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IT ONLY TAKES ONE PERSON TO CHANGE A RELATIONSHIP. PERIOD.

It takes two to tango. A good relationship is 50/50. You do your part and your partner has to do theirs, right? At least that’s what’s been said and touted in the relationship world since well…..forever. But, today you’ve come across this article to unlearn that thinking and discover a very different truth. And, by the way we don’t believe anything happens on accident so you are right where you are supposed to be reading what you are supposed to be reading in this moment.

So, what actually is the truth of this matter? Let’s start with some foundational knowledge that will be essential to your understanding what we’re dropping here and critical to your changing and saving your relationship. The truth is that YOUR RELATIONSHIP MIRRORS YOUR INNER WORLD. Your relationship with your partner is mirroring your beliefs, attitudes and actions back to yourself. So, just what does this mean? We often talk about how two people can experience the very same set of circumstances, identical conditions and the same exact challenges and yet can perceive the same exact thing very differently.

Same Challenge….different outcome

One easy to understand example is when you have two children growing up in the same family–let’s just say it’s a dysfunctional environment where little love is shown and expressed with an alcoholic mother and an absentee father who’s never around. The parents fight all the time and there is emotional and physical abuse that is witnessed by the children along with significant emotional neglect as the 2 children literally have to find ways to take care of themselves in this chaotic family. Those 2 kids eventually grow up. One of them leads a life of struggling in his relationships not understanding why he keeps having the same issues with different women, he meanders through his life feeling no sense of real purpose and a nagging feeling of emptiness that he’s developed the habit of masking and covering up with alcohol. On the other hand the other kid becomes a high achieving medical doctor who gets married, has children, a few solid brothers he can turn to when he’s feeling overwhelmed or having a tough time, decides to never touch alcohol based on what he experienced and attributes his success to his faith and family as motivators to create the kind of life he never had. By the way the second brother spent some very intentional time in therapy and doing individual personal development work as well.

This “experiencing the same thing” yet having very different perceptions and outcomes is the same for our relationships! Do you think that what you’re going through in your relationship is super unique? We can tell you with 100% certainty—that it is not. Why are some couples able to get through and build during difficulty while other couples are crushed by the difficult times? It all comes down to the individual experiences of the people in the relationship. And all that matters is YOU and what YOU are doing in the midst of the hard moments.

You attract who you are.

In a relationship in which your partner treats you with love and support you will find that the basis for his or her love is the love you have towards yourself and subsequently towards others. When you trust yourself you attract a trustworthy partner. When you believe in yourself you will also have a partner who shows up believing in you too. When you are intentionally kind, loving and truly considerate of yourself you automatically begin extending that kind, loving consideration to others—especially your partner—and in turn this is what you will begin to see coming back to you from your boo.

Let’s be clear–THIS IS NOT ABOUT BLAMING YOURSELF OR REMOVING RESPONSIBILITY FROM YOUR PARTNER. This is about putting the ball in your court & gaining new personal insight because you are endeavoring to get to know yourself on a completely different level. It’s about developing your capacity to understand and make room for the sore spots, mishaps and mess ups of your partner by recognizing in yourself where and how you may at times experience similar feelings, concerns, defenses or fears. The bottom line? Once YOU change your relationship will mirror that change. Remember, your relationship (all relationships in fact–not just the one with your sweetie) mirrors you–not your partner.

The Shift Starts With You.

So, what will happen once YOU change? Simply put, Once you change your relationship will mirror that change.

You’ll begin to shift those habitual thoughts, beliefs and ways of acting with your partner and in response to them and your relationship will begin to transform in a way you’ve never ever experienced.

If you are serious about doing your work and you keep putting one foot in front of the other with steady persistence, change will come and your partner will begin to shift and all of those negative things that you dislike about your partner will begin to disappear…..they will begin to change! Oh wait, or will it be that you’ve changed and you will be looking through new eyes? Hmmmm…..it’s both. 😉

To see the behavior of someone else transform in direct response to your transformation will amaze you. When all is said and done, one of two things will happen–#1 your partner will begin to positively shift in response to your transformation and you all will begin going to new heights together OR your partner will be released from your life and you will have a completely new set of tools to utilize as you navigate your relationships along with crystal clear clarity on who you are and how to have an amazing relationship with the right one.

Remember, any attempt to change someone else without 1st changing yourself will not be effective because the image being reflected back at you will not have changed. Why? Say it with us: Your relationship mirrors you, not your partner.

Why In The Hell Are We Always Arguing?

If arguments were all you saw and heard growing up then it may feel natural to argue a lot. Truthfully you might get a high, an adrenaline rush from the excitement that arguing brings. But whatever the cause, chronic arguing brings problems – and not just for the neighbors…BUT…for your relationship and your family.

