Relationships take hard work! It's that simple but hard doesn't mean arduous. I was asked a question by a client - when to stay and when to leave. It is not an easy straight forward answer but before I get to that I have to start at the beginning. What is the basis of a relationship? What makes a great relationship?
The basis of a relationship is, in the world according to Sian, broken into 3rds. Shared values, shared vision and unconditional love.
Shared values are like the lens with which you both see the world. Imagine a pair of binoculars and you each have one eye to see the same thing. Think of it as the rules of your life together. What you both value will become a priority that is nurtured and protected by you both.
Lets take respect as an example. If you both believe that respect is a core shared value, then the chances are you will ensure there is time for you to talk and listen to each other. How else can you truly respect someone if you don’t listen to them?
The life choices you both make are all based on what you value. How you respond to life’s challenges and delights are all dependent on your shared core values. When, as a couple, you’re both feeling safe, happy and in love that is the time when you’re both in balance with your values. It’s how you honour each other, old fashioned word HONOUR, but it’s an essential ingredient if you want a lifelong relationship.
Are you having really nasty arguments and truly beginning to question if this relationship should or can continue? The reason WHY this is happening is because you’re out of balance with your values. NOTHING is more damaging in a relationship than not having your values aligned. Very real hurt, pain and damage is done when your values aren’t being recognized and respected! The arguments become a maze of ongoing frustrations, resulting in a new belief that your’re not understood and its unsafe to communicate your true feelings. So… get to work on your own values, then sit down and TALK for hours with your partner and find out where your shared values lie.
How do you see this shared life playing out? What does success look like? What are you both working towards achieving together? What do you know or have seen that you want in your future? What do you know or have seen that you absolutely DON’T want now or in your future?
When my husband asked me to marry him, we spent 10 days talking about every scenario that I could think of. We sat and went through over a 100 questions I had written down ranging from children’s education to disabilities, caring for our parents in old age, to infidelity and abuse. Sounds quite heavy, but believe me, 30 years of living with the same person through all the pressures of life is virtually impossible if you don’t know what each other wants from life. What is the vision is for the relationship - its intimate center and its public face? Once you have a shared vision, you can work on a road map of how you are both going to get there.
Simply put, you know it’s unconditional when you knowingly put your partner first, watch their back ALWAYS, and love them even when you want to murder them.and trust me after 30 years there will be several occasions when you wish lawyers were open at 11pm at night!