Submitted Date 12/26/2018

Being divorced and starting a new relationship this past year, I have expanded my mindset when it comes to resolutions. Most of the time, I have simply strived to achieve some sort of challenge for myself every year. It was irrelevant how unrealistic it was.

I have wanted to lose fifty pounds in one year, without even thinking about how to go about it.

I have wanted to make more money without even planning on how to do so.

You get the picture.

Now that I am divorced, I realize how important setting realistic goals for both ourselves individually and our relationships affect our lives and the sustainability of that relationship.

One is not more important than the other. If you put your own wellbeing second to that of your relationship’s, you risk losing yourself as I did.

So, this year, if you are in a relationship that you feel like is failing, I suggest you be brutally honest with yourself about how you want to live and the person you want to be.


Tough Questions for Yourself

How would you want your life to be if you did not have to compromise? Then, what are you willing to compromise? Is the compromise worth it?

Asking these tough questions are important for your own happiness. They can also save a relationship that is in danger. When you are more aware of what you want, you will be stronger for your relationship.



Now, the other person must be willing to do the work as well. You can not force a plan on someone, even when that someone if your partner. You can not force someone to accept how you have changed either. They merely must be willing to fall in love with the new version of yourself.

Setting resolutions as a couple can be a useful strategy to talk about things that have been perhaps neglected. It could even be a way to lay the groundwork for a compromise.


Maybe your relationship is not in trouble. Maybe it is, and you are in denial. Sorry. I am not trying to be rude. I have found that friends did not realize their relationships were in trouble before it was too late. So, even if you think everything is great in your relationship, it may still be a great idea to come up with some resolutions together to build the habit of working on something together.


Some resolutions I suggest for couples that are going strong or in need of some nurturing:

1. Spend 15 minutes in the evening catching up on your day, preferably face to face. No phones. No television. Just the two of you.

2. Get in the habit of expressing gratitude for the things you do for one another. Start off with once a week and see if you can do it more often. This could raise your awareness of how much you both do for each other, or even how little one does for another in comparison.

3. Talk about the things that make you feel appreciated, so you can both be mindful of not forgetting to show your appreciation in those ways.

4. Keep a calendar. Be mindful of how much you do for one another in terms of time. For instance, talk about how you give your time to one another.

Does one partner go to many events for the other? They could be family-oriented or more personal things such as doctor appointments, running errands, etc.

Does your partner make excuses or always have something scheduled that they are unable to show for your events?


The Bottom Line: It is not about quantity but the quality of support you are giving to one another. There are two people in the relationship, not one. If you start quantifying things, things could get ugly. Relationships are not about quid pro quo. It is about being there for each other when you are needed.


Before the year comes to an end, sit down with your partner and come up with some personalized resolutions to do together. Comment below if you want to share your ideas.


Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash


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