Improve Your Relationship by Taking Care of Yourself First

It's important for you to take care of yourself before you try to fix your relationship. The old saying 'You can't give away what you don't have" applies here. Until you are peaceful and happy, you won't have a peaceful, happy relationship.

If you skip these steps and jump immediately into the murky waters of your troubled relationshp, you are at high risk for going under. That's why it's so important to do all you can to stabilize yourself before you get in over your head.

Before you confront core relationship issues, first follow these two steps to increase your chances of success:

1. Commit to being okay no matter what happens.

Make yourself a promise that you're going to take good care of yourself and be okay no matter what happens in your relationship. If your happiness absolutely depends on your partner being a part of your life, then you'll feel fearful and powerless. As a result, you'll be more likely to engage in ineffective behaviors such as begging and pleading. The more this happens, the less your partner is to want to stay in the relationship. Why is this?

One reason is that you will be perceived as emotionally needy and dependent. Whatever someone else does for you will never be enough because you'll always want more from that person-more time, more love, more concern, more of everything. Your partner can sense this and will be afraid of being consumed by your never-ending demands for attention and care.

Another reason is that it's too heavy of a burden to feel totally responsible for another person's happiness. Most people want to run the other way when that's the case. A partner who does try to be everything to the other person will eventually feel resentment and anger at being put in such a demanding position. And any sense of playfulness and fun, which is so vital to an enduring relationship, will be snuffed out.

By showing respect for yourself and belief in your ability to thrive whether in a relationship or not, you'll be coming from a place of empowerment and strength. These attritubes attract others and engender respect, making you a more desirable partner.

2.Commit to putting more fun in your life even when you're feeling miserable.

Don't wait until your relationship is perfect to plan fun activities for yourself. Sign up for a community class to learn about kayaking, gourmet cooking, or drumming. Make a list of places in your town or a nearby one that you'd like to visit. Branch out, learn new skills, and broaden your world.

When you're active and having fun, you'll be happier. An extra benefit will be that you'll also appear more attractive to your partner. Individuals who are happy have a natural sex appeal that makes them desirable and draws others to them. When you're living life with gusto and a sense of adventure, irregardless of the state of your relationship, your partner is more likely to want to spend time with you.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to wait and see what happens in your relationship before you take steps to create a more satisfying life. After all, would you rather spend time with someone who is miserable and uhappy or with someone who is doing interesting, fun things and enjoying life? Enthusiasm and a sense of fun are powerful aphrodisiacs that attract others like a magnet.

The more centered, balanced, and happy you are, the more you increase the odds that you'll be able to create a happy, healthy relationship.

Nancy J. Wasson, Ph.D., is co-author of Keep Your Marriage: What to Do When Your Spouse Says "I don't love you anymore!" This is available as an e-book at , where you can also sign up for the free Keep Your Marriage Internet Magazine. Nancy can be contacted at [email protected].

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