Tag Archive | loving relationship

10 Secrets to Achieving Marital Harmony

10 Secrets to Achieving Marital Harmony

Marital harmony can be achieved in a variety of ways. Sometimes it is the little things that maintain the peace in a relationship and sometimes it is more monumental decisions that can either harm or help the harmony in the household. While agreement is not always possible, it is important for the couple to realize that even during arguments it’s possible to maintain harmony. As long as you understand that disagreements are only temporary the harmony in your marriage will remain throughout all types of trials and tribulations.

  • Being aware of your partner’s likes and dislikes is one way to achieve marital harmony. This awareness allows you to operate in a way that keeps your partner’s preferences in mind. If you know what your partner likes and doesn’t like you can take precautions to not engage in an activity that will hurt your partner. Additionally, your partner will respect your consideration of their feelings. This consideration is necessary for those who wish to achieve marital harmony.
  • Sharing in the decision-making process is also critical to achieving marital harmony. This is important for a couple of reasons. First it gives the couple the opportunity to work together to make a decision and second it helps to make them both feel involved in the process. Also, if one person takes the responsibility of making decisions without consulting their partner it can lead to resentment especially if the decision turns out to be a bad one.
  • Another secret to achieving marital harmony is to work to balance your career and home life. It is easy to get caught up in your job responsibilities and to begin to allow your job to take precedence in your relationship but working hard to ensure this doesn’t happen will be beneficial to your marriage. It’s important to realize that no job is more important than your relationship. There may be times that you need to work late or on weekends but try to keep these instances to a minimum. Also, strive to not bring home your work, either physically or mentally, and allow it to encroach on your marriage. It’s acceptable to share information about your day and vent about any problems you may have had for a little while but going on and on about your job will cause problems in your marriage.
  • Any marriage is bound to have its problems and disagreements but it’s important to not let that problem linger. When disagreements arise, try working out an amicable agreement but when this is not possible sometimes you just have to agree to disagree and move on with your marriage. Remember that each morning is a new day and strive to wake up having forgotten any arguments you may have had with your spouse on the previous day. If you made your best effort to resolve the problem and were unable to reach a resolution, just let it go and start the new day out harmoniously.
  • Agreeing on financial matters is also key to achieving marital harmony. Money is one of the issues that creates the most arguments in a marriage. If both partners are aware of their current financial situation and are willing to work together to establish a budget and stick to it, you will avoid discontent related to financial matters in the marriage.
  • Perhaps an important secret to achieving marital harmony that is often overlooked is knowing your partner very well and discussing major issues before getting married. For example if you have always wanted children, it’s best to find out your partners view on children before getting married. Differences of opinion in an area such as this can doom a marriage. However, if you make sure you marry someone who agrees with you about these critical issues you will avoid having problems arise later in the marriage as these subjects come up.
  • Keeping politics and other sensitive issues out of your marriage is also important to maintaining harmony. It’s acceptable to have opposing viewpoints on issues and debate your beliefs but allowing these issues to create a major rift it your marriage is not acceptable. Two people can exist harmoniously in a marriage while holding opposing viewpoints as long as they respect each other’s opinions.
  • Allowing each other some time to be alone can also help you achieve marital harmony. It’s important to spend time together and share interests but sometimes too much time together can be stifling. It is important for each partner to have interests or hobbies that they participate in without their spouse. This time away from each other helps to maintain harmony by giving each partner a sense of individuality.
  • Being respectful of your spouse is also very important to achieving marital harmony. Couples that treat themselves and each other with respect are able to maintain a sense of civility and accord even during disagreements. This feeling of respect will help the couple to remain harmonious even in the most trying situations.
  • One last secret to achieving marital harmony is to share household chores. A couple that divides up the responsibilities in the household and strives to help each other out whenever possible will have an easy time maintaining harmony. Failure to do this, however, can be very damaging to a relationship. If you have to go as far as drawing up a list of chores and who is responsible for them, go ahead and do that. A written document illustrating who does what around the house will make it clear if one person is overburdened.

