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Communication is very important, but without this OTHER ingredient, we regret to tell you that your love will not last

Posted July 15

Not everyone shows love in the same way. Our dissatisfaction with relationships or our belief that he is not meeting our needs is not about how he actually responds to us. It's how we expect him to respond. Letting go of disappointment or unmet expectations is essential to the success of any relationship built to last.

Counselor William Berry says, "Marital arguments may stem from lack of consistency with each other's expectations. One partner wants something handled one way. The other disagrees, either outwardly, or by not altering her behavior. Arguments escalate or avoidance occurs."

Love that survives and thrives is about letting go of expectations and judgments. Learn to accept her for who she is, not who you wish she would be. Don't go into the relationship with the idea that you can change him. You can't.

Letting go of unmet expectations is more difficult than it sounds. Below are six things that will help you learn to let go.

1. Don't jump to conclusions

Give your sweetheart the benefit of the doubt when they do something you don't agree with. Don't assume you have all the facts and make sure you check your assumptions. Avoid shooting first and asking questions later.

2. Don't take things too personally

It's not always about you. In fact, it's rarely about you. People get distracted, busy with their own lives or perhaps just self-absorbed. This has nothing to do with who you are as a person and should not decide your self-worth. Resist taking their behavior personally.

3. Let go of what you can't control

We may believe that being in control of situations brings us comfort and security. While this is true to some extent, there is so much that we simply can't control, such as the behavior of others. Wanting control and not getting it can generate intense anger. Learn to let go.

4. Be open to new ideas and don't be afraid to fail

Perhaps the best way to experience positive change in our lives is being open to new ideas. Be flexible. Have an open mind. Don't be afraid of making a mistake. Henry Ford was right when he said, "Failure is the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently." If what you're doing isn't working, reboot.

4. Explore solutions together

You might look for one outcome, while he might look for another. Brainstorm options together. Trust each other. Come up with a plan you can both live with.

5. Believe that things will work out

Holding on to past problems robs you of the opportunity to make things better moving forward. Avoid worry and pessimism. They are not your friends. Martin Luther King Jr. put it this way: "We must have the faith that things will work out somehow, that God will make a way for us when there seems no way."

6. Help each other without expecting anything in return

Give unconditionally. "If expecting something in return is your reason for giving, you are not really giving, you're swapping," says David Cottrell. People can see the swap coming from a mile away, and it does not feel genuine.

Letting go of unmet expectations and disappointment will set you free. Change your perspective of what needs to happen in your relationship. Give him the benefit of the doubt. Let go of the past and embrace the future. Accept the things you cannot change.

Read about the power of families to seek after the one in Susan's book: Coming Home: A Mormon's Return to Faith. Learn more at www.returntofaith.org You can reach Susan at: susanswann7@hotmail.com

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