6135_1072891877077_522792_nEver find yourself in the same reactive discussion with your partner again and again?

Okay, the details may be different, but overall do you get into a scripted dialogue in which you can guess what your partner is going to say or do in reaction to something you say?

(Most likely, by the way, your partner likely feels the same way too.)

The stuck feelings seem all too familiar to couples in a relationship. Like others, both of you likely wonder, at times, whether there’s a chance of ever getting the love, understanding, acceptance, appreciation, romance, etc., you want. You know, the feelings you had at the start of your relationship. It seems you’ve tried everything. Is it too much to ask to feel valued, important — and connected — in your relationship?

Rest assured, these yearnings are not only natural (meaning a common human experience), they’re also possible to realize. When both partners take action to consciously generate and bring their best self and optimal emotion states to the table, the possibilities for happiness and a strong bond are infinite.

Here are five steps to take that can increase your chances for living your best life together as a couple and as individuals. Not coincidentally, they are also steps to not only strengthen your couple relationship, but also transform who you each are in the direction of, more and more, empowering you to authentically connect and relate to your self and one another.

Step 1: Look Inwardly to Access Resources

One of the best kept secrets to great relationships? Understanding life and relationships as inside-out endeavors. How can you live your best life, fulfilling core yearnings to matter and meaningfully connect with your partner, if you hold onto thinking-habits that focus your attention outwardly on what you lack, what they lack, what you’re not getting, and the like. These thinking-patterns keep you waiting for something or someone outside you to make you happy. In truth, it’s up to you to (identify and ) free your self from limiting beliefs and toxic thinking patterns so you can access the wealth of resources inside.

What resources? In particular, amazing powers such as your capacity for conscious choice, and the use of your imagination, creativity and, or reflective thinking. Conceivably, making conscious choices is power in its purest form. Stop wasting energy. Realize your power to choose to shift away from thoughts that intensify fear, worry, doubt, or even worse, condemnation, bitterness, rage, and the like, is inside you. So is your miracle-making power to imagine a new you and what qualities you’d love to bring to your relationship, to bring out in your partner.

Instead of saying, “He/she ruined my life,” try saying something like, “It was painful to go through that experience with him/her, but what I learned is …” (then write down what actions stem from the learning).

Step 2: Own Your Happiness!

To live your best life and realize your authentic self in relation to others, one of the most powerful understandings to awaken is, that: Nothing and no one is responsible for improving or lessening your happiness or the quality of life apart from you.

Happiness is an inside-out process. For that matter, so are wisdom, understanding, love, compassion, determination, among other human yearnings. They have to be if you’re to remain free to make choices and not tied to outer circumstances. Happiness is a core yearning or emotion-drive, and that means it’s a need not a mere want. Happiness means health. You just need to know, to learn, and to practice reaching for it — in healthy ways — regardless the circumstances around you. Findings show it’s what happy people do that sets them apart from others.

This means you cannot bypass owning your life and relationship outcomes at any time, and in every aspect of your life, your job, health, finances, your couple relationship. It is a critical step.

In practice, you do this by becoming aware of a five-letter word that is a power-and-happiness stealing culprit — blame! Blame is a common thinking pattern, and perhaps the most damaging. We’ve all done it, it’s easy to slip into. Because it’s a slippery slope to feelings of powerlessness, it’s essential to become aware of this pattern, to change and replace. This step may seem of little significance, but it translates to growing your sense of personal power, freedom and well being in life. Whatever you need to do, look for how you can move out of thinking patterns of blame!

Instead of saying, “You never listen to me, I’m the last person on your list,” try saying, “I want you to make choices that treat, talk and tell you are thoughtfully stretching to love me and let me know I’m first on your list of valuable persons in life.”

In the next post, more steps…