It is important to not confuse harmony with agreement. Couples do not have to agree on every issue in order to have a sense of marital harmony. There are many factors that contribute to whether or not a marriage is harmonious. Some factors may be bigger than others, but they are all equally important in achieving marital harmony.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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5 Ways to Put Some Energy into Your Relationship

5 Ways to Put Some Energy into Your Relationship

Giving your mate gifts for no reason at all is a way to get your relationship back on track.  You may have lavished gifts on your partner early in the relationship but as the relationship progressed you may not have done so as frequently.  Small, meaningful gifts given just to make your partner happy will let them know that they are still always on your mind just as they were in the beginning of the relationship.

The simple act of holding hands can also add excitement back into a relationship.  This intimate gesture conveys a sense of security but it also lets your partner know that you want to be close to them at all times.  Many couples hold hands everywhere they go early in a relationship but don’t do so later on.  Try grabbing your partners hand as you are out running errands together.  They will be touched by the sentiment and will be happy to be sharing a sense of closeness with you again.

A kiss is still another way to bring the excitement back into your relationship.  You may have gotten into the habit of giving your mate a kiss on the cheek or a quick peck on the lips when you see them after a long day of work.  Trying kissing them with passion the next time you see them to catch them by surprise and really let you know not only how much you love them but how attractive you find them as well.

Having a common interest can also promote excitement in a relationship.  If there is an activity that you both enjoy doing, make it something that the two of you do together often.  For example if you both enjoy hiking make plans to go hiking every Saturday morning and each time you go out make it a little different by exploring a new location or setting new goals for yourselves.  This will give the two of you a chance to reconnect while enjoying each other’s company.  Having a ritualistic activity that you and your partner enjoy together creates closeness and intimacy that can help put the excitement back into your relationship.

Offering your partner a massage when they are worn out and tired can also bring the excitement back to your relationship.  A massage can be a very sensual and intimate experience.  Additionally offering a massage lets your partner know that you can see that they are stressed out and exhausted.  They will appreciate your putting them first in the relationship and this will help bring back the excitement in your relationship.

Over time a relationship may lose some of the excitement that it had in the very beginning.  While this may be troublesome it is also completely normal and also reversible.  Noticing the lack of excitement in your relationship is the first step to restoring that excitement.  It may take a little work but with a few simple actions you can be on your way to an exciting relationship.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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Five Gifts Under $10 For Your Partner

Five Gifts Under $10 For Your Partner

 

A homemade coupon book is always a welcomed gift and can certainly be made for under $10.  Create coupons on your computer or by hand for services that you know your loved one will enjoy and include a small gift to go with the theme of the coupon book.  For example the man in a relationship where the couple has children could give the woman a bottle of nail polish along with coupons offering his services as a babysitter while she goes out for a manicure with a friend.  She will appreciate that you are sending her out to be pampered while you get a chance to enjoy some time with the kids. In giving this gift try to think of something your partner will appreciate but won’t splurge on for themselves.

Search the discount DVD bins for ones that are less than $10.  Believe it or not, they are available and you just might find one that would make a great gift for someone you love.  Inexpensive DVDs are often less mainstream and you could use that originality to try something new.  If your partner is always trying to get you to go dancing but you keep refusing, you might find an instructional video on flamenco dancing or square dancing.  Invite your loved one over and try following the video together.

Flowers don’t have to cost a fortune.  You may spend hundreds on red roses for Valentine’s Day but for everyday occasions or for no reason at all, you could stop by your local supermarket and pick up a bouquet of colourful wild flowers from their floral department.  Ditch the cellophane wrapper that the flowers come in and arrange them in a vase yourself or tie them with a pretty ribbon.  Pre-arranged bouquets such as these are often available for under $10.

A CD filled with songs that your loved one enjoys or that have special meaning for you as a couple makes a wonderful and inexpensive gift.  For under $10 you could easily use your computer to assemble a CD of meaningful songs.  You could even create a CD cover that conveys the message you want to send with the CD.

