Friday, October 15, 2010

Steps to a successful relationship - full article

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I have noticed that a lot of time when a man disregards his home, or a woman nags the man, it is because they are harboring a grudge from an earlier incident and not necessarily because of the little things that will be their first answer if you ask them. A man might say, she doesn’t know how to cook, the woman will retort, he drops his stuff every which way, but when you probe deeper, there is usually something else. These are steps to better relationship.



1. Be honest, be open, and be truthful: This is fairly straight forward but it can be a bit scary too. Some of us are not even totally truthful to ourselves so it can be difficult to expose ourselves to others. We’re also afraid that the other person may like us less when we put everything out there. This is a valid point; some people cannot take everything that is thrown at them. But for your own sake, you need to call their attention to it and maybe ask if they would like to know. Something that will help is not just talking about your perceived wrongs but how you feel about them and how you feel speaking about them.

2. Be reliable and show appreciation: This usually manifests as security which is imperative in a relationship, particularly for women but also for men in a different way. We all want to feel secure; we want to know we can come home to this person and have peace. When times are not too good and you’re about to hit rock bottom in your life it is important to know that somebody will be there for you. In as much as we expect this, we should also be willing, ready and able to give it. Do you keep to time, do you keep your promises, do you show you care, do you appreciate the other person in the many ways that it is possible to do so?

3. Trust each other: Believe me, it can be a very stressful relationship if you cannot trust your partner. This feeling of distrust usually stems from not knowing if he/she is open and honest with you. The worst thing you can do to yourself is try to bottle it up. It will eat you up from the inside. You have to let it out, ask questions, share your own feelings and then decide to trust them. There was a lot of furor earlier this year when it came out that Tiger Woods was cheating on his wife. I know a lot of people wondered if she had suspected anything. But seriously, when you’re in a serious relationship with someone, it is best to remove all suspicion from your mind. That is, unless you have incontrovertible proof.

4. Communicate, and communicate some more: It is impossible to over emphasize how important this is in a relationship. It is almost impossible to have a solid relationship if the two people involved are not able to open up and talk about the things that affect them. I was discussing a plot point in my manuscript with my SO and he said, “Remember sometimes in an argument, it stops being about how it started and turns to hidden hurts and buried misunderstandings.” That is so true, and the longer these things have been simmering in the minds of those involved, the more vitriolic the current quarrel will turn out to be.

The fact is that if they sat together and really talked about these issues, they can be resolved. Sometimes it may require an outside party if the grudge has eaten too deep but most times, good communication between just the couple will do. The things to bear in mind when communicating with your partner are; place, time and tone. Remember that communication is a two way thing; you have to listen and not just yak away or try to lay down the law. For instance, if money is tight and you do not appreciate your partner’s attitude to your choice of a designer bag, you do not start that particular conversation at the mall. Also, you cannot just say what's on your mind in a disrespectful manner and call it communication.

Respect each other: It all boils down to this. Respect is usually the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. Any healthy relationship has to have mutual respect between the partners. This starts from the self first. We have to respect ourselves and in turn, attract respect from those around us. At the same time, we also have to learn to give respect. There’s the saying, familiarity breeds contempt. If not checked, this may become true. It is vital to watch our tones as we joke, tease and disagree with our partners, and especially in the presence of other people. It is fine to disagree but you have to respect each other’s opinions. Agree to disagree.

You will notice that I dwelt a bit more on communication than others. That is because, I personally think it is the key that holds all the others together. I believe that if we can put most of these approaches into practice, we’ll have less stressful and more successful relationships. They will also help in other interpersonal relationships with friends, family and even colleagues at work. 

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21 comments:

  1. this is correct myne and even though it looks easy on paper these are one of the hardest things to do.
    we also do little love notes randomly :)

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  2. I'm with Joanna...idealistic,yes,but its a tough nut keeping up atimes.Not that it isnt possible ofcos,everything is!

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  3. So true...but the stress of making ends meet it's taking it's toil. Many couples get home late...right now, it's 10;15pm & my hubby is still driving home...while am all sleepy but browsing so as not to nod off....tell me MW, if i was working also & we both came in the same time, do you think we would have the time & the strength to have a good conversation or make love?....rather, we would want to hit the pillows right away!..... most of this articles or criteia which i had read from different blogs is more favourable to the western world where things 'work' in my own opinion. Even as a housewife & am wearing my sexy lingerie, & hubby gets home late & tired, do you think he would be 'gamed?' or just manage to eat & goes to sleep immediately before i finish tidying up? this is the reality, hence many couples are quarreling & separating over trivial issues, we need patience.

