Women, life, happiness
  • “I’m giving 100% in a relationship and only getting 25% back.”

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    June 13th, 2011Keryl PesceFamily and Relationships, Life in general

    Well if that ain't a pretty crappy return on your investment. If it were money you were investing, you'd be broker than a bikini waxer trying to make a living in the 70's. (Boy, hair styles certainly have changed, haven't they?)

    So it's not money we're talking about, but the fact is, your emotions, your time and ultimately your life are far more valuable than any bank roll. So if you're investing in a relationship that's a losing proposition, well thenit's time to change the name of your game before you end up in the emotional poor house. And I don't necessarily mean immediately getting out of the relationship. That may or may not be the best option for you, but here are a few tips to step up your game.

    1 – Set a goal.

    If you planned to meet with a financial advisor (and I know a good one, who happens to share the same last name and dinner table with me), you would do so with at least some sort of goal in mind. So what is your goal with this relationship? You say you're losing 75% of every "dollar" invested right now.  What would an equal return look like to you?

    As with anything in life, you need to define it first before you have a chance of obtaining it. What do you want from your partner that you currently aren't receiving? Do you want help cleaning up the dishes after dinner? Do you want him to ask (and listen to) how your day was? Do you want him to compliment how you look, act, or what you do? Do you want him to show affection more often? Would you like surprise flowers once in a while?

    You have to imagine the relationship is where you want it to be, picture it, feel it, define it. Then . . .

    2 – Communicate the goal.

    I know what you're thinking. "I have. A thousand and one times."

    Well, guess what sister, you're either with the wrong guy (which I'll address shortly), or, ready . . . the problem isn't the guy, it's how you've been delivering the message.

    Remember when we were kids and one of our siblings was yakking away, annoying us? What did we do? Stuck our dirty fingers in our ears and drowned them out. "La, la, la, la, la! I can't hear you. I'm not listening!" 

    If you attempt to tell your partner what he is doing wrong or ask for what you want at the wrong time or in the wrong way, that's exactly what he's doing. Now, I hope he isn't actually plugging his ears and acting like an 8-year old, but when your request comes across as bitching, as abrasive and critical, that's what's happening. He does not want to hear you. He doesn't care about making you happy at that moment. He cares about getting you to shut up. He cares about defending his actions, not changing them. 

    Here's you: "Would it kill you to carry your dinner plate over to the sink once in a while?"

    Here's him: "Would it kill you to not bitch at me for just one day?" 

    Bitching at him might get him to pick up his plate and bring it to the sink. But you don't want simply the action. What you want it the motivation. If he wants to make you happy, he'll do it for sure. Does bitching at him make him want to do it? No. He'll begrudgingly (if at all) bring the plate over and withdraw from you and the relationship. Do that day after day and you get further and further away from what you really want. Closeness. Respect. Attention. Affection.

    So what do you do?  First, forget about communicating your frustration in the heat of the moment if it's going to come out as a dig. Don't criticize the action AFTER he does it. You're setting him up for failure. Ask for what you want while he has the chance to decide to do it. As you're finishing your meal, ask him if he could do you a favor and maybe put a few things back in the fridge and drop his plate over by the sink. Don't be a wise ass about it. Think about it. When someone is a smart ass with you, trying to prove a point, how motivated are you to change your ways? Exactly.

    3 – Do your part.

    Take this tip to the bank.  I guarantee you he (or she) does not see the scales tipped the same way you do. If someone asked him who gives what percent to the relationship, do you think he feels as if you give 100% and he gives 25%? I doubt it. And if he really does feel that way, what are you doing in the relationship? Pack it up chickie and move on.

    But what if he doesn't see it this way? If he isn't giving you what you need, and he's truly invested in being your partner, then that means only one thing. He feels you aren't giving him what he needs. Whether it's more freedom, compliments, sex, whatever. So going to him and simply handing over a laundry list of what you want, isn't going to get you squat. You need to find out what he wants more of to feel happier and more invested in the relationship. I'd even go so far as to suggest you ask him FIRST what he needs from you to be happier before you place your order. Don't be a chicken about it. You want to know. Either you can give it to him (and watch like magic how he begins to give you what you want) or you can't, and now, at least you know. You can begin putting things in motion instead of hanging out in limbo.

    Approach getting what you want using these three simple methods and you just might be surprised by what happens. And if you honestly and sincerely make the effort as I suggest and nothing changes, well, maybe it is time to invest elsewhere.

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