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy a trip to a local National Park to hike, observe wildlife and enjoy the outdoors so surprise your partner with a day trip to the park.  Entry fees for many National Parks are under $10 and you and your loved one will have the opportunity to spend quality time together.  Pack a picnic lunch and spend the day enjoying nature and each others company.

If your loved one enjoys working out, a jump rope is a gift that you can give them for less than $10.  This inexpensive gift will not only remind them of their childhood but also demonstrate that you understand them and realize that fitness is important in their life.  An even better idea is to buy one for yourself as well and challenge your loved one to a friendly competition.

Gift giving doesn’t have to be expensive and doesn’t have to be for a specific occasion.  Surprise your partner with well thought out gifts that reflect their interests.  With a little creativity you can give your loved one a gift that shows how well you know them and they are in your thoughts every day and you don’t have to spend more than $10 to do so.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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Relationships – The Five Keys to Making Yours Super Successful

Relationships – The Five Keys to Making Yours Super Successful

Relationships – The Five Keys to Making Yours Super Successful

Once upon a time there was a young girl who, full of dreams and wide-eyed, left her home town by the coast and followed her knight in shining armor to the city. Their wedding was a spectacular affair, befitting a princess and her prince and they came to live in a castle overlooking the sea.

Years passed, and it seemed that they had everything they could want, a lavish lifestyle, with all the trappings of a young family of standing in their community, and four beautiful children to share it with.

But fourteen years later, the young girl, now grown and much wiser, looked for more from her relationship than it seemed her husband was able to give her. So she ended the relationship and created a life as a single mum raising her children on her own until, with a very new understanding of relationships, she did meet her true knight in shining armor, a relationship that has now been enduring for twenty years and from which this woman, now much older, has drawn so much that she passes her learnings on happily to all those who come into her life.

She no longer sees herself as a princess but as a woman, and now a real woman.” And as all good fairy tales should end: She lived happily ever after.

This is actually my story, but it could be anyone’s. And what I have learned, that I now understand to be the keys to a successful relationship, is not so extraordinary that they are unachievable.

In fact, these keys are common to every one of us. If, in your relationships, these keys can be satisfied, then you will be truly able to live the ‘fairytale’, that so many only ever dream of, and get to ‘happily ever after’.

All of these keys refer to a need within us. If the needs are met then the door will be opened to a truly enduring relationship.

So here are the five basic needs:

  • Emotional needs
    Emotional needs include things like the need to feel, and to be told that you are loved and cherished just for whom you are … that you are a priority in someone’s life and that you are accepted flaws and all.
  • Physical needs
    Physical needs comprise the need to be touched and to be able to touch another. It also includes being, hugged, kissed and feeling loved and to have a rewarding sexual connection with another.
  • Spiritual needs
    Spiritual needs consist of the belief that your spiritual journey is supported by your partner, or by someone else significant to you, without judgment as well as a need to know, and feel, that your individual beliefs and differences are respected, if not shared.
  • Social needs
    Social needs have to do with all of the things that bring other people into your lives together with a shared enjoyment of that.
  • Security needs
    Security needs is about knowing that someone and maybe especially your partner will always be there for you, in good times as well as in times of distress, and that person will always be a “soft place” on which to fall when you need someone the most.

If we recognize these needs in ourselves, as well as in others, and accept our right to have these needs fulfilled, then we can all have the opportunity of creating and having a truly magical relationship.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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What Is Marriage and Why Marry?

What Is Marriage and Why Marry

In this article I want to address some questions on what is marriage, why do we marry, and the role of extended families in marriage.

Firstly let me define marriage. For me marriage is about two people committing themselves totally to one another. And I’ll add to this my personal opinion that this may refer to a man and a woman or two men or two women.

For me also this does not necessarily require a government or church ceremony, or approval, or even a document to authenticate that the couple are actually married. Of course for those who want to affirm their commitment to each other, and have others witness them doing that, is a way of including the whole of their family and community of friends into their commitment as well as into their marriage.

