3 Things You Can Let Go of to Have a Happy Family

Having a fulfilling marriage and happy home isn't always about setting goals or meeting expectations. Sometimes moving forward means stopping, taking a breath, and looking back at everything you're holding on to. Sometimes, you need to release to receive, and let go of what you have in order to gain something greater. Here are 3 things you can let go of if you truly want a happy home.

1. Unlearn What You've Learned

If you want to create the best and most effectively functioning household you can, you probably need to let go of the way you were raised. No one is perfect, including your parents. So, there were likely many fumbles and faux pas made by your elders that negatively impacted you. But even if your childhood was perfect, the time you were raised in is gone. The household you are rearing now exists in a different period in history, within a different social and cultural context. And the hazards, challenges, and privileges have changed with the times.

On a smaller scale, every marriage is different, and every child is different. You may have good relationship models, but your situation is unique. Let go of what you believe should work in your home, or how your partner or children should respond to how you choose to love or parent. Accept the partner and children you have and do what is best for them now.

 2. Forgo Unfair Fighting

Unfair fighting is a common yet unfortunate feature of relationships than can destroy even the happiest homes. Unfair fighting tactics include:

  •  Violence

  • Aggression

  • Screaming

  • Throwing/breaking things

  • Filibustering (talking excessively)

  • Interrupting/talking over the other

  • Gaslighting (insisting the other doubt their experiences)

  • Bringing up the past

  • Changing the subject

  • Turning things around on the other

  • Twisting the other's words

  • Playing the victim

  • Personal attacks

  • Silent treatment

  • Leaving

  • Threatening to leave

  • Breaking up

These unhealthy and dysfunctional behaviors can sabotage your marriage and your children's development. While they may comfort you or validate your feelings, these tactics are damaging and destructive. Leave them in the past.

3. Nix Negative Perspectives

What you put your energy into grows. If you're putting energy into all of the perceived negatives in your relationship and household, you will conjure them. Assuming the worst of your partner, like doubting they can accomplish their goals, make needed changes, or take care of their responsibilities may actually hinder their success.

They may be presented as protectiveness; but possessiveness, monitoring, nitpicking, and trying to control your family's speech or behavior are forms of judgment and rejection. In doing so, you are letting your family know that you distrust their ability to do the right thing or behave appropriately without you. You also communicate that they need to live up to your ideals to be acceptable.

Likewise, comparing your partner, kids, or home to others' is detrimental and creates a toxic environment of competition; feeding the outer instead of nourishing the inner. Let go of what others may think and the negativity you bring into your own sanctuary.

Leaving things behind and lightening the load is necessary to move forward. Releasing baggage makes for a swifter, more fulfilling journey. Things can feel uncomfortable without old habits to rely on. But replacing old patterns, behaviors, and knowledge with new tools, skills, and wisdom will set a strong foundation to build a beautiful home.