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8 Pillars for a Healthy Relationship

by Connie

After the last Royal carriage is stored and the Crown Jewels are returned to the Tower of London, Kate Middleton and Prince William will be on their own.

Like two commoners beginning their lives together, they’ll be facing their future with wide-eyed anticipation along with a bit of uncertainty.

During my ‘starter marriage’ I was constantly challenged to question what I believed a partnership should be which is why it became my ‘starter marriage’.

The rest of what I’ve learned about unions came from my current marriage; the loving, supportive and enchanting partnership I wish everyone could experience, whether they’re married or not.

Most couples focus too much on the ceremony, rather than what they’re bringing to the relationship following the hoopla. I thought I’d share what I’ve come to believe, once the rice is swept away and the gown is put into storage.

1. Love

Remember what qualities first brought you to this relationship and focus on that. When frazzled over a meaningless idiosyncrasy take a deep breath and think about the traits in the other person that made you choose them to be The One.

Take pleasure in making life easier or more enjoyable for your partner. Change the bed linens because that’s a chore they detest. Bring home a vanilla milk shake because that’s their guilty pleasure. If you intersperse each day with acts of love, hopefully they’ll be appreciated, acknowledged and reciprocated.

2. Honesty

You can’t go wrong if you stick to the adage, ‘Honesty is the best policy.’ Being honest doesn’t mean being cruel or hurtful. It means being open, direct and straightforward. Don’t beat around the bush or force your mate to drag information from you. It’s tedious for both sides. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

3. Accountability

Be responsible for your words, actions and deeds. If you do something hurtful or harmful to your partner, either intentionally or unintentionally, apologize and ask for their forgiveness. You’ll be giving both of you a gift that will enrich your relationship, by doing so.

4. Trust

You need to trust your partner but you need to be responsible and dependable, too. Keep your word and be trustworthy. If you can’t, or don’t, trust this person with your innermost secrets, your PIN numbers or your car keys then maybe this isn’t the relationship for you.

5. Respect

Show your mate how much you admire and appreciate them by treating them with consideration and respect. Hopefully, you’ve chosen to be in a relationship where you’re honored and held in high regard, as well. If not, perhaps it’s time for you to re-think your value and self-worth.

6. Fun

My wish is that you’ve chosen to be in a relationship that’s light, mischievous and fun. Make time each day to play. Life is too short to miss out on laughter along with hugs and kisses, each and every day. You’re also creating playful memories to recall when you need a laugh.

7. Time

The greatest gift you can give anyone you love is the gift of your time. You’ll enrich your relationship by reconnecting during your busy week. Scheduling sacred time aside to honor your relationship is the most enriching appointment you’ll keep. It’s the equivalent of feeding and nurturing your special bond.

8. Patience

None of us is perfect; we all have feet of clay. We’d all do well to exercise forgiveness and tolerance with ourselves, as well as with our mates.

I’ve found this quote from American author and philosopher Sam Keen to be a clarifying reminder:

‘We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.’

If we expect others to love our imperfections perfectly, it’s only fair that we patiently love their imperfections perfectly, too.

After all, ‘The more we give of ourselves in Love, the deeper we are in Soul.’

What advice would you share with someone starting a long-term relationship? What Life Lessons in Love have you learned? Please share the love, and your wisdom, using the form below.

If there is someone you feel would enjoy or benefit from reading this, I’d love for you to share it with them using the ‘share buttons’ or facebook ‘like’ buttons, below.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jody May 4, 2011 at 4:05 am

How refreshing to read something about relationships that stresses not just the flowers and hearts, but the work that goes into a relationship as well. After all, a relationship is a living thing, it must be cared for and nutured or it will die.

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Connie May 4, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Hi, Jody,

Thank you for your comment. I appreciate your input.

How right you are…Any relationship is a living entity which needs nurturing and attention.

Whether you’re in a romantic relationship or a friendship, I believe you know you’re in the right relationship when ‘working at it’ doesn’t feel like work.

That’s when you’re truly blessed!

Connie

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