This Habit is one of the 10 Habits of Happy Couples Tina and Michael LeBlanc write about in their blog and in their book that will be released in the Fall of 2022. To check out the other Habits as they’re released weekly, check out the index below. To really use these Habits to work on your relationship, you can access their book – The 10 Habits of Happy Couples – which gives you complete examples of each Habit and exercises that you can do with your partner to develop these Habits in your relationship.
10 Habits of Happy Couples
Habit #10: Better Yourself First
Habit #9: Have Realistic Expectations
Habit #8: Have Clear Relationship Rules and Organize Your Daily Lives
Habit #6: Setting Goals and Dreaming Together
Habit #5: Respect Each Other
Habit #4: Prioritize Your Relationship
Habit #3: Understand Your Fights
Habit #2: Always Repair
Habit #1: Talk Openly and Tune In
Habit #10: Better Yourself First
Simply put, Better Yourself First refers to how stronger individuals lead to a stronger couple. A healthy relationship needs two healthy individuals. This is a core belief for us here at BetterYourself365. Our whole philosophy as a company is based on this.
Why is this important? Because when you are well, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, you can better deal with the stressors of life and be more able to show up for your partner and your kids, if you have them. It’s really that simple!
Each person in a relationship must first focus on their own health if they want a healthy relationship. That doesn’t mean that we have to be perfect and constantly healthy, but we have to be focusing on our own growth as an individual consistently. Then we bring this strength and a clear sense of SELF into the relationship.
Tips on How to Better Yourself First
If you can only change one thing, this is it. Listen inside to what has been too hard to face. Your partner may have been complaining about it. Perhaps these things to change seem too overwhelming for you to start working on, so whenever your partner talks to you about it, you shut down. Maybe you’re feeling helpless and you don’t know where to start. Nothing will ever change unless you decide you want to better yourself first. Your partner can’t make you change anything. It has to be your decision.
Is it the fact that you put in too many hours at work? Is it the drinking? The anger? The irritability or mood swings that are hard to predict and control? Fear of being vulnerable? Is it depression? Unresolved grief? Or past trauma of some sort?
Bottom line, you are responsible for your own happiness. You can’t rely on your partner for your changes. A partner can accept and tolerate a lack of effort to work on your own ‘stuff’ for a while, but this will most likely just lead to resentment in the long run.
So DO something. Try something different. If you are having trouble getting started, share that with your partner. Let them know that you want to work on it but don’t know where to start. When we know that our partner is aware of their ‘stuff’, we can be more patient and are more willing to wait to see progress, and we become actually open to helping them. So your partner needs to know that DOING your self-growth work is important to you too.
If you are struggling to do it on your own, decide to get help today. Make an appointment with a doctor, therapist, nutritionist, or coach. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
About the Authors
Tina and Michael LeBlanc have been happily married since 2003, are parents to two teenage boys, and have over 20 years of combined experience as Licensed Counselling Therapists. Being experts in the Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) model and using it to help couples in their work, Tina and Michael drew from the EFT model to create a list of 10 Habits of Happy Couples. In this series of articles, they take you on a comprehensive walk through the 10 Habits, and with each, they give you an overview followed by specific tips you and your partner can use in your daily life.