Whether you’ve been married for several years or you’ve just started dating the love of your life, chances are you’re making one of these five mistakes that will take you from feeling like honeymooners to being “honey-moaners” pretty quickly.
1. Following the golden rule.
“Do unto to others as you would have them do unto you,” is practical wisdom and general instruction when teaching about compassion and communication. However, in order to really win in your romantic relationship you must learn to follow what Kenneth Benjamin wrote about as The Platinum Rule, “Do unto other as they would have you do unto them.” Treat your mate the way they want to be treated, just as you desire. Let’s face it; if men are from Venus and women are from Mars, it’s not likely that if I treat my husband in the way I want to be treated that he will be happy. Listen and learn to love your mate the way they desire to be loved.
2. Not saying what you (really) mean.
Kids (still) say the darndest things, but they rarely ever say something they don’t mean. Innuendo and inference are learned behaviors. Once my son and I were getting out of my aging car and he asked when I would get a new one. I responded, “I’m going to drive this thing until the wheels fall off.” To which he replied, “But you’ve had the tires changed hundreds of times.” When you don’t say what you mean, for fear of response or rejection or simply out of sarcasm, you send mixed messages that are difficult to decode. And ladies, trust me, your man is not going to play the decoder game very long, even if he has the special decoder ring. Be clear, concise and direct in your communication. It’s much easier than you think.
3. Playing the guessing game.
When I was a kid I had a habit of shutting down when I was upset or hurt. Not because I didn’t want to share or talk about my issues, but it made me feel important and valued for someone to spend the time and exert the effort to guess and pull it out of me. It was my way of getting the attention I desired. Don’t do this with your mate. He/she will tire easily and leave you upset and with your face broken and feelings hurt once they stop guessing and move on. I refer you back to mistake #2.
4. Caring too much.
How can one care too much in a relationship, you ask. Very easily. You can care too much about the wrong thing. If you’re overly concerned about what people say or think, you can negatively impact your relationship. The most important opinions and views of the relationship belong to the two people in it. Caring too much about the feelings and opinions of others can send the message that you care too little about the opinions and feelings of your significant other.
5. Acting a donkey.
Sadly, I don’t mean a display of over the top behavior. There’s a saying about what assuming does to you and me. Don’t be that. 🙂 George Bernard Shaw is quoted saying, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” When you assume the other person knows, understands, and receives what you’re offering in the way it was intended you are taking a huge risk. In the movie Philadelphia, Denzel Washington starred as an attorney who repeatedly stated to his clients, “Explain it to me like I’m a fourth grader.” While I am by no means insulting anyone’s intelligence, Jeff Foxworthy proves weekly in front of millions of people, that most Americans are not smarter that a fifth grader. Don’t assume that your mate gets it, even if you feel like he/she should.
These five mistakes can kill any good relationship. When you stop making these five communication mistakes you will begin to experience more bliss with you partner almost immediately.