April 3, 2019 |Gideon

 

The Rebuilding a Relationship Series: Walk the Talk

This post brings us to the last one in this Rebuilding a Relationship Series, and the topic is very simple – walk the talk.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much advice you get or how much you know about something if you don’t apply any of it. Simply knowing what to do is NOT enough.

There is no power without application.  It’s only when you do what you know you need to do that there’s a chance for change or success. And this principle applies to ALL areas of life.

By now you will know that I love using the metaphor of “baking a cake” when talking about creating happy, healthy, and intimate relationships.

If you want to bake a certain type of cake, you need a recipe for that type of cake.

And when you follow the recipe closely chances are you’d end up with the type of cake you wanted.

Even when you mess up, but still followed the recipe closely, you’d still end up with some sort of cake that closely resembles the type you wanted.

You won’t suddenly end up with a completely different type of cake.

Yes, yours might be a flop but it would still be recognisable.

The same goes for relationships.

Following certain principles (recipes) and doing certain things consistently will always give a certain type of relationship.

For example, you can’t consistently disrespect your partner over time and expect to have an intimate relationship.

By the same token, consistently showing your partner care and kindness won’t typically lead to a toxic relationship.

In fact, it would be highly unlikely.

So, at the end of the day, it comes down to having the right “recipe” for creating a happy, healthy, and intimate relationship, and then walking the talk.

It’s important to understand that one of the best ways to lose the respect of your partner and damage your relationship is to ask them to do something you aren’t willing to do.

When you expect them to walk the talk, but you don’t, you’re sure to lose respect and credibility in their eyes.

And you may not even think that you’re acting that way, but, as I said in a previous post, the only opinion that matters is your partner’s.

It doesn’t matter what you’re thinking or feeling about your own behaviour.

All that really matters is how your behaviour and words are making THEM  feel.

That’s the true test.

And the best way to know what they’re feeling is to ask them.

You may discover that when you ask them, that they have a completely different view of things.

You might discover that you’ve actually been expecting them to do certain things that you haven’t even tried doing yourself.

For instance, are you asking your partner to control their anger during conversations but each time you have a disagreement YOU end up yelling?

Call it “raising your voice” or “being passionate,” it doesn’t really matter.

The question is whether you’re being a hypocrite or not.

You might think that your behaviour isn’t nearly as bad as theirs, but in whose eyes?

Because maybe in their eyes, their behaviour isn’t nearly as bad as yours.

The important objective here is to do exactly the same that you are asking from your partner.

Walk the talk.

It doesn’t just go one way in a relationship.

It’s a two-way street.

All the time.

So, when you are trying to repair a relationship from damage done from arguing, hurtful expression of anger or even infidelity, you have to take stock of what YOU are doing as well as what you’re asking your partner to do.

And, while you’re at it, it’s also important to understand what should and shouldn’t be done.

Again, recipes and all that.

Some things will ALWAYS give one type of result and not something else.

And if you are going to walk the talk then here are a few boundaries that you and your partner need to set between you in order to have the best chance of rebuilding or repairing your relationship.

You need to ensure that you both are committed to doing what you’re asking the other to do and be sure to check in with your partner frequently to ensure you’re on the right track.

It is very difficult to rebuild a relationship when the desire and commitment to do so have gone out the window.

You will only walk the talk when there is some commitment and desire left.

To close this Rebuilding a Relationship Series, here are 15 things to consider as part of your repair process:

  1. Be honest with your partner, but also be gentle.
  2. Learn to compromise because we don’t always get what we want.
  3. Know your partner’s beliefs about relationships so you are both starting at the same place.
  4. Don’t mistake sex for love. Men can often keep these two separate but women often think that sex equals love.
  5. Remember you and your partner are a team. You are different but a team.
  6. Solve your problems quickly. Don’t let them simmer or one of you will grow bitter.
  7. Don’t take everything personally. Sometimes you or your partner just had a bad day.
  8. It’s easy to have sex but more difficult to be intimate. It is important that you are authentic and transparent with your partner, sharing hopes, dreams, sorrows, sadness and joy.
  9. Cooperate with your partner. Remember that they are your partner and not your enemy. You both win when you cooperate with each other.
  10. Don’t try to fix your partner. They don’t need fixing. If you don’t like them the way that they are, you probably have deeper issues.
  11. Accept the fact that neither of you is perfect.
  12. Don’t be afraid of tough conversations.
  13. Don’t share your relationship problems with your friends and family
  14. Stay open to being spontaneous, including in the bedroom. It’s just plain sexy.
  15. Share the workload fairly. Not doing this typically leads to bitterness and resentment.

I really hope that you found this series helpful.

The tips are simple and practical but have the power to turn things around in your relationship.

Just don’t wait till the whole thing has collapsed as rebuilding might become significantly more complicated and daunting in that instance.

About the author

Gideon

Gideon is the founder of TheRelationshipGuy.com, a top-50 relationship blog (2021) and top-100 marriage blog (2021) focused on providing healthy relationship advice about love and life. He earned a Master's degree in theological studies before training as a professional counsellor and hypnotherapist (DipProfCouns., DipMSHT.) almost 10 years ago. He is currently pursuing further graduate Psychology studies at Massey University while working as a relationship and dating blogger the majority of the time. He has been married to his wife for over fifteen years and is the father of two children.

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