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As a woman, it disturbs me to see the wealth of bad advice on the internet for women in relationships. I once read an article that was supposedly about how to tell if your lover is cheating on you. It covered absolutely everything. If your lover wants less sex, he’s cheating. If your lover wants more sex, he’s cheating. No wonder men whine about women so much. I genuinely felt bad for any man in a relationship with a woman that believed anything written in that article.
This article is for all of those women out there who find themselves in failed relationship after failed relationship and can’t understand why. You’ve heard of ‘the rules’, I’m sure. These are the real rules – ten simple things to keep in mind if you want a happy relationship. Following these rules does not guarantee a happy relationship. If you’re in a relationship with a dick, nothing is going to make that relationship happy. This article merely helps you hang onto the good ones should you be lucky enough to find one.
10: Never be offended by the truth.
The truth isn’t always easy to hear, but it’s something that’s needed in a successful relationship. You don’t want him to lie to you. If your man tells you you’re being crazy, take a step back and analyze the situation. If he’s being a jerk and you’re justified then maybe you need to give the status of the relationship some serious thought. If he’s right and you’re being crazy, then calm down. You need your man to be honest with you, but you also need to be honest with yourself. Look in the mirror and honestly ask yourself who is right.
09: Don’t get jealous over his friends.
Your man cannot spend every moment of his day with you and trust me, you wouldn’t like it if he could. He needs to have friends and a life outside of his relationship with you just as you need to have friends outside of your relationship with him. If he wanted to hang out with his boys and have a few drinks don’t get upset. Let him have that time. Female friends are a bit tricky because there is an almost instinctual desire to be jealous over the women in you guy’s life. Hang tight on this one, ladies. There’s a whole article on the way next week addressing this issue specifically.
08: Never start fights or sulk about nothing.
Feelings get hurt over silly things sometimes. Something may feel hugely insulting to you, but it may not actually a big deal. When you feel your temperature rising and you’re so angry you feel like you could burst, sit back and really look at the situation. This goes back to rule number 10, but it doesn’t have to get to the point that your man thinks you’re a lunatic.
Before you start shouting at your man about whatever the issue is, ask yourself if it’s really a big deal. Ask yourself if you think he honestly meant to offend you or hurt your feelings. Chances are, he didn’t. If that’s the case, starting a fight will do nothing but lead to more hurt feelings – for you and for him. Save your time and energy for when there’s a real problem to deal with.
Sulking can be just as bad. If your feelings are hurt tell him why your feelings are hurt. Don’t just expect him to know. It’s been said a million times and it remains true – men aren’t mind readers. You have got to learn to stand up for yourself. That doesn’t mean you have to start a fight. It means you have to tell him if something’s bothering you. Don’t raise your voice. Don’t get weepy and emotional. Tell him the problem and get his feedback. Listen to that feedback and work on a solution or compromise.
07: Never be needlessly insecure about his feelings.
Not one of us can say for sure than the person we are in a relationship really and truly loves us. We aren’t inside that other person’s head. We can’t feel what they feel. We can’t read their mind to know what they’re thinking. We go based on our feelings and an underlying trust that the words they speak are sincere and that the respect they treat us with is from the heart. With all that said, you need to believe the person you are in a relationship loves you. If the words are being said and the actions are there to back it up, you have no reason to question it. If the words are there but the actions aren’t, it’s time to think about a change.
06: Never expect him to change for you.
Everyone has problems. With hard work and a genuine acknowledgement that change is needed, those problems can be addressed and fixed. The term once a cheater, always a cheater is bull. A tiger can change its stripes and a leopard can change its spots. Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Yes, of course – but the dog has to want to learn.
Men are not animals that can be trained. You can’t break them of a bad habit but rapping them on the nose with a newspaper. If your man has a bad habit when you start dating him, don’t fool yourself into thinking you’ll be able to break him of that habit. If he’s a smoker he’s going to continue to be a smoker unless he decides he wants to quit. Learn to deal with it or find someone else.
No man, woman or child is going to change just because you want them to. They change because they have the will and the determination to work to make that change for themselves or they don’t change at all.
05: Don’t treat him like trash and expect to be treated like treasure.
Strong relationships must be built on mutual respect. You need to treat your man like you want your man to treat you. If you fly off the handle over nothing, don’t get mad at him for doing the same. If you put him down and call him down to the lowest, don’t whine and cry if he returns the favor. You need to show him respect if you are going to demand respect and every woman in every relationship should always demand respect.
04: Never hold a grudge.
Relationships aren’t easy because as human beings we’re capable of inflicting tremendous amounts of pain on the people we love with one bad decision. Cheating is the obvious answer here. If your man cheats on you and you genuinely believe he is sorry, it’s okay to stay with him, but you need to let it go. You need to try to find a way to trust him again.
Mistakes do happen and trusting someone who has cheated will be one of the most difficult things you’ll ever have to do but if you believe your relationship is worth it, that’s exactly what you need to do. If you can’t find that trust again, that relationship needs to end.
If you choose to stay with someone who has cheated or you take back someone who has cheated, you need to let those hurt feelings go. This is something that needs to be worked on as a couple, but if you both want it to work, it can. Once the decision is made to continue and you’ve decided to put those feelings behind you, you need to stick to it. You can’t throw the cheating in your partner’s face months or years down the line.
03: Don’t get hung up on a ring and a piece of paper.
Don’t pressure your guy to get married if he doesn’t want to. Be honest about what you want out of the relationship and decide if his goals match your goals. If marriage is important to you but it’s not important to him, you need to make a tough call – stay or leave. You can’t browbeat someone into walking down the isle. It will breed resentment and will do nothing but hurt the relationship. If you’re happy in the relationship, ask yourself why a ring and a piece of paper is so important. You can be in a committed, loving and serious relationship without exchanging vows. If that ring is important to you though look for someone that is interested in the same thing. Just as forcing someone to get married can breed resentment, so can feeling your goals aren’t taken seriously. If you don’t want the same things and neither you nor your partner is willing to compromise, the relationship is in trouble.
02: Never stay longer than you should.
If it is obvious that the relationship is not working then leave. It’s as simple as that. Change is scary. Being alone is scary. Being in a miserable relationship because you don’t have the guts to leave is worse than the uncertainty you might face if you leave. If you love him but don’t feel the way you used to and don’t want to leave because you don’t want to hurt him, be a woman and make your exit. It will be painful and it will be hard, but staying in a relationship you don’t want to be in is only going to hurt both of you in the long run.
01: Never pretend you’re someone you’re not to try to make him happy.
The real you will always come out. If you want a long and happy relationship with the man, you need to let him know who you really are. From the littlest things like movies and music to the biggest things like your future goals and aspirations, he is in a relationship with you – make sure he knows who that is.