Secret to a Healthy Relationship.
Updated: Feb 20
What if I told you that your friendships could "fix" your relationship OR find you a healthy one?
I've learned some incredible facts about dating and relationships in the past few years, and I've got some surprising info to share with you today that I'm hoping will change your life ;)
I was going to post this yesterday, but I figured you were bombarded with Valentine's ads, codes for discounts, romantic retail therapy, etc... So here I am a day later, hoping to catch you at peace.
You know, after you've had to deal with the kids' Valentine's parties, watching everyone's partners gift them fabulous things on social media, passing by mounds of flowers, chocolates and stuffed animals in the isles at the store... now that the world of retail is over and we can really think about what this holiday actually means.
When I first started looking into Valentine's Day, I saw the story of Saint Valentine. He was jailed for marrying Christians when it was outlawed, and then fell in love with the jailer's daughter. She begged him to do what he could to stay alive, but he was solid in his faith and although his love for her was strong, his conviction to his purpose was stronger.
Would she have loved him as much if he were the type of man to give up his beliefs for her? Probably not.
What is the key to love in every single book?
If you really look for it, what do they ALL stress in order to have a healthy relationship?
Number 1: You have to know yourself.
I'm not sure how to say this that doesn't sound as simple as it is... you have to love yourself before you can love someone else.
I know, I know... that doesn't help. We've heard this before. Come on, Brandi, I thought you were going to give us a breakthrough here.
Don't worry, I'll try to explain it in a groundbreaking way! ;)
If you don't love yourself, it means that you don't know yourself. In that case, you have no idea what you like, where you are going, who you want to go there with, etc. Basically, you are walking around grasping at any identity someone will give you. You decide that you'll just be who everyone needs you to be in that moment. When the hubby needs a certain person, you're his perfect gal. When you're kids need someone, you're the perfect mom. When your church needs someone, you're the perfect volunteer. When you're mother needs something, you're the perfect daughter. Do you see the pattern here?
Before you know it, you're completely lost and you have no idea how you got there.
You got there by not knowing who you were to begin with. Before you can love someone else truly and deeply, you have to get to know yourself.
As we learned about Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride, you gotta know how you like your eggs.
Don't know how to even begin to get to know yourself? Don't fret. I've got a free "Dating Me" guide on the website - www.reclaimjournal.com/shop - it's a digital download! Give it a whirl!
Number 2: Live your life.
Here's where I deliver on my promise to let you know how your friends are going to "fix" your relationship.
If you have a healthy partner, they are going to get really sick of you clinging to them night and day, making your whole world about them. The closer you try to get, the farther they will pull away. Notice them pulling away? What do we do? Get even closer to find out what we did wrong and how to fix it!
It's counterintuitive, but I'll tell you one very real fact: If you want to get closer to your man, you have to spend time away from him! I know. So weird, but it works. Start focusing on dating yourself and then focus on fostering 3-5 really close friendships. Meet up with one of them once a week or so. This gives you the dopamine and oxytocin needed to keep you feeling good without placing all of that pressure on your man. And if he is a secure, healthy man, he will appreciate the fact that you have a life, friends and hobbies outside of him. This is what will make you even MORE attractive in his eyes!
Don't know how to "make friends"? Don't worry, you're not weird or awkward, we ALL feel this way! Featured Author and Special Guest on the Shattered to Unbreakable Podcast yesterday was Brenda Billings-Ridgley. She wrote a book called Lady and the Tribe, available online and at Barnes & Noble. It literally walks you through where to find friends, who to trust, and how to foster healthy, lasting and meaningful platonic relationships with other women! It's fabulous!
Number 3: Communication.
This is sooooooo important!!!!!! 9 times out of 10, that thought you have as to why this or that was said or happened is not accurate and definitely not as bad as it seems.
My favorite way of communicating is something like, "I know you probably didn't mean this, but I'm feeling _______ from yesterday. When you said ______ I heard _______ and I'm sure you didn't mean it that way, but it has made my body feel __________ and I just want ______________."
For example: "I know you probably didn't mean this, but I'm feeling hurt from yesterday. When you said you hate going to my parent's house, I heard that you can't stand my family, and I'm sure you didn't mean it that way, but it has made my body feel heavy, and I just want us to be able to talk about my parents without that heaviness."
He may have said that in this example because he hates the way her mom treats her. It's not that he hates her family, he hates seeing someone treat his woman that way. Make sense? This couple can talk this out and come to a compromise. "We can go, and I won't make it feel heavy, but if she talks to you like that again, we get to leave. She shouldn't be treating you that way and it hurts me to see you hurt." He wants to help her heal and set healthy boundaries.
Now that's just one example, but I wanted to include it because communication can literally make or break your relationship! Respectful communication!
I hope that you found some value here today. Like I said, the right friends CAN actually "fix" your relationship as long as you choose them wisely, get to know yourself, and learn to communicate effectively and respectfully. No healthy, stable person is going to hurt you on purpose just to see you hurt. Those people are called psychopaths. And if your significant other is a psychopath... then your friends cannot fix him... no one can!
Happy post-Valentine's Day!
Give the podcast a listen for more on building your very own SOLID Lady Tribe!
Shattered to Unbreakable podcast
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