    I want people to ask practical questions & solutions than theories/hypotheses.... every woman do 'sisi' before she got married, so it's not as if she is a 'novice' just that there are some things that one can't explain to a person which might not come out right & be misinterpreted, but until the person experience it herself, then, she would understand. As i always tell people, words are cheap....until you are there... i asked someone, does all these criteria apply to the average 9ja woman or only the elite? I asked because situations where extended family members live with the couples, there is bound to be a strain in the relationship because 2 is company, 3 a crowd. & Where many live in a tenement building with children in the same one room.

    Some would say, create a balance.. & i always ask, HOW DO YOU CREATE THIS BALANCE WITHOUT ANY ASPECT BEING NEGLECTED?...MW me think this is a topic for tuesday debate....a practical solution so that many women can learn.

    sorry for the 'post' i wrote on your blog o...*grinning*

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  4. Myne I really agree with you. Especially on the front that communication is the most important. I think most of the problems experienced are all down to miscommunication :(

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  5. So true about the trusting part. Nice one.

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  6. Lovely post. Communication is essential in any relationship :)

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  7. True talk ohhhhhhhh,and nitty gritty tales of a housewife,it is always possible to create a balance if you want to.

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  8. Totally agree. Communication and trust, very important.

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  9. BTW have a lovely weekend, Myne.

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  10. @Gretel....i know that my sister... that is why i had devised my own method of having a successful relationship with my hubby, but many women don't. I had counseled some women over the years & also discussed with elderly women to learn from them...what is obtainable in my relationship might not be workable in another person's own...so it would be nice if the researchers educate women on how to go about having a balance with one practical scenario or problem, so that it would be a guide. For example, a family friend of ours lives in a 3 bedroom flat with his wife, kids & widowed mother. There is the usual spat btw the 2 women which he settles...he got a better job in PH & didn't want to relocate with his family because of the kids schools, wife business,high cost of living in PH & he owns the flat they live in. So he was coming twice in a month, then once, then 0nce in 2 months, then....anytime he likes. He didn't even come during the last sallah holiday! He came last week on 5days casual leave to settle the kids school fees & family matter...hubby asked him why the delay in visiting...& he said there was no time...he gets home late & tired & when he thinks of the stress of traveling [THE ROADS ARE DEATH TRAP FROM PH TO LAGOS].... he rather sends money to them. His wife is not happy but accept her fate & travel to meet him once in 3months when the kids are on holiday. so how do one advice them here becox there is a strain in the relationship already due to lack of communication. Hope you understand the angle am coming from sister?...thanks.

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  11. So on point Myne, I agree more on the communication and trust part.

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  12. Communication is very important. Can't imagine myself in a relationship or Marriage that lacks communication. That can never happen anyway am a talkative. Lol

    Follow my blog.

    www.sesheajames.blogsspot.com

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  13. Thanks for the comments.

    @NittyGritty, I agree with you that practical examples are also very important but that is only when you know the specific couple and you're counselling them. This my write-up is just food for thought. Thanks for sharing from your friends experience. I think the couple need to sit down and talk.

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  14. hmmmm...very well said.

    The communication part used to be very difficult for me (and sometimes still is) bcos I'm a very private person...Thankfully my hubby is a born communicator and he knows how to lovingly draw a conversation out of me...

    Mutual respect! Very key. I concur.

    thanks Myne, for sharing this piece.

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  15. I couldnt agree more but but these days all I seem to come across are the total opposite. Its given me a reality check as to what I am not doing right to attract such people. All in all, great post as usual.

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  16. Definitely on point. The communication piece is broken down into the nitty gritty that most tend to ignore.

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  17. for mei would say trust is the hardest! Dunno why

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  18. Trust is hard sha, thats where you feel as if you're free falling without a parachute, but with love, it is easier.

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  19. I cannot even agree more... I tell my friends and bloke all the time....Communication is a big big deal!!! i am in a long distance relationship so I do not think the issue of communication can be over-emphasized. I drives to heaven and back whenever my bloke n I have a quarrel which leads to us keeping malice. I love him, but when we go days without talking, I begin to adjust to that way of life again and then, we talk and then the cycle begins all over again. It is definitely something that can be averted by mere "on-point" communication.....WellDone MW

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