The happiest couples, however, approach their relationships differently. It is found that the secrets of their successful relationships revolve around certain precepts:
1. GOOD RELATIONSHIPS DON‘T JUST HAPPEN - Most of us grew up believing that love is magical and, ultimately, beyond our control. We don’t “decide” to love - we “fall” in love. But something is asked if love’s rewards are to be sustained. First, we must pay close enough attention to a loved one to genuinely understand his or her desires. Second, we must act on that knowledge. The quality of a relationship depends on the way two people treat each other; in good times and bad. Relationships are never static; they are either growing or in decline Happy couples know that the vitality of their love is their own responsibility. They are active participants in the quest for lasting love.
3. MARRIAGE IS NOT A CURE-ALL - The rewards of marriage are so highly praised that people come to believe it is the antidote to salve old wounds, from childhood or former loves. But marriage is not a solution to personal problems. No matter how close your relationship, you and your partner will always be individuals before you are a ‘couple’. When we expect a mate to bolster our egos or compensate for our weaknesses, we are invariably disappointed, and our loved one feels resentful. We alone must take responsibility for our feelings of self-worth. The happiest couples know that for a marriage to last, both partners must first learn to love themselves. Otherwise, they will never feel worthy of another’s love.
5. LOVERS AREN'T MIND-READERS - One of the fantasies of love is that a mate is somehow completely attuned to our innermost thoughts and dreams. When a partner fails to anticipate these, we may feel sad, disappointed, or even betrayed. But it is simply not reasonable to expect a mate to guess what’s on our minds. Men and women who feel understood by their partners know that, ultimately, we are responsible for making ourselves known. When you tell your partner what you need and he or she responds to that request; that is a genuine indication of love.
6. THE BEST RELATIONSHIPS ARE ALWAYS CHANGING - Most of us believe that a solid relationship doesn't alter from year to year. The truth is this that relationships inevitably change, just as individuals do. Couples who encounter the most difficulties are those who stubbornly resist change for fear that their love may not be strong enough to survive. Couples in enduring relationships have the flexibility to greet change with acceptance and a positive attitude. It is important to believe that the love between you and your mate is strong enough, and the trust great enough, to allow each other respect, latitude and room to grow.
7. INFIDELITY POISONS LOVE - “What my partner doesn’t know can’t hurt’ is a flimsy rationale for an affair. Even if it doesn't lead to a break-up, an affair can permanently damage the bond of love because it is a basic violation of the mutual commitment. When we respect our relational exclusivity, we feel comfortable with ourselves. We don’t have to worry about covering our tracks. But when we act dishonestly, we secretly know it and feel devoid of character. And we cannot love another person if we do not love ourselves.
9. LOVE IS UNSELFISH - While mature love requires a balance between giving and receiving, spontaneous unselfishness is the essence of love. Real love asks that we put our own needs on bold and respond to our mate’s - not endlessly not unilaterally; but often. In fact we feel more “in love” when giving to a partner than when receiving. Giving is contagious. It encourages reciprocity. Words of caution, however, don’t give to get, for that is unloving. Neither should you give unendingly to a partner who takes advantage of your loving intentions. The happiest relationships are those in which both partners give 100 percent - and receive 100 per cent in return.
In the final analysis, however, the most important rule of love is this: towards both your partner and yourself, behave only in ways that enhance your own self-worth, dignity and integrity. When you feel good about yourself, you possess both the confidence and the personal contentment which are necessary for love to remain truly alive.
To adhere to all the aforesaid is a monumental task, and it is profanely difficult for the poor in spirit or hard of heart to achieve; and in my opinion only ever possible by having a common anchor - the concept of being equally-yoked - by positioning the Creator and Author of your destiny in the centre of your partnership and looking to that Deity as the pivot to your success, or failure, in the relationship...
GOD HELP US ALL