Twelve Keys to Relationship Success
Know Yourself - Study your family
of origin to understand patterns of thinking and
behaving. What did you learn from your mother about
love, communicating, anger, emotional support and
encouragement, autonomy, money, relationships, etc? Your
father? Your extended family? Are they true for you
today? How have each impacted your relationship(s) to
Love Yourself - As you expand
feelings of self-worth, love for your partner grows as
well. You love others to the degree you love yourself.
Review and practice ways to build healthy self-esteem (for
example, articles on
this website) and mirror this to your partner.
Practice Tolerance, Patience, and
Forgiveness - Your partner is in charge of her/his
life, making choices and living according to what s/he
values as important. When not meeting your wishes or
needs, having traits you dislike, or making choices
different than you would like, it is important to find
ways to understand and accept your partner the way s/he
is. People change for their own reasons not ours.
Unconditional acceptance grows as we let go of control,
release unrealistic expectations, and learn to value the
other as is. Learn the difference between what has the
potential to change and what you must accept about your
partner and your relationship.
Resolve Conflict, Take Responsibility
for Healing Your Own Issues - Differences arise in any
relationship. Problem solving, compromise, and fair
fighting techniques are necessary skills for living
peacefully with another. Express yourself;
communicate, know your limits, be fair, and be honest.
Start by always telling yourself the truth about what you
think and how you feel, then talk to your partner on a
regular basis. Journaling helps clarify your thoughts and
feelings before talking. Listen to your partner. Most
people want to be heard and understood more than agreed
with. Recognize and do something about your personal
issues that get in the way of a good relationship.
Uncover Your Shadow (Unconscious) Side -
See your reflection in what you like and dislike in
others. Learn about hidden parts of yourself by seeing
where you project issues and traits onto your partner.
Projection is a self-protective defense mechanism where
one sees traits, behaviors, or beliefs that one judges as
bad or negative, only in others and not in oneself. On the
journey to wholeness we need to claim 100% of ourselves
and take full responsibility for who we are and what we
do. Allow your partner to be part of your self-awareness
process to mirror potential aspects of yourself. Read, The
Dark Side of the Light Chasers, by Debbie Ford.
Balance personal time with together
time - Independence is a good thing as is healthy
dependency. Personal time includes such things as alone
time, exercise or gym time, or being with friends.
Together time includes activities with just you and your
partner or when both of you share activities with others.
When there are children, family time needs the same
Update Faulty Thinking - Continue
rooting out beliefs about relationships and life that
stand in the way of your success and happiness. Then
update them to higher truths.
Have Fun Together - Rekindle
romance. What got you started in the first place? Find
activities that you both can share, whether you are
similar or miles apart in personality and interests.
Build traditions - Build roots and
security by celebrating birthdays, religious holidays,
holidays like the 4th of July with a yearly
cookout with family & friends, meeting weekly for a
dinner date, taking vacations together, enjoying
neighborhood street parties, or attending a place of
Self-Actualize - Use your talents,
explore your interests, learn how to get your needs met
(many times without your partner), and grow toward your
potential. Support your partner to do the same. The more
attention you give to strengthening your inner self and
your own life by growing, exploring, and creatively
expressing, the healthier and happier you will be as a
couple. Find meaning and purpose as a couple. What is your
purpose together at this stage in your relationship? How
can you actualize this purpose in the world?
Take pleasure in what makes your
partner feel happy - Show interest, caring, love, and
support for your partnerís work, hobbies, or interests,
and volunteer projects.
Share Bonding Practices - Build
connectedness and oneness. Walk, meditate, or take a class
together, drink coffee or tea together each morning, share
meals, talk daily before work or bedtime, express
gratitude toward your partner and the relationship often.