The Ten Truths of Your Relationship
“The formula for achieving a successful relationship is simple: you should treat all disasters as
if they were trivialities but never treat a triviality as if it were a disaster.”
~ Quentin Crisp
The ability to foster a balanced and nurturing love relationship is within us. So why do most relationships seem like such a struggle? It may be that we’re not playing by the right set of rules. Just as we follow directions when driving to a new location, so too must we follow directions when navigating through our relationships to reach their highest potential. My ten truths will realign you with the ultimate purpose your relationship and offer you essential elements which you might need to reintroduce into your partnership.
- Ego is the enemy: We enter a relationship with the understanding that we will have to surrender half of our “self” to another person. This doesn’t sit well with our ego – the inherent part of the self which is programmed to function on only what’s best for us. In the case of an argument, for example, the ego makes us become defensive against the other person’s point. Keep your ego under control to experience the highest potential of your relationship. Do this by finding joy in giving to receive: you give up part of yourself to receive in return the very best of someone else.
- Communication is key: Conversation is a highly intimate art which binds people on a soulful level. All relationships start out with great communication but the conversation dies down with time. When you don’t communicate your thoughts and emotions, you allow for them to build within you until they explode in a burst of anger. Release your emotions little by little each day instead of conserving them inside; try to be honest with your partner and speak to them openly about your fears, concerns, and regrets. Ask them questions without hesitation. Don’t keep doubts in. Communication helps you keep a consistent track of who your partner is and who they’re becoming. So the next time you see your partner, talk. Strike up a conversation which you know will intrigue them, and see where the dialogue flows from there.
- Compassion will keep you together: Compassion, like patience, is a virtue learned through time. People are prone to making mistakes, lacking good judgment, and even disappointing us. But the way in which we choose to respond to the negative tendencies of others is the more important factor. When we act with compassion, we accept and forgive those negative tendencies. We possess the wisdom to know when to say “okay, let’s work through this,” rather than blaming, judging, and fighting with the one we love. Compassion is like giving someone a helping hand when they’ve fallen instead of leaving them laying on the ground. The next time someone’s done something which upsets you, suspend your emotions and consider this: Was this really done with wrong intentions? Did this person mean to hurt me, or they were just negligent of their actions? Should I lash out against them, or can I find a better, smarter way to handle the situation? Whenever you’re in a position to show your ego or show kindness, choose to show kindn
- Weaknesses are secret strengths: We tend to see certain character traits – such as emotional overdependence– as signs of personal weakness. But no aspect of a person’s self is weak; it’s simply one part of who they are. Being too emotional, for example, is neither right nor wrong. When we stop seeing our partner’s character traits as weak, and start accepting them as an integral part of their being, we can learn to value that person on a complete spectrum. Though they may have to work to improve certain things, this becomes much easier to do once we’ve accepted that their weaknesses are, in reality, their secret strengths.
- Your partner above all: If you’re set on being in a serious relationship, there may be times when you’ll have to place your partner before anyone else. Not to say that you’ll have to succumb to their whims, but you will want to place them as your top priority when the circumstances call for it. This is called sacrifice, but it’s also a way of building a solid foundation to your relationship. Your actions will be reciprocated. It means the world to someone when they’re placed first and given attention when they need it most.
- Intimacy is essential: Statistics show that physical intimacy in a relationship decreases or utterly diminishes over time. Most couples don’t realize how critical intimacy really is. They place other factors first, such as time restraints or job responsibilities. But what they don’t understand is that intimacy is just as important as communication or common values, and it should not decrease with time. On the contrary, it should become deeper and more meaningful as the years pass. So the next time your partner wants to be intimate, take it as an opportunity to reconnect with them and strengthen your relationship rather than finding an excuse to avoid it.
- Betrayal is brutal: Most relationships will endure some form of betrayal or another. This is a sad reality of our world; we hurt each other, many times without considering the consequences or even meaning to. But one partner might make that one mistake which is inexcusable and becomes traumatic for the other person. The most important step towards recovery from betrayal is acknowledging the severity of it and not sweeping your emotions under the rug: face the truth. Face your feelings, all of them! Deal accordingly with your partner, and make him or her understand the hurt you felt. Also, understand why the betrayal happened: What could have motivated your partner to betray you? Once you sort out the facts of the situation and deal openly with outstanding issues, you and your partner can decide whether you will reconcile and begin the road to recovery.
- Grow in the same direction: Two people who don’t grow in the same direction cannot remain in a compatible relationship. We all change by the minute; who you were just one year ago is not who you are now. Evolution is the first law of the universe. But this can cause two compatible people to grow in completely different directions and not even know it. Like two branches of a tree which grow further and further apart, you and your partner may be growing in opposite ways and not even know it. If this applies to you, act before you find yourselves on two distant paths.
- Arguments can be productive: Most people see arguments as destructive forces in a relationship. But arguments can be highly productive and even necessary. The couple that doesn’t argue doesn’t feel genuine emotion. Arguments are necessary in that each partner learns how the other copes with frustration and anger, and, most importantly, how they recuperate from an argument. Do they want to settle it right away or will they prolong the fight? Do they hold grudges or do they let it go immediately? Are the same arguments happening over and over again, indicating some sort of underlying issue? Don’t try to prevent arguments that are bound to happen. Rather, learn from each disagreement you experience as a couple. Try to settle your deep-seated differences so that arguments can occur less and less frequently in the future.
- You against the world: The strongest relationships are those in which both partners have an “us against the world” mentality. Those are normally the relationships which last the test of time. It’s critical that you and your partner see yourselves as united against any external factors, be it financial hardships or the influence of others. If you remain closely bound to one another, nothing will be able to break you apart or come between you. The moment you start to see yourself as two separate entities with independent aims, you allow room for problems to creep in. Remember that when you’re in a relationship, your aspirations, realizations, and hardships are not only your own – they are also your partner’s. Practice a symbiotic partnership by recognizing that together, you are an unstoppable force no matter what comes your way.
How you act on these truths determines the stability, depth, and duration of your relationship. Whether you’re in a serious commitment or just starting out, acknowledging these few simple truths might just make the difference between breaking up and being together forever.
To Happy Relationships,
Dr. Carmen Harra