Great Relationships: 4 More Dumb MIstakes and 4 Smarter Moves to Make

1) Treat the family you have come from as more important than the family you are creating. Put your parents' opinion and happiness above those of your spouse. Spend more time with them than you do your own family. Invite them into marital disputes. Share private knowledge with them.

Smarter move: Once you get married, the family that you form _ whether just the two of you or if you add kids _ becomes the most important family. Set up boundaries between your family and the one from which you came. A boundary is just a fancy way of saying "don't go there!"

2) Express love to your partner just as you would like to receive it.

Sounds like the right thing to do, does it not? The problem is twofold:

a) we each have our own love language, the way in which we feel most loved. It's usually either to see it (actions), hear it (words), or feel it (touch)

b) We tend to give love in our own love language. So if your love language is hearing, and your partner's is seeing, you could say "I love you" all day long, and he or she would be thinking, "that's nice, but why won't you show me?"

Smarter move: Express love in your partner's own specific love language. How do you find out what it is? Here comes the hard part _ ASK!

3) Treat your partner like an opponent instead of a helpmate.

So many people treat their friends better than they treat their spouse. How long would you be friends with someone who constantly competed with you, debated and critiqued everything you said, and saw you as the enemy and someone to get around in order to get your own way?

Insist on seeing your relationship, the world, and everything only through your own eyes. No one person is always right. Yet often in marriage we act as if our view is the only one that counts. We act as if there is only one set of eyes and brains in the relationship.

Smarter move: In marriage you do not always have to agree with how your partner sees the world, or even see it the way he or she does. At the same time, one way to honor and respect your mate is to always keep in mind how he or she sees things. You want to be able to "get behind their eyes."

4) Insist on seeing your relationship, the world, and everything only through your own eyes.

No one person is always right. Yet often in marriage we act as if our view is the only one that counts. We act as if there is only one set of eyes and brains in the relationship.

Smarter move: In marriage you do not always have to agree with how your partner sees the world, or even see it the way he or she does. At the same time, one way to honor and respect your mate is to always keep in mind how he or she sees things. You want to be able to "get behind their eyes."

Visit SecretsofGreatRelationships.com for more tips and tools for a great relationship, as well as a free 10 day e-course on enriching your relationship today, from relationship coach Jeff Herring.

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