I received this as part of a forwarded email from my cousin-in-law, Gina, and thought it would be nice to share on our blog. :) Enjoy!
WHAT KEEPS A RELATIONSHIP STRONG ARE:
4. A SENSE OF HUMOR
5. SHARING TASKS
6. SOME GETAWAY TIME WITHOUT BUSINESS OR CHILDREN
7. DAILY EXCHANGES (meal, shared activity, hug, call, touch, notes)
8. SHARING COMMON GOALS AND INTERESTS
9. GIVING EACH OTHER SPACE TO GROW WITHOUT FEELING INSECURE
10. GIVING EACH OTHER A SENSE OF BELONGING AND ASSURANCES OF COMMITMENT
I think this list is, as Simon Cowell would say, "spot on!" I'd like to add a few personal comments.
TRUST is obviously a no-brainer. In fact, I'm reminded of someone's latest relationship and how the couple seemed to think that despite the complete lack of TRUST the relationship would work out. Here's what I think... losing someone's TRUST is like getting a really deep wound. It hurts a lot causing a person to cry or even get mad. Because of that hurt, many decide to terminate the relationship with the person who gave them the wound. Others believe in giving second chances (maybe even third and fourth chances) - an admirable trait, but only if you believe that the relationship is worth salvaging. As the saying goes, "It takes two to tango." As long all parties in the relationship agree to give TRUST another chance (that means you REALLY have to start TRUSTING again) and are willing to work on it TOGETHER, it's definitely worth a try. There might be an ugly scar to live with, but the wound always heals.
Personally, I think COMMUNICATION and trust should be tied for #1 on this list. No wait! I take that back. I think COMMUNICATION should be #1. Take a look at the list again: each one is based on COMMUNICATION. Yes, even that "trust" thing. RJ and I "dated" for 7 years - enough time to get to know each other, don't you think? But not a day has gone by since we married that I have not learned something new about him and our relationship, not the least of which is that COMMUNICATION is definitely the key to a happy marriage. Even if we don't agree, just knowing (and respecting!) what the other person is thinking or feeling makes it so much better. Granted, I do more of the "communicating" than he does. :) I just chuck it to the fact that he's a guy. Hahah. I think I've finally succeeded in getting him to share his thoughts and feelings with me. But it wasn't due to persistence. Seriously, I think sometimes men don't "communicate" because they think that women don't really listen. So, after this mindboggling insight, I've tried my best to respect and accept his thoughts, opinions and feelings - yes, even when they're wrong. :) Hahaha. Just kidding hon!
Having that elusive GETAWAY TIME WITHOUT BUSINESS OR CHILDREN is definitely one that we need to work on. We haven't been as trusting (there's that word again!) of leaving Ella with other people. The rare times when we've entrusted (yes, that's the same word) her care to a chosen few, it was because we felt that we had no choice and that we really needed to spend quality time together. Even then, we would decide to skip (or take home) dessert, so that Ella wouldn't be away from us for more than a few hours. Pitiful, no?! Eh, we'll work on it.
RJ and I are a case of "opposites attract." But just because we have different personalities doesn't mean that we can't SHARE COMMON GOALS AND INTERESTS. In fact, we've a long list of common goals and interests since getting married and definitely since Ella joined us. We still bicker about the kind of house we want. I like the charm and personality of an older home, while RJ prefers the newer homes (a la cookie cutter houses). But we agree that we want a good-sized yard for our children. I think discovering new goals and interests to share is one of the more fun and least challenging of the points listed above.
How about you? We would love to hear your take on "What Keeps a Relationship Strong."