These aren’t the biggest mistakes in relationships that are obviously destructive. Rather, these are the insidious little relationship mistakes that creep up over time, and damage our foundation from the bottom up.
One of the biggest mistakes we often make is not nurturing our relationships. Read books like For Better: How the Surprising Science of Happy Couples Can Help Your Marriage Succeed by Tara Parker-Pope to the true secrets to happy relationships. For instance, Parker-Pope found that most marriages today are succeeding, newlywed couples who don’t fight are at a higher risk for divorce, and how couples divide household chores influences how often they have sex.
By “nurturing your relationship”, I don’t mean having bubble baths together or planning weekly date nights. Rather, you can help your relationship grow strong, healthy, and vibrant if you simply learn as much as you can about what mistakes are often made and how they’re solved.
Big Relationship Mistakes and Simple Solutions
1. Letting your insecurities and fears overwhelm you. This was my biggest relationship mistake when we first got married. It was the reason I wanted us to go for couples counseling after we’d been married a year, and the foundation of our premarital counseling discussions before the wedding. I’m working on my insecurities. I’m learning where true confidence, security, and faith comes from – and it’s not from my self, my marriage, my beautiful home, or my husband.
A solution for this relationship mistake is face your fears and insecurities. Are you insecure about your partner’s previous marriage or current work colleagues? Deal with your issues, or they’ll drag your relationship into the gutter. Find the one true source of security, love, and freedom (God!).
2. Not trusting your intuition about your partner. You wouldn’t believe how many readers ask if their husbands are cheating, or if they should trust their boyfriends again. Instead of trusting their own gut feelings about the men they are intimate with, they look outside their relationship for the answers.
A solution for this relationship mistake is to read about how to developing intution about your relationship. Connect with yourself – more importantly, connect with God. Learn how to trust Him to guide you and lead you. Hand your relationship mistakes and problems over to Him, and let go of your worries. Trust. Have faith. Live.
3. Not caring for your body. I know you wouldn’t expect to find Aztec Healing Clay in an article about solutions to relationship mistakes! But bear with me: in 5 Most Common Mistakes in Relationships, I quote marriage coach Mort Fertel. He says men know women spend hours getting ready for a wedding or party, but they spend no time getting ready for a quiet evening together. In other words, wives don’t make their husbands feel special or worth the bother of brushing hair or showering. Sometimes women let themselves go after getting married, having children, and running a home.
A solution for this relationship mistake is to find three ways to pamper your body. What have you been neglecting about yourself? Try new and different ways to pamper your body – for instance, I learned that Aztec Secret Indian Healing and Cleansing Clay is extremely popular on Amazon. I’m not big on makeup or makeovers, but I pamper myself in three main ways. I wax near my girl parts (and my underarms), spread lotion all over my body after a shower or bath, and get regular full-body massages. These simple acts of love for my body make me feel good about myself, which boosts my marriage.
4. Fish or cut bait. If you’re not happy in your relationship, then you need to fish (get to work on saving it!) or cut bait (leave). Stop sitting on the fence, anguishing about how lazy and unmotivated your boyfriend is. Find the courage and strength to rebuild your relationship, or rebuild your life. You have the power to whatever you want with your life! Why are you wasting away with a man who bores, annoys, angers, or abuses you?
A solution for the mistake of staying in a relationship too long is to look in the mirror. Who were you before you met him? Where do you want to go? Who do you want to be? When are you the happiest? What makes you feel peaceful, centred, focused, and serene? It’s time to face yourself and start working towards the life you want.
5. Not looking outwards and upwards. What is the meaning of your relationship, your material possessions, your work, your life? What are you doing here – how are you improving your wee corner of the world? If you’re only focused on each other, you’re ripping off the world. You’re not giving us the gift of yourselves as a couple, and your inward gaze will soon become tarnished and boring.
The solution to this biggest relationship mistake is create a life plan. I wish I had an article about goals for couples that I could link to – it looks like I need to write that article! Sit down with your partner, and figure out what you’re doing together, as a couple. Maybe you’re raising a family, volunteering in your community, mentoring other couples, or taking care of your relatives.
My prayer for us as we find solutions to the biggest mistakes we make in our relationships is to rest in the peace, comfort, and joy of God. May we accept His love and serenity, and may we life our families up to the One who gave us everything and everyone we have. Amen.
What have I missed? I welcome your thoughts on the biggest relationship mistakes, and would love to hear some of your solutions!