David Flowers is a counselor and doesn’t suck. He sent me a head shot to include in his bio but I never post a picture of someone better looking than I am so you’ll have to go to his blog to check him out at davidkflowers.com.
This is from David:
I came across a meme on Facebook this week that blew me away. Perhaps you’ve already seen it.
A great deal of my work is in premarital counseling, mostly with people who have never been married before. The main work I do in premarital counseling is help couples understand the usually unreasonable expectations they have of each other, and of what marriage will be. They naively think the most important thing they’ll do in marriage is take care of each other. My work is to get each partner to understand that a healthy relationship, by definition, consists of two healthy individuals. This means the single most important gift spouses can give each other is for each of them to get their own act together, to deal honestly with their own issues.
Five Reasons Why Getting Your Act Together Is An Awesome Gift To Give Someone Else:
1. The more deeply and honestly you deal with your own issues, the less inclined your spouse will be to bring them up.
Let’s face it, most arguments between couples consist of each of them telling the other what is wrong with them. The faults of others are easy to see. “You’re so stubborn.” “Yeah, well you’re so critical.” If stubborn lady works on her stubbornness, and critical guy works on being less critical, and they are open with one another about it, they will each be less likely to use those things as ammo in an argument. The best thing you can do is admit them and work on them.
2. The more you get your act together, the easier it will be for others (not just your spouse) to love you.
Conversely, the more broken you are, the harder it will be to love you. If you are needy and insecure, you will suffocate your partner. If you are demanding, you will exhaust them. If you hate yourself, you will always be miserable. If you take everything personally, almost everything your spouse says, no matter how well-intended, will hurt your feelings. People who love themselves have faced their issues squarely, and people who have faced their issues are easier to love because they are not constantly spewing their unresolved goo all over others.
3. Getting your act together is a way to keep investing in the relationship.
In too many relationships couples think (or worse yet, say!) “We’re married now. You have to love me, warts and all.” This is when she starts greeting him after work in an old bathrobe and a mud mask. He returns the favor by farting under the covers. They eventually end up in my office for counseling and can’t figure out how the magic leaked out of the relationship. Answer: The magic leaks out when you stop trying. Since no one ever fully gets their act together, working on yourself is a way to keep trying, all through your life.
4. You’re the only person you can change
Too many couples want each other to change, and to be completely accepted by the other. When you commit to a life of getting your act together, you turn it around. You determine to accept your partner completely and change yourself — the only one of the two of you that you can change.
5. It gives your spouse what they want
Your spouse married you because they love you. Assuming your spouse is a basically good person, they want you to be happy, healthy, and whole. The more you improve yourself, the happier you become and the happier you are, the happier your spouse will be with you.
I have directed this post toward married couples but unmarried couples can apply it, and parents can apply it to relationships with their children. Parents are always asking me, “What is the best method of discipline” or “How long should I keep my child in time-out.” I always say, “Parents — get your act together personally. When you are secure, when you feel good about yourself, when you know you are loved and valuable, you will naturally raise your child with this same assurance.”
Getting your act together, then, is a gift to the world!
Question: How have you seen important relationships improve as you have continued to get your act together? What relationships do you now realize suffered because of your unresolved issues?
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