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Call me Dear Abby

May 2, 2013

            I have been asked so often over the past few years for relationship advice that I feel I should put it all down in one place. This is not a typical Bastards post but just bear with me while I play Dear Abby today. First of all treat any one you are in a relationship with the same way you want to be treated. Give respect, love, compliments and praise without being asked or told. A relationship is a partnership; you only get out what you put in, you cannot keep taking without giving soon there is nothing left. Live everyday like this is the last time you will see this person; hold nothing back, don’t go to bed angry or without one last “I love you”. If you are mad or upset talk about it, holding things in only creates bigger problems in the future. Realize that everyone disagrees from time to time and we all make mistakes but it is how you handle them that makes the difference. Yelling solves nothing; although it may make you feel better it only fans the flames and blows a situation out of control very quickly. Find another, healthier, way to vent frustrations. Never say anything that you can’t take back, you may be angry but that is no reason to call names or make threats. If someone consistently brings out the worst in you it may be time to walk away and work on yourself. I have seen too many people throw away great things because of selfishness and pride; say you’re sorry, look at things from your partners perspective and talk, not yell.

Now if you have followed this advice throughout your relationship you should be in great shape. If not then here is some advice for you if they decide to walk away. Don’t hound them, call them, text them, have your friends stalk them or show up at their house every hour, give them time to sort through their thoughts and feelings. By constantly bothering them, wanting to argue or calling crying you are only going to push them away. I can tell you that suddenly becoming the center of someone’s existence when they could have cared less the day before only pisses them off. There world has been turned upside down just like yours they need time to stop the spinning and get a handle. If you are pushing and harassing them they may make a decision much too quickly that will only hurt your relationship further. If there are things that need to be changed do it, don’t talk about or promise it, just do it. Actions speak louder than words, you are showing them that you realize things where things went wrong and you are willing to work to change it. If you can’t or are unwilling to change then have the heart and decency to let them walk away and be happy even if it is not with you.  Now on the other hand sometimes things are to broken to be fixed and you need to be able to calmly look at your situation, whichever one it might be. You need to take the time to work through the junk in your brain and move on. It will be hard, it may seem impossible but you need to realize which option is best for you and what will in the end make you happier.

But what if you have kids you ask. Well then the answer is simple, do what is best for them. Not what you or your partner wants but what is truly best for your kids. Put aside your wants and needs and think about what is going to benefit your kids the most. You need to ask yourself what environment are they growing up in if you continue. What are you teaching them about relationships and about what home should be like? If they are in a home where there in constant fighting, mistreatment, petty retaliation, no love and unhappiness then they grow up thinking that is what it should be like and they are going to seek out relationships like that. Also what kind of role model are you being for them? Are you miserable, always yelling or are you being a doormat, always taking criticism and abuse. Is that the kind of person you want your child to grow up to be? You need to be happy in order for your kids to be also, you need to think it through and decide which scenario will be beneficial for you and your kids. Remember that you and this other person will be responsible for raising these children cooperatively to adulthood, act accordingly. Temper tantrums are for two year olds, trash talk is better left for your friends to hear and no one is comfortable with crazy. Family counseling is great for this type of situation to help you work through your differences and constructively work through future problems, whether you stay together or not. No two situations are alike and no one can tell you exactly what you should do, but I have found these things to be true in most situations. Listen, learn and love.

-Nicole Schmidt


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