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Stop Being a Brat! 5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Relationship Now

Deborah is a writer, healer, and teacher. Her goal is to help people live their best lives every day by sharing her joy and love of life.

When you act like a brat, you only make yourself (and your partner) miserable.

When you act like a brat, you only make yourself (and your partner) miserable.

Are You Being a Brat?

Being in relationship is hard. Whether you're married or dating, have children or don't, it isn't easy to be half of a couple.

Usually you create your own misery. You alone are responsible for your happiness, and when you're happy, then your relationship is healthier. When you act like a brat, you only make yourself and your partner miserable. You can take control of yourself and your life!

5 Ways to Improve Your Relationship

  1. Stop Being Mean
  2. Stop Treating Him Like a Child
  3. Stop Complaining and Nagging
  4. Stop Withholding Sex
  5. Stop Being Frumpy

Don't Step On Me!

Don't crush your partner just because you're afraid of losing control.

Don't crush your partner just because you're afraid of losing control.

1. Practice Kindness

Be nice. That's really the long and short of being in a successful relationship with anybody. You can't underestimate the power of kindness, not only for yourself, but also for the people around you.

This doesn't mean you become a doormat and endure terrible treatment for the sake of the relationship. Instead, it means creating an environment of kindness, not only for yourself but also for your partner and family. Kindness doesn't tolerate abuse or irrational behavior. Kindness means being honest, open and considerate.

Once you're in a relationship, it's easy to let your nice side slip away. You don't want to concede power or seem weak. You want to appear tough, in control, and strong. You want respect. And when your partner does something you don't like, it becomes even easier to get mean. Meanness undermines relationships and takes away your power.

It begins with snarky comments murmured under your breath, until you become overtly mean and sometimes even passive aggressive. You might buy the kinds of things he doesn't like, like Pepsi instead of Diet Coke or Oreos instead of Nutter Butters—you get the idea. Instead of doing kind or helpful things that make your partner happy, you deliberately do things that won't.

You may start to make mean comments directly to his face and to your friends and family, telling everyone what a jerk he is. You begin to believe that you could do better and that he doesn't deserve you. You talk him down rather than build him up.

Stop being mean. If you don't love this man, then be honest, let him go, and get on with your life. If you do care, then be kind. Banish the ice queen!

2. Let Him Grow Up

Treat your partner like an adult. Even if he sometimes acts childish, he is not a child, and he is definitely not your child. You don't need to boss him around. He is an adult who can make choices and decisions. If he asks for your advice, great. Go ahead and give it. But don't treat him like he's stupid or doesn't know any better.

And for heaven's sake, don't wipe his face, dab his collar, or lick your hand and adjust his hair. Give him the same degree of respect you'd give any other adult in your life. Whether you actually have children or not—you aren't your partner's mother.

Your partner doesn't want another mother. While he might appreciate you doing all the chores, relationships are a two way street. When you begin acting more motherly and less like a partner, then he begins acting childish and taking less responsibility.

You manage yourself. He manages himself. Together, you make decisions and choices that affect you, but you aren't his mom. Let her keep that job. You've got enough on your plate.

3. Speak With Clarity and Conviction

Whining, blaming, nagging, and complaining take away your power. When you constantly harp on your partner, you lose credibility and you give away your own power. If you sound harsh and judgmental, he won't listen to a word you say.

It's fine to make requests and suggestions, and if something bothers you, definitely speak up— just don't keep bringing it up. Make sure he heard you and let it go. You don't have to keep repeating yourself over and over again, because that is truly tiresome. Besides that, people need time to process information. When you say something, let the other person think. If nothing has been resolved in a timely manner, then bring it up again. Say it, then wait.

You don't like his socks on the floor? Fine. Mention it to him. But if he keeps leaving them there, don't take it personally. It's probably not a big deal to him. If you want something to change, then change it. Don't wait for someone else, and don't try to nag anyone into doing what you want. If it needs to be done, then do it. If you feel it is unfair to pick up his socks and throw them in with the laundry, then walk around them. Let them lay. Let him big a pig. You can keep your part clean and neat and ignore him.

The bottom line is, if there is behavior that is unacceptable for you, then speak your truth. Don't whine and cry. Speak clearly, with conviction. Let him know how you feel. Then drop it. If things don't change, you have choices for how you will proceed. Nagging your partner will only make you both annoyed. Maintain your power by choosing what to say and then how to act.