Marriage is a state of mind.

For me the essence of being married is more about a state of mind than about something defined by people on a church panel or state board. It is about a commitment to a relationship at the exclusion of all others. A relationship from which you get personal nourishment that makes your life worth living as you dedicate all that you have and all that you are to the wellbeing of this other person.

It is more than kinship, more than friendship and even more than a relationship. It is a spiritual connection with another human being that involves all of you every minute of the day whether you are together or not.

I have been in a relationship for more than twenty years and while my partner and I have not married, for me I am as married as I could be. I even refer to my partner as my husband as he refers to me as his wife. Not being married has in no way compromised our love for each other or our commitment to be with each other for as long as we are alive.

I’ll also put another qualifier on this definition. That is that marriage also doesn’t necessarily require the couple to live together. There are now as many ways to be in relationship with each other as there are couples who are finding that some arrangements work for them and others don’t. What I’m referring to here are situations that sometimes have couples living separately from each other; sometimes across town, sometimes across countries. Sometimes these different arrangements are by personal choice and sometimes they are because of work or other commitments.

So why get married?

A challenging question! Again, I can only answer this from my own perspective. For me there is really only one reason to get married. Because my husband completes me! As an individual I believe I can achieve great things. As a couple I believe we can not just double that but multiply it many times over. This is for me truly a case of the possibilities of what we can achieve together being much greater than just the sum of the parts.

Beyond what I’ve already said is the simple fact that as human beings we are basically social animals who tend to be drawn together into groups rather than roaming the world alone. These groups can be as small as a family or as large as a city.

It is within these groups that we get cared for in ways that we might not otherwise. As a grandmother I gladly give of my time in the care of my children and grandchildren in a way that I might not otherwise give so readily but for the fact that they are my family and I also commit all of myself to their wellbeing.

It is in these extended families that we all can find a soft place to land when we are in need. So marriage is maybe something even more than simply a lifelong commitment to one other as it embraces our whole family and beyond.

For our family that extension embraces what I proudly call a “league of nations”. For my partner and my children and their partners we collectively represent, within one generation, persons from Holland, Canada, Greece, China and, of course, Australia. I think for one small family that is pretty spectacular.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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Are You Thinking of Leaving? Consider These Seven Things

Are You Thinking of Leaving?

Being the one to decide whether or not to leave a relationship can be just as hard as the one being left, and for some even more so. The one being left really has no say in the matter. The one making the decision to leave is the one taking absolute responsibility for what will happen next.

And although you may be very dissatisfied with your relationship or are wondering if you even have any love left, you may feel reluctant to really make the break.  When you’ve been in a relationship for a long time fear of the unknown can stop the most determined of you in your tracks making the decision even more difficult.

Here are a few things to consider before making the final decision to stay or leave.

  1. Do not expect yourself to feel love for your partner when you are feeling resentful.  These two emotions are almost incompatible. Actually part of the process of leaving anyone is that you must feel the resentment and even anger otherwise you probably wouldn’t consider going at all.
  2. Do not let anyone pressure you into a decision. Imagine yourself living with your partner on even days and living apart on odd days to see if you can get a really good idea for how it’s really going to be like to be separate from each other.
  3. Discover how you allow yourself to be a victim by talking to friends or a therapist.  You will not stop feeling resentful until you stop giving up your power. Tormenting yourself over whether or not to continue the relationship may interfere with looking at the changes you need to make in yourself.
  4. If the decision is too hard for now take some time first to focus in on yourself and figure out what there is to learn about relationships that you may have missed that put you in this predicament in the first place.  Identify one change to start with that you are going to make in yourself for the better.  Make this change consistently until you sense that you are no longer acting like a victim.
  5. Only when you have learned your own lessons and made some changes in yourself make your decision.  Don’t be hurried into it either by yourself or by others. The years you spent together deserve that much thought. This will give you a much better sense of what you need to do. And of course don’t be surprised that in the meanwhile your partner may make your decision for you as they are going through their own process and challenges.
  6. If there are problems with physical or substance abuse, a separation may be needed to save the marriage or to save that person from their habit.  Often, people stay in such relationships until they have no love left.  It is better to recognise problems early and insist on living separately until the other person has sought help. Promises to get help should be ignored until the person takes action and makes significant changes.
  7. Whatever the decision you make about your future it must be viewed from the perspective that it took the two of you to get you to this place so each of you must take responsibility for your part in it. Only when you accept responsibility and do your own therapy around that can you really make a good decision for yours and your partner’s future together.

