You make your marriage work, not by holding onto things, but by letting go of things.
We hold on to so many things that cause a great deal of stress and frustration in our relationships – and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing our relationships to flourish and blossom, and make our marriage work – we cling on to them.
What Makes a Marriage Work?
Starting today you will give up on all those things that no longer serve you, and you will embrace change. Starting today you will make your marriage work.
Ready? Here we go:
15 Things You Should Give up to Make Your Marriage Work
1. Give up your unrealistic expectations
Give up all your unrealistic expectation about marriage being this beautiful box full of all the things you have always longed for and see marriage for what it truly is – an empty box where you and your partner MUST put all the things you want to take out. Accept that if you want to have love in your marriage, you have to put it there.
If you want to have happiness, passion, intimacy, companionship, trust in your marriage, you have to put it there. Relationships take work, a lot of work and if you want to live a happy, beautiful and loving life next to your partner, you will both commit to making your marriage work. Always remember, relationships don’t work unless you do.
People are made to be loved, not controlled. The more you try to control your partner, the more you will push him or her away from you and the less love there will be left between you two. Give up control and allow the ONE you love to just be. Allow the person you love to be who they are and not who you want them to be.
3. Give up possessiveness
No matter how long you two have been together and no matter if you are married and have 10 children together or not, you do not possess your partner. He/she is not your propriety. You both are two separate entities and just as you are separate from him, so is she separate from you. Give up possessiveness and allow your partner to breathe. Give him/ her space and freedom they truly deserve and watch how much more beautiful your relationship becomes.
4. Give up criticism
Give up the need to criticize every little thing your partner does or doesn’t do and instead start appreciating those many things that made you fall in love with this person in the first place. Seek to praise not to criticize. Keep in mind that you attract more bees with honey than you do with vinegar.
“Compliments and criticism are all ultimately based on some form of projection.” ~ Billy Corgan
5. Give up the need to fix your partner
Relationships aren’t about fixing one another, relationships are about loving, caring and supporting one another. You might think it’s your responsibility to “save” and “fix” your partner but trust me, that’s not really the case. Give up the need to fix your partner and work on growing, improving and evolving together instead.
“Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invariably they are both disappointed.” ~ Albert Einstein
6. Give up your jealous behavior
”A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
The root cause of jealousy is insecurity. Work on letting go of your insecurities and you will immediately understand the futility of a jealous behavior. You will immediately give jealousy up.
7. Give up on your fears
Give up the fear of cheating on one another, the fear of falling out of love, the fear of having your present relationship become as toxic as the previous ones and so on. Get out of your fearful head and into your loving heart. Give up on all your fears and love with all your heart.
“Perfect love casts out fear. If fear exists, then there is not perfect love.” ~ A Course In Miracles
8. Give up the chase for perfection
What screws us up the most is this idea we have in our heads about how relationships should be like and how our partners should behave. Instead of savoring, loving and praising one another, nurturing the relationships we have, we waste our precious time and energy seeking perfection, in ourselves, in our partner There’s no such thing as perfect relationships simply because there’s no such thing as perfect people. Your marriage is and always will be a reflection of who and your partner are – two perfectly imperfect people.
“When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.” ~ Donald Miller
Believe it or not, it’s not the other person’s job to make you feel all the things that you yourself can’t feel on your own. It’s not the other person’s job to make you feel loved, happy and whole when you yourself feel unworthy, unhappy and incomplete. That’s not their job, that’s your job.
Give up the need to blame your partner for everything that goes wrong in your world, for why you aren’t feeling as loved and as happy as you would like to feel and start taking ownership of your own thoughts and feelings.
“Tell everyone you know: “My happiness depends on me, so you’re off the hook.” And then demonstrate it. Be happy, no matter what they’re doing. Practice feeling good, no matter what. And before you know it, you will not give anyone else responsibility for the way you feel and then, you’ll love them all. Because the only reason you don’t love them is because you’re using them as your excuse to not feel good.” ~ Esther Hicks
10. Give up the need to always be right
Remember when you and your partner first started dating? Remember how beautiful and how lovingly you spoke to one another? Back then you didn’t care whether you were right all the time or not. All that you cared about was to make the other person feel loved, appreciated and happy. So why change now? Give up the need to always be right and choose to be kind, loving and supportive instead.