Sex Keeps You Healthy and Happy

Sex is good for a healthy relationship.

Sex is good for a healthy relationship.

4. Have Fun Between the Sheets

Stop acting frigid. Do you stay up late, hoping he falls asleep? Or do you go to bed early and pretend to be asleep when he comes in? Stop playing mean games with your partner. Is it really the end of the world to be intimate?

Sometimes women like to control sex because they want to control men. Many women believe the best way to control a man is to not give him sex when he wants. The problem with that line of thinking is that sex is good for a healthy relationship. It's good for your physical and mental health, and it will bring the two of you closer together. Why not get over your big, bad self and have sex every night for a week? Do you think you could do it? Instead of ignoring, try instigating.

If you don't want to have sexual relations with your partner because they don't satisfy you, then let them know. Tell them how to please you. Your partner can't fix something that they don't know is broken.

Take Care of Yourself

Don't just spend all day being lazy—take care of yourself.

Don't just spend all day being lazy—take care of yourself.

5. Be Your Best Self

Don't give up on you. There is only one you, and you deserve to take good care of yourself. Sure, it's not easy when you work full-time and have children to tend, a house to clean, and a job to do.

We're all busy, but it's still important to show up as the best version of yourself, day after day. Stop making excuses for why you can't work out, shower, eat right, or brush your teeth. Just do it. Make yourself a priority.

Laying around all day might feel good for a couple of hours, but soon you'll get stiff and laziness won't be fun anymore. Eating poorly, getting heavy, and being unkempt simply aren't healthy. Taking care of yourself is not only important for you, but it also makes a huge impact on your relationship. If you care about yourself, you are more able to care about your partner. If you feel good, then you'll have more energy and will want to have more fun.

Taking care of your physical and mental health changes your outlook on life. It's not for someone else, but for yourself that you make your own health and well-being a priority.

Put Your Energy Into Self-Care and Self-Love

  • Exercise early before anyone else gets out of bed. Take some time for you!
  • While you enjoy your breakfast or coffee in the morning, find some time to quiet your mind and meditate or pray.
  • Clean yourself up: Make appointments for your hair, your nails, a massage, or whatever makes you feel good.
  • If you can't afford these things, then find a friend and work out a trade. Do what you can to take care of yourself and stop letting yourself go.

Show Up For Yourself

It's important to show up to your own life: Be nice, act like an adult, stop whining and complaining all the time, enjoy intimacy, and take care of yourself. With these five easy steps, you can show up to your life and show up for your partner. You will feel better and your relationship will improve almost immediately.

More importantly, when you practice these five tip:, kindness, accountability, communication, intimacy and self-care, then you can live your own best life.

Don't do this for anyone else. Do it for you.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Deborah Reno


Deborah Reno (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on May 14, 2018:

@dashingscorpio, You are so wise and so well spoken.

I love your analogy of a garden. We must nurture what we want to thrive.

Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment!


dashingscorpio from Chicago on May 06, 2018:

Sound advice!

"Be Nice. That's really the long and the short of being in a {successful} relationship. - Very true!

"And when your partner does something you don't like, it becomes even easier to get mean. It begins with snarky comments, murmured under your breath." - Also sad and true!

I suspect once couples are done with the "infatuation phase" of their relationship and there is an "emotional investment" or "commitment" they begin to feel "safe enough" to be brutally honest about what they think without the (fear) of their mate walking out on them.

It's either a lack of fear or simply no longer caring if they do leave! Granted some people are drawn towards "b*tches" & "a-holes".

Several years ago I had a woman on HP post a comment on one of my hubs where she said: "I'm so glad to be done with the dating game. You're always having to {watch} what you say, how you act, and dress. Once you're married you can {relax}."

That's like getting a new job and believing people stopped emailing resumes to the company you work for!

This woman was on her 3rd marriage. hmmmm

Love is like a garden; Nurture it, it thrives. Neglect it, it dies.

Deborah Reno (author) from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on May 04, 2018:

Mary, thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate your honesty. I wrote this article after realizing that I've been quite a brat. I feel bad for my husband, and I hope others can learn from my mistakes. You are absolutely right, you have to work on yourself and your relationship every day.

Wishing you all the best,


Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on May 01, 2018:

If you want your relationship to work well, you need to work at it everyday. You are right. Stop being a brat. I am guilty of the things you said in the beginning but after several years, I have learned to tone myself down.

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