And let me add one more that is probably even more important than the ones above.

Do not leave one relationship on the promise of another.

These relationships rarely survive as until the lessons are learned from the previous relationship the likelihood of coming back to exactly the same place is actually fairly high. That’s why they call them “rebound” relationships.

Oh and don’t count on a new partner to take away any underlying insecurity you might have. That is why new relationships, gone into too soon after the last one ended, can be fraught with danger and are likely to end you up in exactly the same place.

Learn what there is to learn about yourself, others, life and loving and then, if your love is still there, renew your commitment to this relationship. If however the time is right for you to move on then do so without regret, without resentment, without anger but with love and gratitude for the time you have had with each other and all that you have learned and experienced together.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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Keeping the Fun in Relationships Alive

Keeping the Fun in Relationships Alive

There are some statistics from research that show that children laugh at least two hundred times a day. How this is defined could be open to interpretation but from my recall of the data this could be anything from a smile to a giggle to a good old belly laugh. And if my own eleven month old granddaughter is anything to go by, this is absolutely correct especially as the adults around her spend so much of their time trying to make her laugh.

By adulthood though the figure drops considerably to less than – now hear this; TEN laughs a day. I think that is a really sad indictment of our busy lives and of our relationships.

It was with some interest that I received a question recently about how to keep the fun in relationships alive. The short answer to this question is; I’m not sure, but let me have a go at this one and see what comes out of it.

When I observe young lovers, or old ones for that matter, there is naturally lots of happiness and laughter just as there is in the uninhibited happiness and laughter of childhood. This comes from two sources. The first is a means of attracting another person to us. We are much more attractive when we are smiling and appearing to be happy then when we are looking miserable. The second source is that when we are new to a relationship we tend to create occasions to share with our loved one that are fun and exciting and which will encourage that happiness and laughter. And of course for most of you just to see the face of your beloved brings you joy.

Then as we progress in our relationship we fail to create these happy occasions so eagerly or so regularly and consequently have fewer occasions to be happy and to laugh about.

Keeping the Fun Alive

There really are numerous ways to keep the fun alive.

Plan occasions that will be fun. Instead of sitting at home on a Sunday go out and find something to do. Just by going out for something simple like a coffee or lunch and spending time watching other people on their outings can bring opportunities for joy and laughter.

And it’s not just outings that can bring fun into relationships. Cook your meals together, play games, read jokes to each other, connect physically either in sex play or by something simple like tickling each other.

Most importantly make time for each other separate from your work and other commitments. At the end of your work day put your work away and don’t bring it home with you either actually or in your head. When you are at work, work and when you get home be there.

Remember This: You can’t just make fun happen but you can create the conditions for it. Wherever you are and whatever you do give it your 100% commitment and fun will come from it. You can’t smell the roses if you’re not there and you can’t have fun if your mind is somewhere else. Be with your partner with all your body, soul and mind and you won’t be able to help but enjoy keeping the fun alive.

Keeping the fun alive is simply this: Keep the fun alive.

A Social Experiment

This is a task I often give clients who are unhappy in their lives wondering why people are not paying them any attention. Next time you are wandering downtown make eye contact and smile at passers-by. Notice the response you get. Then remove your smile and replace it with a sullen look. Notice the response you get now. If you smile people are more likely to smile back and maybe even greet you. If you look sullen people will most likely look the other way and avoid you.

