Cultivating a healthy relationship

By no means am I the relationship expert, but ‘third time’ is the charm as they say, and I can comment about what makes my third long-term relationship lasting and fulfilling.

That’s right, I’ve had two other marriages under my belt, and in both, like any relationship, you learn what works, what doesn’t and who you truly are through the process.

For one, partners need to be willing to adapt to the developmental, economic and educational changes that will occur as you ‘stick by each other’s side’.

We all grow at different rates.  One partner may be in school while the other is in the workforce.  One is unemployed, while the other is bringing home the paycheck.  Lifestyle choices may clash.

But, if you can honor the fact that the only constant in life is change, and that means change in your partner, you are on your way of maintaining something that can become long-term.

Another aspect that works is having a sense of humor.  If you are in a relationship long enough you’ll experience plenty of tears with the joy, and if you can look back and reflect in a lighter manner, rather than holding grudges, this will keep those fires of long-term love burning.

You need to make time for the relationship, period.  If you or your partner or both have kids, date nights and time alone is mandatory in the schedule.  You need to feed the relationship the same way you cultivate a garden.

And while we are on the topic of garden, you also need to practice weeding.  By that, I mean, letting go or giving distance to the things in the relationship that ‘get in the way’.  Examples would be:  annoying habits, poor lifestyle choices, family or friends that don’t contribute to the well-being of the relationship.

In couples counseling, which I often do, you need to ‘fill the emotional bank account’, which means making yourself available to support your partner.  If there are other influences getting in the way that detract from this fulfillment, either modify or plain out eliminate.  That might sound harsh, but if you are invested in the relationship, it’s an absolute.

Take time for yourself outside the relationship also.  Too many people get wrapped up in the sense of being a couple as ‘all or nothing’.  Well, it certainly is something, but it’s not all of who you are.  Have other interests that you do separately, declare your space when necessary.  It creates a healthy balance.

Life is what you make it, and so are relationships.  Some last 5, 10, or 50 (like my parent’s anniversary next year!  Wow!)…so give a bunch, get a lot.

I welcome thoughts and comments on successful relationships!

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bruce Magnotti
    May 17, 2012 @ 11:35:53

    We teach a class, actually we are still developing it, to relate Reiki to human relationships. We also teach Tantra as it is another form of working with the life energy or Chi. Most people teach Tantra to enhance relationships and intimacy, we teach it more to “attract” the type of relationship that is lasting and fulfilling.

    The word “attract” is not really correct, as we all live in dimensions. If the “right” person is not in our dimension we will never notice them.

    I use the term dimension in a different way than most. As an example, there may be life forms in our world that live an entire lifetime in a fraction of our second. Because of this, these life forms are in a different time dimension and we will never encounter them.

    If something is too small, it is in a different scale dimension and we will never see it, like a virus or bacteria. If something is too large, again we will never see it, like the universe. If it moves too fast, or too slow, again we will never experience it.

    You and your “perfect mate” may never notice each other because of dimensional factors, so if one is not in a “good” relationship, or in fact single, the class we are experimenting with may help greatly.

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