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Secret Ingredients for Long and Happy Relationships

Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that most people enter a relationship in order to get something. They’re trying to find someone who’s going to make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take. ~ Anthony Robbins

Don’t rush into any kind of relationship. Work on yourself. Feel yourself, experience yourself and love yourself. Do this first and you will soon attract that special loving other. ~ Russ Von Hoelscher

Ken and Amy LaDerouteMy wife and I are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this October.

There’s no doubt that we have great chemistry and we feel like our destinies are congruent, but the real reasons for our success lie in unspoken rules and habits that inspire the way we interact on a daily basis.

Most important is how this spills over to friends, family and in service to humanity.

So what’s the secret for our great relationship?

I can sum it up in a word: “giving.” Without thought to who is giving more, we are mindful of each other, and eager to make the other happy.

Moreover, we make it a priority to be mannerly, readily communicate our feelings and work toward being the best we can be through a practice of mindfulness meditation and mindfulness.

How Can I Help?

Being thoughtful of each other isn’t hard to do. After all, we chose to be together because of our desire to care for each other. How you participate in making your partner’s life easier brings love into existence.

For instance, making the bed or doing the dishes isn’t solely the responsibility of one partner.

If you are aware, you’ll think to yourself, “I’ll make the bed this morning; she’ll have more time.” Or, “Why should she have to do the dishes, again?” When you consciously adopt a daily attitude of: “How can I help,” the relationship becomes magnetized with devotion.

Over time, your habitual thoughtfulness adds up, bringing value, one selfless action at a time.

Love, Honor and say: “Please.”

Good manners are simply a sensitive awareness of your partner’s feelings. When you’re with the same person every day, it becomes easy to take each other for granted. Being aware of how and what you say strengthens your commitment.

When things are going badly, trying especially hard to say “excuse me”or, “thank you” reinforces respect, care and honor. I love the Indian greeting: Namaskar or Namaste, which means: “the divine that resides in my heart bows to the same divine who resides in your heart”

When you approach your partner with the idea that he or she is essentially divine, mutual respect flows effortlessly.

Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation.~ Oscar Wilde

Let’s Talk

Every morning we get up and have breakfast together. We have organized our life around this practice. We ask quality questions that contribute to our quality life. We talk about what we’re doing, where we’re going, how we’re feeling and what’s changing.

Since I can’t read my partner’s mind – I need to ask her how she’s feeling. I listen, without judgment and resisting the urge to provide solutions or opinions, unless I’m asked.

Over the years we have become sounding boards for each other.

At times our thinking is circular in motion, and nothing gets done. But the idea that we care enough to support each other through adversity makes our relationship great.

A Healthy Me is a Healthy We

Relationship is the expression and reflection of Divinity in our selves and others.

Our unbounded highest Self curving back on itself is simply our relationship with Pure Being, and why we’re here on earth. Accessing and experientially realizing this Supreme Self is the quickest pathway to all worthy relationships.

In this pure understanding, I notice that I share similar desires, needs and truths with everyone I meet. This awareness turns into a deep abiding compassion for all creation, and it is reflected in our 25 year marriage.

It’s a compassion that acknowledges our differences and a willingness to accept and forgive. It is caring and supportive without being judgmental.

I always say, “a healthy me is a healthy we.” Therefore, I strive to be the best I can be. Not for me, but for my wife, because she deserves the best of me. All my relationships deserve my most highest and reverent attention.

This love and attention is a recognition and acknowledgment of the presence of God inside us all. After all, understanding brings peace and freedom from fear.

 


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