The same applies to your relationship. Be happy in yourself and your partner will be happy with you. You then can’t help but to have fun.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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The Marriage Is …

marriage

What Is Marriage?

I loved receiving this question as it’s something that we may expect that we all understand but in truth maybe we actually don’t.

So I started my research into answering this question by scrambling to the Macquarie Dictionary which defines marriage as “the legal union of a man and a woman for life including a legal or religious ceremony.”

This definition really doesn’t give us very much at all as marriage today in so many cultures, legally and through the various churches, is open to being dissolved on the wish of one or other of the parties. In most countries these divorces are even permitted without even having to prove that one party is in some way more at fault than the other.

So I thought that I should proceed in this article to discuss my thoughts on what marriage is and would welcome you to add your thoughts on the topic as well.

While marriage may relate to a legal process for me marriage is more about the commitment two people make to be there for each other come what may. I would also expand on the dictionary definition to include not just the communion of a man to a woman but also of either a man or a woman to another man or woman.  In my view they are as much a marriage as any marriage could be.

The sad thing here is that too many people enter into a marriage without really knowing what they are getting themselves into or without going through any preparation to ensure that their marriage will go the distance.

When I work with couples contemplating marriage the first thing I get them to consider and discuss with each other is this very question: what is marriage to each of them? How do they define it and are they ok with how their partner defines it or does it need some tweaking to make it something that both of the couple can live with.

As most of you might know I am in a relationship and have been for more than 20 years. My partner and I are not married nevertheless I describe him as my husband and wear his ring. He also describes me as his wife. It actually took us some time to acknowledge each other in this way as we were assessing our future together especially as I had four young children already as part of the package.

One of the first things we discussed in terms of our marriage was about whether we would live together and where that would be. We then had many conversations about how we would manage my children and whether we would have any more children. We then had to decide on the division of responsibilities both in terms of household chores and financial contributions. Finally we had some conversations about ownership of property and what would happen in the event that either of us predeceased the other.

And while this was not an issue for us as we are both of the same religious beliefs, for many couples there is also the question of what their particular religious beliefs are and how they might impact on their relationship and/or to any children of the relationship.

So while some of these issues are still conversations in progress for my partner and myself, the underlying promise is that we will be there exclusively for each other for the rest of our lives. In this we committed to never walk out on the other and to always raise it whenever we had an issue that affected us both and/or our future together.

This is how I define my marriage for me. It is a safe place to collapse into at the end of each busy day where I can feel safe and not be judged negatively no matter what I do or think. It is a place where I feel loved unconditionally and love in the same way.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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True Love, Lies and Deceit

True Love Lies and Deceit

Is it possible for someone to truly love you and hurt you over and over with lies and deceit?

What a great question this is to get me going for the week

The short answer is this:  NO! Someone cannot truly love you and hurt you over and over with lies and deceit. But it may be a little more complicated than that.

Lying and deceitfulness can be a natural response to being constantly tormented, fear of being found out, or from the modelling we get from the most important people around us, generally our parents.

There are also gradients of lies. There are the lies of omission when we don’t tell someone that what they are wearing doesn’t go with whatever, their body shape, the occasion etc.

On the other end of the continuum are the really big lies that have a huge impact on people’s lives, individuals or whole countries, which can and do change the course of history.

My curiosity is pricked when I hear that someone is being deceitful in their relationship. Is this a cold-hearted act of cruelty with no regard for the impact the lie has on another or is it something much more than that?

My belief is that lying is a complex issue that really needs to be viewed not just in the context of the current event but in the context of a whole lifetime of experience.

When we are very young we learn to tell lies as part of socialising us to the norms of society. So we are taught to hold our tongues when we get crushed under the hug of our big, fat aunties and respectfully say ‘thank you’ for the gift that we really didn’t want. We also learn in the process that lying can protect us from being punished, sometimes in very, even too harsh ways. Lying can even become habitual as a way of avoiding the anger of someone in a position of authority over us as well as a means of avoiding the feelings of fear that can go with that.

