We all know that we should make more time for ourselves, but we don't really think it's a priority. But it is. If we don't put ourselves first some of the time, not only can our health suffer, but also our other relationships. Dr. Laura Berman, a sex and relationship expert and author of “For Women Only” and “Secrets of the Sexually Satisfied Woman,” tells women six relationship mistakes to avoid:
1. Putting your kids first: You want to be a great parent. And your kids need to be a priority. But when your children always come before your partner, your marriage can suffer. While your kids need you, the greatest gift you can give them is a model of a good, healthy relationship.
2. Not making time for friends: With your career, family obligations, and daily tasks taking up some much time, those fabulous friendships you enjoyed through your early 20s can start to wither. For many women, socializing with their female friends can boost their energy and make them feel connected to the world around them. So make sure you schedule time with your friends. Suggest meeting for coffee, lunch, an exercise class, a manicure, a walk, or anything. You'll reap the benefits.
3. Shutting down sexually: Women can experience low sex drive for any number of real and viable reasons. However, men achieve a sense of intimacy and closeness primarily through sex — it's just how they're wired. So when you’re not sexually available to him, he doesn't feel as romantic or intimately connected to you. I tell couples they shouldn't go more than two weeks without sex. And if there is a sexual problem, don't sweep it under the carpet — get help as soon as possible. The earlier you get help, the easier it is to get your sex life back on track.
4. Not setting boundaries: Women are trained from an early age to be pleasers and to meet everyone else's needs before their own. But that can come back to haunt their health and happiness, especially as they reach middle age. Unless you take the time to recharge your batteries and say “no” once in a while, your life and your relationships will always be a struggle. So buy cupcakes (God forbid!) instead of making them for your kid's class party. Or let the laundry and dishes wait for a day — or even better let your partner pitch in!
5. Avoiding friends with benefits: It's a tempting situation that most of us face at one time or another. You’re lonely and aren't dating anyone, so it's easy to have sex with a friend. BUT DON'T DO IT! It always becomes messy and complicated, even though we all like to think in today's modern world we are more mature and casual about sex. If either of you harbors romantic feelings for the other, then your relationship is going to get really complicated.
6. Holding on to toxic friends: When is it time to dump your friend? You've been friends forever, but things have changed. You don't have much in common anymore. Or maybe your friend is always in crisis and never interested in helping you out in your time of need. It's important to either move on or change your expectations. In any relationship, there has to be give and take.
Dr. Laura Berman is one of the leading sex and relationship experts in the country. She is assistant clinical professor of OBGYN and psychiatry at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine and director of the Berman Center in Chicago. She is also a bestselling author of three books, “For Women Only,” “Secrets of the Sexually Satisfied Woman” and “Passion Prescription: 10 Weeks to Your Best Sex Ever.” For more info about Dr. Berman visit her website:www.drlauraberman.com