Yes, most of us argue sometimes and it would be a dry ass world if we all saw things in exactly the same way. Constructive arguing is cool, but destructive arguing can destroy valuable relationships. The opposite of arguing isn’t agreement in all things, it’s knowing how to disagree and still maintain mutual respect. The biggest understanding that you can embrace is difference is o.k. Once you get that…you’ll release the need to always be right and consequently the number of arguments will decrease. CHECK OUT THE BELOW VIDEO. It contains some valuable insights that will help you deal with disagreements..AKA…BEEF.

 

How To Deal With Drama In Your Relationship

Drama. Issues. Craziness. A relationship without any issues is an unhealthy relationship. Yup, you read that right. All relationships need a balance of happiness and a lil hell in order to be authentic, productive, and amazingly blissful! So, don’t trip because you have a little drama….just know how to deal with it.

Listen in and we’ll give you some real good info on how to do just that!

 

We Dare You To Compromise In Your Relationship

Relationships are all about give and take. It’s those folks who are soooo committed to standing their ground that end up standing alone. Learn to compromise yall….it’s critical to your relationships longevity.

Is Your Relationship Environment Toxic?

“When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment it is in–not the flower.” There’s a lot us married folks that can learn from that statement. We need to stop focusing on and trying to fix our spouses and pay attention to how we contribute to a loving and positive (or nasty and toxic) environment. You have more power than you realize. Stop Playing. Start Pushing.


Ayize & Aiyana Ma’at, licensed clinical therapists and high school sweethearts, have been together for 22 years and married for 14. Together, they are the founders of B Intentional LLC, a personal development & relationship education company. Known for their signature down to earth and “keep it real” style. Ayize & Aiyana Ma’at have been featured on Dr. Drew’s Life Changers T.V. Show, Michael Baisden Show, Roland Martin’s Washington Watch, The Matt Mcgill Show, The Oprah Winfrey Network, and many more. While they are grateful for an abundance of opportunities to work with people all over the country committed to transcending self limiting barriers and elevating themselves and their relationships to a higher level, their most valued and important accomplishments to date are their 5 beautiful children who keep them busy, focused, centered, and laughing!

It’s Normal To Experience Stress In Your Relationship…

Many couples believe that happily ever after literally means that after you get married your relationship will be all peaches and cream. NOT. One of the functions of being in relationship is to help you evolve…to help GROW YOU UP. While growing each other up in your relationship please know that it’s normal to experience stress in your relationship and that more than likely this too shall pass!

How To Deal With A Stubborn Spouse Who Always Pushes Back

Resistant. Attitude. Can’t take criticism. Never wrong. Hard for them to hear you because they’re so busy defending themselves…. sound familiar. If this is your spouse or…maybe it’s you….this question and answer is for YOU.

A viewer wrote in and said….

Hey guys, love the show. I have a question I’d like to pose, anonymously. How does one communicate an issue with someone who is stubborn or quick to anger? Verbal aggression is a lot of the times used as a barrier to deflect an issue that need to be addressed. Serious issues as well as the minor stuff. Difficult to penetrate, even with persistence… Tips?

What are some of the ways you deal with your boo when they ain’t trying to hear you? Are you strategic? Creative? Or do you push back too? Listen in to our answer below.

How To Turn Conflict Into Connection

By Dr. Richard Nicastro

“I really hate it when we argue…but I’ve also learned so much about my husband from our fights and we have a stronger relationship now.” ~Sandra, married seven years

Even the most effective communicators get into spats now and then. And despite your best efforts at marital bliss, you and your partner will disagree and argue from time to time.

But not all conflict is bad-conflict (if handled correctly) can teach you a great deal about yourself and your spouse or partner.

Relationship Help: From conflict to connection

Ideally, conflict can lead to an increase in mutual understanding and a healthy re-adjustment of your relationship, rather than estrangement. Of course, during a heated exchange it may feel like your world is ending and that you’re in love with the most unreasonable person on the planet-so how can such an unwelcome experience lead to growth?

The opportunity for greater intimacy comes after an argument, in the post-conflict analysis.

Have you ever noticed how most sporting events have a post-game analysis? By going over what happened, coaches and athletes discover what worked and didn’t, they examine their strengths (what they should be doing more of) and their areas of vulnerability (what they should change); they then set goals for how to use this information to improve future performance.

Doesn’t your marriage or relationship deserve this level of attention?

Marriage help action steps:

So here are a few post-conflict questions for you and your spouse or partner to reflect on (try to think of a few of your own):

1. What can I learn about myself (my strengths and areas of vulnerability) from how I reacted and behaved during the conflict?

2. What can I learn about my spouse or partner (his/her strengths and areas of vulnerability) from how s/he reacted and behaved?

3. How can I use this information to show more understanding and greater appreciation of my spouse or partner?

The information gathered from these questions can ultimately lead to more effective communication and greater intimacy. To get the most out of your post-conflict analysis, it will be important for you to wait until you regain your emotional footing-in other words, you should feel calm and centered while reflecting on these questions (so you may need to wait until any strong, residual feelings left over from the conflict dissipate).