As an adult we normally grow out of this behaviour as we meet with other adults face to face, in truth and in good will, to manage our conflicts in an adult way no longer needing to resort to old patterns of behaviour. Sometimes however old behaviours are so entrenched that the habit has become hard to shift. Alternatively the person is triggered to feel the same sort of fear they experienced as a child and respond from an internal child part of themselves rather than an external adult part.

In these situations the lies and deceit are not intended to hurt but become the habitual response of someone who doesn’t yet have the skills to manage themselves in a more mature way.

So to come back to the question at the beginning of this article

Love is a mature adult feeling that is pure and clean with no unresolved issues attached to it. So to truly love another implies that you are fully there with this person in the most vulnerable way possible. This means that your heart, soul and body are open and exposed without any defences. So to put it more simply, love and lying simply cannot be present in the same moment.

While we are humans, and we will slip up, for us to be truly in love with another requires us also to be truly honest. If we cannot be truly honest then we can’t possibly truly love because instead of being there fully in the present we are being held back by something from our past that will need resolution.

So if you are being lied to and hurt constantly by your partner and they are unable, or unwilling, to do what it takes to change then you really do need to think about the long-term viability of your relationship.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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If You Were Someone Else, Would You Marry You?

If You Were Someone Else, Would You Marry You?

I started this article by considering a question sent to me by a client, and echoed by many others, who wanted to know what was reasonable to expect from a partner in marriage. As I was scouring other emails to see what related questions there were on this topic I came upon this pearl I just had to use it as it summed up so beautifully exactly my thoughts on the topic of expectations.

The email started with the line that is the title of this week’s article and then went on to say: “Worry less and be happy. Because the happier you are with yourself and your life, the more attractive you are to your partner. .. Start today to work on being the kind of person you would want to know, date, and marry. If you’re not that kind of person, how can you expect your spouse to stay attracted or stay passionate?” I absolutely agree with these sentiments.

What can I expect from marriage?

The way to live this is simple: remember when you first met and what it was that attracted you to your partner in the first place. It might have been their smile, their easy laugh, their care and consideration of you or their willingness to listen to you ad nauseam.

Now contemplate how you responded to that.

Your response would naturally have been happiness, in being paid so much consideration, and joy at being the centre of someone else’s attention pulling you even closer to each other.

While we all start our relationships this way the sad thing is that somewhere along the way we returned to our selfish habits and forgot what it was we did at the beginning that endeared us so compellingly to the other.

So the way back to that special place is, as my client suggested, by being the best and the happiest you can be and behave in the way that you did when you first met every day of your life. In addition expect no less than that from your partner.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

A famous Couples Counsellor by the name of John Gottman speaks of four distinct ways of interacting that doom your marriage to failure. These are the absolute contradiction of how you should relate to your partner and expect your partner to relate to you.

  1. The First HorsemanCriticism – this involves attacking with blame someone’s personality or character, rather than a specific behaviour. If there is something you don’t like about what your partner is doing let them know what that is and what you would rather they do instead.
  2. The Second HorsemanContempt – this has a conscious or subconscious intent of insulting or belittling your partner with words or actions. Just remember your partner has all the faults and failings of all human beings, yourself included, and deserves to be treated with the respect that everyone deserves.
  3. The Third HorsemanDefensiveness – This has to do with denying responsibility or making excuses or whinging and whining when things don’t go your way. Stand up and be willing to accept your part in any misunderstanding that comes up between you and do what you need to do to repair the damage done.
  4. The Fourth HorsemanStonewalling – This happens when you refuse to respond to your partner or even to get into a conversation to find a resolution to an issue. Of course there are going to be times when it’s not good for you to respond because of high emotions. If this happens simply let your partner know that now is not a good time to have this conversation with a promise to return and/or even a time to make that happen.

So be yourself the person you would want to marry each and every day. There really is no greater joy as, in being that, so can your partner be.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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