Instead of dwelling on the parts of your relationship you aren’t happy with or letting them upset you or cause tension, make them positive by turning the negatives into an action list for the relationship.
You may have heard the expression: “When you are given lemons – make lemonade.” Overtime, relationships are handed several lemons. The sources for negative feelings and unbalance are numerous. Some are directly caused between both people because of poor or missing communication. Indirect sources of anxiety in a relationship can be work- related or financially based.
When the interpersonal aspect of the relationship is creating the negativity, consider this simple exercise. First, you and your partner must be open to honest feedback. Next, ask your partner this question: “On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate our relationship (keep in mind the word “relationship” can be substituted for intimacy; support of one another, etc.).
Allow your partner time to reflect and provide an honest reply. If the answer is “Seven,” ask this follow-up question: “What are three things I can do to get our relationship to a ten (if the answer is “six,” you would ask for four things, etc.)? Again, give your partner time to consider their response. It may be hard to listen, because the answers may sound critical and negative. But really, the answers are solutions to turn the negatives into positives.
There is one more critical part of this exercise. After your partner is finished and you have taken in and acknowledged the areas for improvement, ask this question: “What are three (or whatever the number needs to be) things you can do to get our relationship to a ten?”
By asking this follow-up question, it’s putting the relationship back on equal footing and back into the spirit of a true partnership. Except for certain extreme and unfortunate examples, most relationships are successful, or not successful, because of the contributions and efforts of both. Take an honest look at how you are contributing to any negative circumstances, but also be aware it does take two to make it work and to create a more positive and healthy relationship.
When lemons drop from the trees, but you and your mate were expecting apples, begin to make lemonade by creating an action list of what you both can do to get apples next time.