It's all too easy to get into a relationship rut in which you've replaced mushy-gushy moments of affection for bad habits that are quietly — but effectively — sucking the life from your relationship. This year, make a resolution to table your bad habits, in favor for better behaviors. Take a look at yourself and your relationship and see which of these five resolutions you should make in the new year.
Fear of disappointment.
"When you're afraid to disappointment someone, you may end up resorting to lies in order to present yourself in the light they want to see you in, even if it's not who you really are," says relationship expert April Masini. Whether the fear is causing upset because you overspent on a pair of pumps, or you're simply too busy to host his family this holiday season, Masini says the cure to this bad habit is biting bullet and being honest.
Fear of incompatibility.
You thought you were okay with how you split the chores and disciplined your children. But it turns out, you're not. "Be brave enough to admit that you're unhappy and you know why, and you want his help in working on a solution because you thought this was going to be different or at least easier than it is," Masini says. "Accept that life is dynamic and what you thought or what you did is not necessarily how you think and live today — or will tomorrow."
Not putting your spouse first.
"When you marry, you're not just getting cool stuff from Pottery Barn off your registry. You're creating the base for a family, whether it's the two of you, future children, a blended family situation — or any number of combinations," says Masini. "Couples often take each other for granted when things get a little too easy. Make a commitment this year to be the man or woman your spouse fell for."
Trash talking about him or his mother on a regular basis.
"No, you're not the first or last wife to have complaints. But, when those complaints become the norm, you're going to turn into a negative person who expects bad to happen," explains Masini. Rather than aiming your focus on his family members and their misgivings, "try to practice the golden rule, which is cheesy, and works! If you don't have something nice to say, say nothing."
Skipping date night.
"Tis the season, and this is exactly when you may lose sight of your spouse in all the party invites, shopping to be done, and DIY mistletoe arrangements. Don't forget that when he's neglected, he's not getting enough of you, whether it's garden-variety time together, or movies and dinner together," says Masini.