Too many relationships end because of bad choices.
In the journey to create freedom in every area of your life, healthy relationships are important. The support of your partner can make or break your dream. Relationships are hard work and an area of our lives that we constantly have to work on.
Three years ago, I decided to make three radical changes in my life. I vowed to lose 170 pounds, quit a job I hated, and move our family to Maui, Hawaii. I told my wife—after we reconciled from our separation—and she was supportive.
I made five important choices that helped keep her in my corner and grow our relationship. You can create freedom in your life and relationship by making the right decisions.
1. Accepting that your partner’s needs should come first.
Let’s be honest, we like it when we’re the center of attention. That, however, doesn’t work well in a relationship. This isn’t to say you worship your partners every word, but you do make a conscious effort to put their needs above your own.
A wise man told me long ago that love isn’t a feeling. It’s a decision. Choosing your partner’s needs above your own is one way to demonstrate that decision to love. During those times when you’re tempted to fight—over something that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things—choose to work through the issue on your own. Choose happiness over being right.
2. Fostering a healthy sex life.
Sex isn’t everything in a relationship, but make no mistake, it is important. An unhealthy sex life can lead to stress, a negative self-image, and fights. It can also create thoughts that eventually result in one partner being unfaithful.
With the chaos of life, finding time for sex can be hard, but it is important. Sometimes you just have to pull your partner aside and let the animal instincts take over, but you can find time for sex if you decide it’s important to you. We always make time for the things that are important to us.
3. Being fully present.
When you’re making changes—with a day job and other responsibilities—it’s easy to get distracted. You have 100 things on your mind all the time. We go through our daily lives distracted and miss so much because we’re never really in that moment.
Writing my first book was exciting and frustrating. I worked 60 hours, so I had to write my book in the spare minutes here and there. When I wrote, I was in the zone. When I wasn’t writing, I was thinking about writing. I wasn’t fully present for my family and missed a good six-months of my children’s lives.
Those little moments are what make life interesting. Being fully present allows you to focus and understand. In a relationship, it helps you understand what’s going on with your partner.
4. Talking until you get sick of each other.
I think we all know communication is important in any marriage. You have to talk honestly about what you’re both going through. We don’t, however, take communication as far as we should.
In us, is a desire to “figure things out” on our own. There are things we should be telling our partner, even if they seem trivial to us. Learning how to communicate this way helps us open up in a way that builds a strong bond. It becomes a habit to communicate, and your love grows stronger.
5. Putting your partner above your children.
Children are amazing and a special gift, even during the times when we want to pull our hair out. Despite that, you have to remember your spouse was in your life first and should always have the first position in your heart. When you start putting things and people ahead of your partner, you risk damaging your relationship.
Your children learn what a healthy relationship is when they see how you both treat each other. Our actions speak louder than our words.
I titled this post “choices” for a reason. You decide whether your relationship helps or hurts your journey to create freedom in your life. Choose to put your partner first, have sex, and be fully present. Choose to love them every day and take this journey together. Make this year count.
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