7 Things Happy Couples Never Do
BY ANITA MARTIN
Happy couples. We all want to be like them! After all, how nice would it be to find a relationship that enriches our lives with meaning, security, and joy? Truly happy couples inspire those who have experienced heartbreak to reconsider loss and reconnect with hope for a second or third chance at love. Or perhaps you’ve given up completely until a day arrives offering an opportunity that you may choose to welcome or reject. Either way, a happy love relationship requires significant work and commitment. And, it is helpful to gain perspective and wisdom from successful couples. Usually, we want to know what steps to take toward achieving relationship bliss, but what are the thoughts and behaviors that flourishing couples leave behind?
Happy Couples Never...
1. Expect their partner to make them happy.
There is only one person who is responsible for his or her happiness. You. Expecting your partner to make you happy is an unfair and unrealistic expectation. If you are unable to be happy without him or her, see a therapist to understand why this may be happening. Take time to develop a strong self-identity that does not rely on your partner or the relationship to make you feel whole. Happy couples recognize the strength of two fully developed individuals sharing a love relationship.
2. Believe they are the only person capable of making their partner happy.
If you believe that you can be the sole source of your partner’s happiness, you will likely become overwhelmed and exhausted. Accepting this type of responsibility for another person regardless of their role in your life is highly detrimental to you AND to your partner. Happy couples know and understand personal limits.
3. Demean or ridicule their partner in private or public.
If someone loves you, why would they ridicule or demean you? Both of these behaviors reduce your value as a person and mock your personal qualities. Why would you want to be with someone who treats you in this manner? Happy couples respect and value their partner. They don’t play with them like pawns in a chess game.
4. Isolate their partner from friends, family, or other social supports.
Isolation from your friends, family, or other acquaintances is never acceptable. In fact, it’s a fundamental component of abusive relationships. Happy couples do not assume or act as if they “own” their partners.
5. Expose a partner's faults and/or sensitive information in public.
Most of us have experienced public embarrassment or shame when a friend, family member, or partner has revealed personal information. This may become an issue of trust. While it can occur innocently, you and your partner should discuss what type of information can be revealed in public environments. Happy couples protect one another’s personal struggles or experiences.
6. Expect perfect behavior or a fairytale relationship.
Happy couples base their relationship in reality. They are not only accepting of imperfection, but they also navigate it well. They communicate, problem-solve, and let go of mistakes.
7. Limit one another's freedom and self-expression.
Happy couples recognize that their loved one is an evolving human being. He or she has hopes, dreams, talents, and challenges. Happy couples create an environment that promotes continual growth and individual expression for both partners.