There are good ships and wood ships, ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be!” Irish Proverb
In friendship and in marriage, relationships are the same. It’s all about respect, trust and forgiveness. Below are 10 important things I learned from a 10-year relationship.
1. Friendship First
Every relationship begins on the basis of friendship. Someone whose company you enjoy and they in return enjoy yours. In order to have a good friend, you need to be a good friend and in order to have a friend, you need to make time for that friendship. A significant other, a husband or a wife, is someone who is of significance to you based on their morals and values aligning with your own. Treasure those friendships.
2. Your partner is not your property.
Thich Nhat Hanh — ‘You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.
You don’t own your partner and your partner doesn’t own you.
Appreciate your partner for who they are now, who they were and who they aspire to be.
Possessiveness or jealousy will only drive your partner away and will be viewed as insecurity and lack of confidence.
Successful relationships face their fair share of challenges. Put onlookers, meddlers and anyone who crosses the line of respect when it comes to your relationship in their place. Don’t be jealous, let them be. Stay vigilant and keep on rolling.
4. Share the load
What makes a great relationship? Knowing that you can face the world with a partner by your side. The stability and comfort in knowing that you have someone who will support you, turn you around, grab the weight you’ve been carrying right off your back like a load of bricks and say hey ” let me hold that for you, now let’s let it go and move on.” Facing life challenges together and overcoming them as a unified team, baggage and all.
What does respect mean to you?
To me, respect means having consideration for another person’s thoughts, feelings and emotions. Exhibiting an empathetic viewpoint and possessing the innate ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Respect encompasses the golden rule at its very core. “Treat others how you would like to be treated.”
By simply asking yourself the question, how would I feel if someone treated me the way I am treating them? You’ll immediately know the answer and it comes before all other justifications conjured thereafter.
5. “Me time, you time and we time.
It’s all about balance. Enough said.
4. Don’t give it all away
Keep yourself a mystery, keep it interesting. Whether you’ve been married a year or fifty. Men like the chase and women like attention.
3. Honesty is the best policy
“I am a fan of truth even if it is painfully hard to accept” – Unknown.
Don’t lose yourself in your relationships with others. Always be you, no matter what. Be honest with yourself, and be honest with your partner. Express what your needs are, how you are feeling and what you want out of life. Wait for a reply.
If you aren’t in an honest relationship and this is something you highly value, make the change within and without.
It has been said that what makes a good marriage is simply two people who are extremely good forgivers. This applies to every relationship so long as there is a level of honesty. Without honesty, there can be no reconciliation, however, forgiveness is still possible and should be exercised for one’s own mental health.
We are all only human, and we all make mistakes. Some are big, some are small. Some you can live with and some you can’t. Stay true.
“Forgiving someone who is not sorry is one of the hardest things to do”
I’m sure you’ve heard it a thousand times, trust is the key to any healthy relationship and rightfully so. Trust remains the most crucial aspect of every relationship that you will ever begin and some that will sadly come to an end.
So what does trust mean to you?
I have struggled with this concept as my perspective of trust was formulated from a victim mentality mindset. It was difficult to find the absolute that would cultivate self-trust and trust in others. That was until I read this:
The absolute hands-down most in-depth understanding of what trust means was written by a man named Charles Feltman. This is his definition. “Trust is making something you value vulnerable to another person’s actions. I believe this is the most empowering quotation ever written. Trust is and has always been in your power to give, and trust is in your power to withhold.
Now that doesn’t mean if someone betrays your trust you write them off completely. It means that you will no longer grant trust to this particular person with a certain value whether it be moral or material. Now that’s freedom in knowing.