A woman told me that her husband never made her a priority. His kids always came before everything and everyone, including her. Three years into their marriage, she wanted things to change.
I asked her about how they met and she told me about their first date. When she arrived at the movie theater, he was there with his kids.
That first date told me everything I needed to know about their relationship. She was shown on the very first day that he had no intention of making her a priority in his life. She ignored that sign, continued with the relationship, and ended up suffering through a marriage where her greatest complaint was that she wasn't valued.
Instead of us having a conversation about her husband and how he never spent time with her or made her feel appreciated, we talked about her. We talked about why she continued a relationship with a man who brought his kids on a first date. He was open and honest about his priorities and she completely ignored his behavior. In the world of dating, ignoring someone's behavior equals acceptance.
I often hear from men and women about the things they want to change in their relationship. Nine times out of ten, they are the very things that were present in the relationship during the first two or three weeks.
The first few weeks of a relationship are the most important weeks of the entire relationship. They predict your happiness, your sadness, how compatible you are, but more importantly, they predict the future of your relationship. Everything you are unhappy about will be magnified the more interconnected your lives become.
The moment something isn't working for you, you have the choice whether to speak up or walk away. If you say nothing, your significant other will equate that with acceptance of their behavior. If you demand something different, your significant other will either alter their behavior or let you know that they have no intention on changing who they are or what they do. Either way, you won't wake up years down the road in an unhappy relationship, praying for change.
Months or years into a relationship, you can't expect a person to change something that was there when you met them. It's like spinning in circles and expecting to walk in a straight line. The moment something is not working for you, prepare to communicate that. You and your significant other will be a lot happier in the long run.