesn’t mean you can just push off your partner’s concerns. After all, you want to strengthen the relationship and repair it. You wouldn’t ignore a broken bone, or an open wound, would you? An issue in a relationship is in many ways the way thing. Yes, it will sting, but it’s better to address it and move forward than it is to let it sit and idle.
Don’t Forget to Make Your Relationship a Priority.
The thing about relationships is that, by their nature, it can be easy to become used to it. You start thinking you don’t need to put effort into the relationship because you have it. But you maintain your lawn, your car, and your faith; why wouldn’t you maintain your relationship? Be sure to make time to connect with your partner, to understand them, and to forge a physical, mental, and spiritual connection with them.