Three Easy Steps to Saving a Relationship
Relationships between men and women are never simple. Relationships don't conform to the idea that one size fits all: what works for one won't for another, because people and the relationships they form are unique. It's important to realize that there's no set of regulations that can be uniformly applied to all relationships.
There's something between two souls that draws them together and motivates them to form a relationship, but to suggest that a unversal rule or guideline exists explaining that is naive. What works to keep one relationship secure and thriving won't necessarily work for others - a relationship in many ways is a world unto itself.
All that having been said, however, there are three things - consider them fundamentals - that have to exist if the relationship is going to last very long.
First, a relationship must have effective communication if it's going to succeed. This means the opening of hearts and sharing of things like hopes and plans for the future. It's easy to talk about the news or last night's television program. Real communication, though, requires real honesty and self-giving. Communication takes place on many different levels, of course. The morning chatter over coffee isn't realy idle - couples share their plans for the day so that they can reach each other if necessary. Couples share with each other their concerns about problems on the job, in their families, and in their own hearts, looking for advice and consolation.
Relationships where the partners don't also share their feelings with each other have an unstable foundation. Good communication doesn't consist only of the good things - indeed, the relationship is strengthened when the couple can communicate well about uncomfortable issues like humiliation. Good communication requires the next critical component of a great relationship.
The second great foundation of good relationships is honesty. Couples who undertake to be together, sharing their lives, handicap themselves seriously if they cannot be honest with each other. Once the bloom is off the rose, if a couple really loves each other and wants to be together, it's important to acknowledge their humanity and fallibility and accept it.
If one of the partners in a relationship finds that the other has lied, a shadow is cast on everything that's transpired between them, and from then on will always be the nagging question, "Is this the truth?"Partners in a relationship who are reluctant to share the truth with the other, even if it means at least momentarily hurting their feelings, are well advised to examine their own commitment to the relationship.
If the relationship is one of true love, the third foundation will easily grow - forgiveness.While we don't like to admit to our fallibility, nobody's perfect. The ability to forgive is a gift granted us by God. Forgiveness may require that the "sinner" repent, but it definitely requires that the "sinned-against" partner absolve the sinner of guilt and then never raise the "sin" again. Forgiveness must be complete, for if it isn't, the element of honesty will also be damaged. Forgiveness is one of the most honest expressions of the love two people can have for each other.
Couples for whom these three factors form the basis of the relationship can be assured of many happy years together. If even one is missing, the relationship is in trouble, and if the couple wants to stay together it's critical that they both attend to developing the missing foundational elements.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew Hunter enjoys helping men deal with the conflicts and challenges they experience in relating with women and helping them form successful relationships.
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