Last week we just touched on some of the ways you can screw up your relationship. This week, I will go into what we as women do wrong, and some ways we can correct our behavior.
I will begin with the biggest thing I see women doing, that can and will eventually screw up your relationship, that is forgiveness. I know all the books, and PhD’s and counselors push this on people. Forgive and forget is what they say, but can it really happen? Are you really able to forgive your mate for cheating…again? How about forgiving him for abuse…again? Where does the forgiving stop and consequences begin? My advice? Right from the beginning. If you are in a relationship with a man, and you are repeatedly catching him cheating on you, why forgive him? Put your foot down the first time, notice that I do allow a first time, but set ground rules from this point. Stand your ground and say, regardless of the reason; if you cheat on me again, it’s over! Period, no ifs’ ands’ or buts’ about it. Men will only do what you let them get away with. I’m not saying castrate them and treat them like children, but communicate and explain why their behavior makes you upset. Let him know, that this is unacceptable behavior. While you’re at it, find out why he cheated, is there something missing in the relationship that makes him stray? Or is he just a hound who can’t keep his pants up? It is important that you and your partner talk things out. That is the only way to get through it. Catch 22…don’t KEEP talking about it. Discuss it once, get all feelings and issues out there on the table, then move on. If you harp on it, then it becomes nagging and that is a whole other issue. Bottom line here is to have consequences for behavior. If you let a man continue with the damaging behavior with no ramifications, he’ll never stop.
Where is my mind today? I mentioned abuse at the beginning of this paragraph, this is an inexcusable offense. No explanation need, no conversation needed, no ‘I’m sorry” needed. Just move on and count your lucky stars you got out early.
Another problem women have in their relationships is the ‘ Independent Woman’ complex. We all believe that we can, will, and must do it all ourselves. This is not true. It is nice to be able to say we can, but if a man wants to take care of you, LET HIM! This traditionally is the man’s role in society anyway! I’m not saying to quit your job and live off his accomplishments, I’m saying let him take control of some of the major bills, decisions, household chores! Don’t be too proud to accept help from your man, if he is willing to give it that is. Women are strong, strong enough to do it on our own, but the man needs to know that he is, in fact, the man. Do not tell a man what to do all the time, ask. Do not nag a man into doing something he doesn’t want to do; this is where it’s easier to just do it yourself. Questions, not all the time. Everyone needs to keep some secrets, something that only they know. It makes us feel secure in our self. There will be times when a man won’t want to talk about his feelings or what ever is going on in his life. Relax, resist the erge to panic, a man keeping secrets does not mean he is doing something wrong; he’s just not able to tell you yet. He will tell you when he’s ready. The bonus here is it will be easier for a man to come to you with his issues in the future if you give him space when he asks for it. The more patient you are and the more you are willing to let go of the reigns, the better your relationship will be. Let a man be a man sometimes.
That brings me to a similar topic, letting a man be a man. Women try to force a man to do things that men just don’t do. Chic flicks…at home on DVD! Talking about our feelings (good sometimes, but not every single day!), manicures, HGTV, showers more then once a day, men don’t normally do these things. They are musky, loud, football watchin, dirty nail havin’, socks are still clean three days later if they don’t smell wearin’, gassy, ESPN manly men who don’t need no stinkin’ shower “I just had one last week!” Allow them to be who they are, don’t try and change them, it will end in disaster, trust me I know! You wouldn’t want a man trying to change you, so don’t try and change him. Love each other for whom you are!
Now, let’s talk about how we women degrade ourselves. We stay in these relationships with these less then worthy men, and take all of their crap. Why? We don’t have to put up with this! How do we change our behavior? Baby steps. Take everything one day at a time. I would start with my self esteem. Figure out what’s wrong with it, where you lost it, and how you can find it again. As I said in last weeks article, find a hobby. Discover different classes, different activities that you would be interested in. Do something that interest you and that will make you feel better about you. Reconnect with old friends, the more positive ones of course. Go out to eat with your girlfriends, or even a very good male friend. Get your hair and nails done, start walking. I have found walking to be more therapeutic then you would think and it’s great for losing weight. The true key to a happy relationship is being happy with oneself first. Women in general need to feel comfortable with ourselves before we jump into something major with someone else. Know what you want out of the union, have goals, goals for yourself and goals for the relationship. If you don’t have a plan on where to go, why take the trip?
Choices. Everyone is blessed with the gift of free will. We are all given choices in this world, and right or wrong they are ours to make. Why is this relevant to how women screw up relationships? We tend to relinquish our choices to men more often then not. The whole purpose of free will is to provide humans with the ability to make mistakes, which allows us to learn. Do not give up your free will, just to please a man. If you allow him to make all the choices, you allow him to be in total control of your life, which renders you helpless. Take back control of your options. If a man is cheating on you, don’t allow him to be the one who decides if he stays, you make that choice. He cheated on you, if you choose to stay, then that is your choice. If you choose to kick his lyin’, cheatin’ behind to the curb, again, your choice. Just the fact that you have the ability to take that control should empower you to make other choices, other changes to better your immediate situation. Use the voice go has given you and make your own decisions.
There are definately a lot of things that women do wrong in relationships, the best advice I can give you is to be aware of your surroundings, think before you speak, and be sure to know that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. If you follow these rules, your romantic situation will greatly inprove.
Next week, I will begin on the men…AHHH!