My Relationship Homework

We’re going to jump right in. I’m not sure if I ever really addressed this or not but here we go.

Last April, Brandon and I took a break. We broke up. We weren’t together. Ah. Feels so scary to type those words. Friends and family know and some of you might even know (I think I might have mentioned this on Stories at some point). But that’s it. I didn’t talk about it on here because I wasn’t really sure how to approach it. And today’s post isn’t really about the WHY or the HOW. That will be for another day. Or not. We’ll see. The good news, and to be honest this is all I feel comfortable sharing at this point, is that we are back together and stronger than ever.

Don’t be fooled, it wasn’t an overnight thing and, most importantly, it is not perfect. It took some big changes, lots of hard conversations, arguments and tears and laughter…and we’re still working on things. But, we are stronger than we were and I’m celebrating that.

We have some work to do together but we also sat down and shared some of the things we want to work on individually. Brandon has his list and I have mine. Things we need from one another and things we need for ourselves and things we need for US. Some things will remain just between us but, as you know by now, I love sharing as much about my REAL life as I can with you. I’m not one to shy away from the vulnerable topics and I don’t see a reason to change that now.

So, without further ado….these are a few of the things I’m prioritizing when it comes to my relationship. I think it is so important to constantly put the work and the effort into any relationship whether it’s with your family, your friends or your partner. It is never going to be perfect and although it might be easy at times, it never hurts to take a step back and give yourself a little bit of homework.

no. 1

Be a better listener. Now, I know, this is nothing new. I’m almost positive everyone reading this has a little bit of homework when it comes to the listening department. The funny part is – I’ve always considered myself a great listener. I am pretty good at the physical act of letting you talk and sitting back so I can hear what you’re saying. I won’t interrupt (for the most part). But what I’ve come to realize is that is truly only half of it. I found that all of this listening was for my own personal gain. I would use this time to hear him out while thinking of my response at the same time. I was constantly on the defense instead of just shutting my brain off.

My new mission is to listen to UNDERSTAND, not to react.

I’m going to let him talk, try my hardest to exercise some empathy and understanding, take a moment to gather my thoughts and then respond. This sounds so easy as I type it out but man is it hard to put into practice. But I’m trying.

no. 2

Hold myself accountable for changes. One of my biggest faults in my relationship is that I am horrible at the follow through. When I’m in the wrong, I will be the first to apologize. Even when B is wrong, sometimes I’ll be the bigger person and apologize first. I’m good at apologies and I’m good with my words. Although it is 100% sincere in the moment, I’ve come to realize I’m horrible at the execution. Once the moment passes, it’s like my mind forgets to be aware of the actions/words that upset my partner. It’s not often, but I am definitely guilty of repeating my offenses. While it’s okay to not make changes overnight, I’m trying to be better at holding myself accountable for the changes I promise. Even if that means I’ll make a mistake a few more times, I want to show Brandon that I am listening to his feedback and taking it seriously. And it’s important for me to eliminate things that I personally have control over (when I agree that my action or words were hurtful).

no. 3

Empower and hold my partner accountable. Honestly, this is pretty similar to the last one but it’s equally important. I can’t make Brandon do or say anything. Ladies if you’re trying to control your partner, it’s not going to end well. And vice versa. Only YOU have control over you. Instead of begging or nagging Brandon to “do better” in some of our problem areas, I’m trying to be more intentional about holding him accountable in a more empowering way. Celebrating his great moments and showing him that I am taking his feedback to heart has helped. If I feel like he’s done something or said something that hurt my feelings, instead of whining to him about it (which I am 100% guilty of doing), I try to come to him in a more approachable way that feels less like an attack and more like a conversation. It’s important for me and for him that he’s held responsible for his actions but I’m also taking an active role in conveying my pain points to him in a way that makes him feel respected at the same time. This is the hardest one for me but I see myself making the effort and that’s big for us.

This will not solve everything. Believe me. That will take some work from both of us but I’m pretty confident that these small changes on my end will make a difference! Do you have your own relationship homework? Can you relate to any of mine? Comment below!

Photos by Zach Barron


  1. 1.22.19
    Andrea Darst said:

    Honestly, my hubby and I practice the simple idea of treating the other how we want to be treated. Applies to all aspects of our lives. Best of luck to you both!

  2. 1.22.19
    Grace said:

    I LOVE this! Last May my husband took on a new job that affected our family’s everyday life in a major took us almost two months of screaming and crying and fighting to realize that our communication was totally off! It takes ALOT of homework but even more love to make a couple stronger than ever and I’m so happy you guys are doing the necessary work to be the best you can be ❤️

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