Awhile back I wrote an article called Organize Your Relationship (Part1) at http://www.i-deal-lifestyle.com/1/post/2011/10/organize-your-relationship-part-1-by-marla-stone-lifestyle-coach.html
I took some time to write part 2, wanting to give the most important steps I could think of, for having a long lasting,
mutually satisfying and loving relationship, and this is what I came up with to help you.
The secret to a wonderful relationship is R.E.S.P.E.C.T..
When there is RESPECT and a mutual admiration going between couples it just makes
sense to be with each other. Once respect is gone so is the love of being
together. Respect means respect. You don't cross your partner's boundaries.
You nuture autonomy in each other. You are not being bossy, controlling and a know it all.
The best way to know what respect means is to look it up and read about the meaning of the word. Also knowing the antonyms of the word respect is really very helpful.
The next thing is EXCITEMENT. There is nothing worse than having
"coupledum" syndrome, meaning dull and dumb meaningless life has set in to
destroy the sparks and energy that keep the fire of love burning, the torch high
and moving fast. Watching tv night after night, going to the same restaurant time after time,
ordering the same menu item, getting into a groove, thinking your are groovy, having
the same reminscent conversations over and over, having sex in the same position
week after week, never adding new activities into your schedule gets OLD.
Being spontaneous, thinking of ways to surprise your partner, in a good way,
livening things up with new activities and stories about your life, your thoughts,
going on vacation to far out places together, and having something interesting
to talk about make for a better, more eventful relationship. We've all seen
the couples sitting in restaurants eating their food, with blank stares and
absolutely not a word between them. Yikes, don't go there. Keep motivated
to think of new ideas for engaging with your partner in fun and exciting ways.
Next for a relationship to have the ultimate in intimacy is obviously SEX. A sexless
relationship is one without passion, pleasure and could lead not only to mental
and medical health challenges, but emotional and mental torture. Sex
also can be many different things besides intercourse.
It could be sensual touching, masturbation, petting etc.... It's not all about a
wild pony ride, but the aspect of physical intimacy is as important to a
relationship as water to a plant. Anyone who says they can live without sex is
lying. We are sexual beings and even babies masturbate.Get over your barriers
and frigidity and start enjoying the free pleasures of sex together. Check out
the couple who, after a sexless marriage had sex 365 days in a row at http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/features/365-nights-of-sex-can-it-strengthen-a-marriage.
My mom always had a funny saying about staying sexually fit..."if you don't use it you lose it".
The next step to having a great relationship is PATIENCE. When
Chaucer wrote in Canterbury Tales 1386, "patience is a virtue" he knew
what he was talking about. Look, a relationship is a bit like a roller coaster,
since humans have what are called, moods. Think of moods like you would think of the weather. Sometimes we are sunny and sometimes we are soggy. I have a friend when asked "how are
you?", answers "fair to partly cloudy". Being upset with your partner, thinking
you will call it quits, and wanting to run away as far as possible does creep
into every individual's mind at times. Knowing that people fluctuate with their
emotions and thoughts and giving your partner a break, taking a deep breath and
seeing how the next day or week pans out, usually will rectify and reunite you
in a new fashion. Being patient enough to see how a relationship grows, sprouts
and blooms is all part of the relationship. Having the insight to know change is
scary but a great path to take while having the calm and fortitude to face it makes
for a relationship with insight and vision.
COMMUNICATION is the key to success for any long lasting relationship. Communicate,
communicate, communicate and you will actually know what is going on between you
and your partner. Otherwise your relationship may be based on false pretenses,
magical thinking (grandiose thoughts that are purely fantasy, not reality) and
loneliness. I have met individuals, when I did couple's counseling, that actually didn't even know their partner's birthday, spontaneously, where they were born or what their partner’s childhood
was like, and these are people that were married a very long time. It was sad
sitting with two uncomfortable strangers. They had never taken the time to
actually have deep and fulfilling conversations. Usually that occurs with people
that have deep intimacy challenges and perhaps suffer from intense introversion.
There is nothing worse than having a relationship between two deeply anxious
introverts, unless it is two deeply disturbed narcissistic extroverts.
Communication always starts with sharing feelings such as hurt, unloved, irritated, uncomfortable, sad, mad, glad, misunderstood etc..... and then you must validate your partner. See
my article on keeping clutter free to learn more about communicating with your
partner at http://www.i-deal-lifestyle.com/1/post/2012/07/is-someones-clutter-getting-in-between-you-and-your-world-marla-stone.html
Finally last but not least is TRUST in you, your partner and the
relationship itself to have the ultimate in partnerships. I would say the most
valuable thing in a relationship is having a trusting relationship with yourself.