“Common courtesy plays a big role in happy marriages. People who are permanently married are polite to one another. They don’t want to hurt one another’s feelings, and they don’t try to make the other one feel humiliated. People who are married for life are extremely kind to one another.” ~ Frank Pittman
It’s true that relationships require compromise but when you compromise too often, living your life according to the other person’s expectations, you risk losing yourself and that’s how you start feeling bitter, depleted, frustrated and very unhappy. Don’t lose the “I” in playing the “We” game. Compromise when needed but not so much that you lose your sense of self. Balance is key.
“The hardest-learned lesson: that people have only their kind of love to give, not our kind.” ~ Mignon McLauglin
12. Give up your clingy behavior
There’s nothing less attractive than a person who clings onto his/her partner expecting the other person to provide all their emotional, physical, and spiritual needs. Take the “pressure” off of your partner’s shoulders and put it on your shoulders instead. Seek to become the provider of your own their emotional, physical, and spiritual needs. Be the source of your own happiness.
“You have so little faith in yourself because you are unwilling to accept the fact that perfect love is in you, and so you seek without for what you cannot find within.” ~ A Course In Miracles
13. Give up asking for more than you give
“Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that most people enter a relationship in order to get something. They’re trying to find someone who’s going to make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take.” ~ Anthony Robbins
If you enter a relationship expecting to get a lot more than you give, chances are that you will have many marriage regrets. The only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take. Give more, ask less.
14. Give up your emotional baggage
Make peace with your past. Make peace with your “stuff”. Don’t carry the heavy weights of your past with you into the present. If you want to build a happy, loving and healthy relationship, you have to start fresh, you have to leave your emotional baggage behind.
“The past has no power to stop you from being present now. Only your grievance about the past can do that. What is grievance? The baggage of old thought and emotion.” ~ Lao Tzu
There is a huge difference between love and attachment and what most people call “love” is nothing more than attachment. Attachment comes from a place of fear, while love is pure, kind, and selfless. Love is ready to detach and let go if the relationship between two people becomes toxic and detrimental to the healthy growth and evolution of both parties. Attachment, on the other hand, loves to hold onto toxicity, feeding itself with the pain and suffering of people.
Deepak Chopra says it best with these words:
“Love allows your beloved the freedom to be unlike you. Attachment asks for conformity to your needs and desires. Love imposes no demands. Attachment expresses an overwhelming demand – “Make me feel whole.” Love expands beyond the limits of two people. Attachment tries to exclude everything but two people.”
And these are the 15 things you should give up to make not only marriage work but also any romantic relationship.
P.S. It’s very important to understand that some people, no matter how much they love one another and no matter how much they want to make their marriage work, might not be able to do so simply because they both learned the lessons they had to learn and now life calls them in different directions. To paraphrase Elizabeth Gilbert, soul mates, they might come into your life to reveal another layer of yourself to you, to help you see a part of you that you did not know was there, but when the work is done, they will leave, making room for something new, for something better to come your way.
This is why it’s so important to listen to your heart and intuition and make sure that you don’t stay in a relationship that makes you feel dead on the inside simply because that’s what society and everyone around you expect you to do. Your peace of mind, health, happiness, and well-being are more important than anything else. So stay happy!
“The real act of marriage takes place in the heart, not in the ballroom or church or synagogue. It’s a choice you make – not just on your wedding day, but over and over again – and that choice is reflected in the way you treat your husband or wife.” ~ Barbara De Angelis
~love, Luminita 💫
** If it’s true that marriages are meant to last for life, why is it that so many people divorce? What do you think is the key ingredient to making a marriage work? I really want to know what are your thoughts on this. You can share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below 🙂