Secret #6: You can complain, but avoid criticising

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Like conflict, relationships will always have things in them for us to complain about.

Having things in our environment that bother us, is part of life. It is very hard to escape this reality.

If you’re in a relationship, there will most definitely be things that will bother you.

But again, the issue is not the reality of bothersome things but rather how we deal with them.

So, if your partner’s behaviour is bothering you, it’s totally okay to point it out and ask them to stop …

But, and this is a pretty big but – avoid attacking your partner, especially through criticising them. 

There is a huge difference between complaining about something and criticising.

One focuses on an issue – while the other attacks the person and puts them down with words.

Therefore, it is fine for you to say to your partner,

“It drives me crazy when you throw your dirty socks all over the floor.”

That would be a complaint.

But when you say,

“You’re such a slob. Why do you keep throwing your dirty socks all over the floor? What’s your problem?”

the focus has shifted away from socks on the floor to a flaw in your partner, pointed out by you.

Now, a natural reaction when we are criticised is, of course, to retaliate and defend ourselves – most likely with a criticism of our own.

And so it starts.

Once you start down that path as a couple, it becomes very difficult to change direction.

Because there is such a fine line between complaining about something and criticism, many couples find it difficult to do.

So it’s best to learn from the start how to communicate to your partner when something is bothering you, rather than launching personal attacks once things have built up inside of you.

The reality is that most people can accept that they might be doing something bothersome, even though they might not like hearing it, but they will still take it on board.

However, that’s completely different from being personally attacked.

That never ends well – most of all for your relationship.

Questions for reflection

  1. If you’re honest, which one do you do more of – complaining or criticising?
  2. What can you do to address both in your relationship right now?
  3. What are the typical things you complain about?
  4. Why is that?
  5. What can you do to resolve those behavioural issues for good, so that there won’t be any more need to complain?
  6. If you’ve been criticising your partner, what have you hoped to accomplish by doing that?
  7. How has that worked out for you?
  8. What’s perhaps a better way to approach that?
  9. If you’re the one being criticised by your partner, what can you do to address that as soon as possible?

Take Away …

So, there you have it – 6 secrets for a happy relationship.

Now, I know that these are not rocket science, but trust me when I say that they are typically the things that come up whenever couples come to see me for coaching.

It is very seldom the big things that cause relationship dissatisfaction and a decrease in happiness, but rather the small things compounding over time.

In the ancient Hebrew Scriptures, there is a passage that says,

“The small jackals destroy the vineyard.”

That is so true.

It is typically the small bothersome things left unnoticed, unattended, and untreated, that tend to come back to bite us.

Make sure that this doesn’t happen to you.

At the end of the day, creating a happy relationship or marriage is important for you and your children (if you have any). 

There are times when we all have to put our own needs aside and do whatever we can to strengthen our relationships because the quality of our lives and future depend on.

These 6 secrets will help you start working toward a happy partnership as you give your relationship or marriage the time and attention it deserves.

What next?

If you feel you’ve learned a lot from this short introductory email course and would like to take it further, then working with me as your coach is always an option.

All you need to do is apply to get coaching and if approved (meaning if I feel I can help you), we will start that process.

In the meantime, read and support my blog by sharing its content as far and wide as you can.

You’d be doing me a solid for sure!

Thanks again for taking the time to go through this email course with me.

I hope you enjoyed learning these ideas as much as I enjoyed putting them together for you.

My mission is to serve people like you at the highest level by helping you create happier, healthier, and more intimate love lives.

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Remember, if you have any questions, issues, or queries, contact support here.