If you are not following your own truth, your ideal path, living your ideal
lifestyle, adhering to your own values, but rather lying to yourself, being
unclear about who you are, what you want in life, and not knowing what you
actually value in life, then you are not ready to be truthful, faithful, ideal
or valuable to a partner or partnership. Let's face it, if you value a
monogamous relationship and you are cheating on your partner, look out for a big
kick in the butt and at the very least a dreadful, abhorent existence.
You can only make it your partner's problem for a short period of time before they will
suspect that you are not being who you say you are.
Also if you are unhappy in your career, choice of life goals and or your appearance, and
your partner has to hear you whine about your unhappy self, day in and day out,
trust will break down into disgust instead. If you are not in touch, in tune with
self and can't trust your thoughts, words and actions, then how is your partner
supposed to feel trusting of themselves to be with you.
I really dislike when someone says "trust me". I don't think you EVER give your
trust away, but rather you either feel trusting with others or you don't. If you don't feel a trusting feeling
with your partner first find out if you even trust yourself. If you do realize
you have great faith and trust in self and you still feel distrustful of your
partner then get some clarity about why you are feeling that way. It is okay to
poke and prod about in conversations with your partner to get CLARITY on your
thoughts and feelings. Don't be afraid to communicate your feelings of distrust
with your partner, for fear of losing the relationship, since you are already
in fact losing the relationship if you don't feel trust with the partner.
Finally, if you believe your relationship, is in jeapordy don't hesitate to go
to a life coach, marriage coach and or for couple's counseling.
Don't be the person that says "I don't need to go". Your correct,
you don't "need" to go, you have to "want" to go, if you are
interested in getting back to the path of love.
Look for Part 3 soon!
Marla Stone, MSW, Professional Organizer, Lifestyle Coach, Decor and Feng Shui
Specialist, Public Speaker
call (949) 709-7000 for a free 30 minute phone consultation to find
out more about Self & Space Organization.
I did couple's counseling for years, in Orange County, in private practice. I worked with single people desperately seeking a relationship, people getting divorced, people who had affairs, separated folks, couples who hadn't had sex in way too many years, or intimacy for that matter, pre marital couples, newlyweds and military couples. Now, as a Lifestyle Coach I continue to help people with their relationships, in a different way. There are specific exercises that are simple and easy to recognize the health of your relationships with not only your partner, but your boss, kids, friends and even acquaintances.
Techniques for a happier relationship
#1 Figure out what you want in an "ideal" partner
Write 30 things you want in an ideal partner and GO BIG! The list will be in the positive. Instead of no drug addicts, write Addiction Free. Remember and think about what really matters most to you in a partner. Think down the road at least 10 years and think about things you will want even then.
Has Close and Supportive Friends
Great Family who loves me
Attractive to me
Loves my family
High Self Esteem
Loves to exercise
Good career, job or business
Okay now DON'T use my sample list.
Think of things that are important to YOU.
#2 Own your own feelings
Understand your feelings are your own. You have heard the saying OWN your feelings, well that is because NO ONE makes you feel ANYTHING. I often hear people say "She made me feel" or "he made me feel" or "they made me feel". NO ONE CAN MAKE YOU FEEL ANYTHING. Feelings are stuck inside of you, and they pop up when there is a trigger, but they are in you, and no one put them in there. Triggers can happen any time, place, and the feelings that you feel are yours. I can have 10 people in a room and I could jump up and down and flap my arms wildly and scream I'm a Turkey, and all 10 people will FEEL differently. I did not make them FEEL any of those FEELINGS. I was a trigger, but the feelings are theirs. I have not actually done the above, but I am certain some people would cry, some would laugh, someone would be shocked and someone upset....but I did not make them feel that way!!!
#3 Figure out if your feelings are aligned with what is happening.
Figure out if your feelings match the situation at hand. If your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend is late for dinner at your favorite restaurant, on date night, and you go into a rage, does that match the situation??? NO WAY! Ask yourself what situation would match you going into a rage. Perhaps a loved one being harmed, someone chasing you down an alley at gun point, you were cheated etc... Next ask yourself what would be a natural reaction to someone being late for a date. Perhaps irritation, aggravation, disappointment, or worry. The deepest, darkest feeling you might have is rejection, and even that would be over the top for someone being late to a date. Find out if your feelings match the situation. If not think about where that deep, dark feeling comes from. Did something happen to you that would cause such rage? Ask yourself where does this kind of rage come from? When you figure out which situation(s) the rage began, work through it, and if you can't work through it on your own, get a referral for a licensed professional or Life Coach to help you out.
Even Birds fight! But FIGHTING IS for the birds!
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Marla is known as the Declutter Your Strategy™ expert. Marla earned her BA in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work and is the founder of