You will strengthen your relationship when you make a post-conflict analysis a regular part of your marriage or relationship.   Because conflict is painful, many couples simiply ignore what happened and try to get on with there life. When you do this, however, you’re ignoring important information that can help pave the way for a more harmonious marriage or relationship. So when you set aside the time to examine the nature of conflict, you place yourself in the drivers seat of the relationship, rather than leaving the outcome of your marriage or relationship to chance.

And don’t forget, you can make a significant impact on your relationship all by yourself. So if your partner isn’t on board with doing a post-conflict analysis, you can do it on your own and change your behavior in ways that will positively impact the future of your marriage or relationship.

5 Signs That Your Relationship Is Done!

By Alex Daniels

Relationships are fragile and not everyone you meet is destined to be your soul mate. But, that’s the good thing about dating. You can meet different people so that you will know when the right person does come along. So, what are some of the indications that your relationship may be headed south? Take a look at the following 5 signs and see if your love will pass the test.

Inconvenience. Does your partner all of a sudden act as though making time for you is a burden? If you feel like your sweetheart cannot or will not fit you into their busy schedule, there may be a reason. If you’re spending more and more time apart, it may be time to make the distance permanent.

Defensiveness. When your mate isn’t where he/she is supposed to be and then becomes defensive when asked about it, you may have a problem. This may be a sign of cheating or just plain out dishonesty but, either way, it’s a good indication that the relationship is in trouble.

Dishonesty. If someone deceives you, it’s not okay. Whether it’s something that you can forgive or not, that’s a personal decision. Regardless of the deceit or it’s severity, the fact that your partner was dishonest is not an indication that the relationship is heading in the right direction. Why did this person deceive you and why did they believe it was okay? If this situation isn’t corrected, the relationship is just as good as finished either way you look at it.

Constant arguments. If you and your mate are always bickering, ask yourself what has changed within the relationship to create all of the hostility. If nitpicking is a problem, why does it seem as though the other person is always trying to start an argument? If there are legitimate reasons for the disagreements, what are they and what lead to their development? In some cases, people just change and may even grow apart. If your occasional argument has turned into a daily habit, it may be time to reevaluate the relationship and try to determine whether or not these issues can or will ever be resolved.

The rumor mill. Rumors are rumors and sometimes they may be just that. But some say there is a little bit of truth to every one. If people are talking about your mate, listen to what they are saying and decide for yourself whether or not there is any credibility to their statements. When you’re in love, your judgement may be clouded and you may even be angry at those who are talking. In deciding who and what to believe, first consider who is doing the talking. Is it someone that cares for you and has always had your best interest at heart? If so, take a good listen to what they are saying. This doesn’t mean that you should believe everything that you hear and, by that same token, you shouldn’t disbelieve it either.

Relationship Rule to Break: We Can’t Have Any Fun Until We Solve Our Problems

By Cindy Bare

There is an unspoken rule in relationships that partners can’t have any fun together until they “get over” the significant problems they face or stop having any kind of conflict.

The truth is, all relationships have issues, and if you wait until they are resolved to start enjoying each other again, you may be waiting a very long time. Love is a feeling that must be cultivated with quality time together that does NOT focus on the issues you currently face. Whatever you’d like to address, whether it be recovering from an affair, resolving a disagreement on a major life issue, or facing the normal waning of romance in the daily grind of life, unless you focus some effort on what is RIGHT in your relationship, you may miss the opportunity to improve it.

 

But Cindy, you say, I would be faking it.  Things are not all romantic and happy right now.  I need to be real, right?

Yes, be authentic about what you feel and need, and tell your partner in a safe way, like through Imago dialogue.  Still, sometimes you gotta fake it until you make it.  When there is much that is wrong, and you are both hurting, it is hard to keep in mind that your issues are only one part of your relationship, not its whole story.  You can consciously decide to work on those things at a particular time, like at your marriage counseling appointment, and live in the now otherwise. You are not ignoring the conflict, you are choosing to be strategic about how you use your time and energy.

Sometimes you have set aside what’s wrong for a while to save what’s right about your relationship, to be able to remember the way things once were, or to be able to dream together about what it could still be.

That’s why I encourage couples to give each other appreciations.  Notice and verbalize what you are grateful for or admire about your partner.  Continue to enjoy fun activities together, especially physical pursuits such as working out together, dancing, or my personal favorite, a round of golf (you’d be amazed at how therapeutic four hours together with no interruptions can be).  Do something new or go somewhere new together.  Surprise your partner with something he or she would enjoy.  Find a way to laugh together (I Love Lucy reruns?) and keeping having sex or affectionate hugs and touch.  Both belly laughs and sex release oxytocin, a bonding chemical that can help you feel closer.

In short, keep working on your issues and start acting as if your relationship was strong and healthy until it starts growing that way.  Until it starts feeling that way again.  Until it is strong and healthy again.

From the Imago Center Of Washington DC