Self Improvement: Supporting each other in Relationships

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With so many of us having so much time on our hands in the past few months, a great deal of people have begun some self-improvement work with the goal to get fit, learn to play an instrument or learn to paint. Some are taking advantage of free online classes to become more educated. Whatever their self-improvement goal, they are no doubt passionate and dedicated to making it happen. It is important in relationships to support each other in your drive for self improvement.

If your partner is on one of these self-improvement journeys, are you along for the ride, or do you feel like you’re being left behind? If your partner is going to be changing, where does that leave you? 

You may be worried that your partner will stop being the person you fell in love with. Perhaps you’re afraid they will no longer be attracted to you or that all of their attention is now diverted to this new important transformation they want to make and that leaves you out.  One person I know lost a great deal of weight and her partner was very threatened by her new svelte shape; worried that other men might lure her away from him. Instead of supporting her, he sabotaged her process and made it harder on her and the journey more difficult.

It’s so important that you support your partner in whatever it is they undertake to be a better person. Instead of worrying about the consequences of their self-improvement, you can find something of your own to do. If you and your partner can support one another, you’ll both come out as better people. We all have something that we can work on to better and improve ourselves.  Your thing might be different from your partner’s but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a parallel journey and be each other’s cheerleader! 

Check in with each other, be positive and supportive. You may even want to help your partner by providing real support and join them in their quest. For example if your partner has fitness goals, you can walk or go to the gym with them. Ride bikes together, work out together. Do yoga or whatever it is they want to do. When they get to their goal, you should be the first person they want to celebrate with! 

A true partnership is where each person feels just as important as the other. No one in the couple should have to strive alone. That’s why we partner up with people. If your person is on a journey of self-improvement, you need to be their staunchest supporter. If they fall or fail you don’t say “I told you so” – Instead ask how you can help them succeed. 

Their success is your success. You celebrate together. Shout it from the roof tops, give them all the kudos. We should all want each other to succeed. It takes nothing away from you or your relationship for your partner to be a rousing success. You can be the one who helps them achieve that, and they are that person for you as well. 

So take advantage of every opportunity to learn, grow and evolve both as individuals and as a couple. The new improved you and your partner will shine even brighter. 


About the Author:

Stuart Fensterheim, LCSW helps couples to overcome the disconnection in their relationships. As an author, blogger and podcaster, Stuart has helped couples around the world to experience a unique relationship in which they can feel special and important, confident in knowing they are loved deeply and that their presence matters. The Couples Expert Podcast consists of weekly provocative conversations offering the perspectives and insight of experts from a variety of relationship related fields. Stuart also offers daily relationship video tips on The Couples Expert YouTube channel and by subscription in Stuart's Daily Notes. Stuart is happily married and a devoted father of 2 daughters. His office practice serves the greater Phoenix, Arizona area including the cities of Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe, and Mesa.