“The extent to which two people in a relationship can bring up and resolve issues is a critical marker of the soundness of a relationship.” ~ Henry Cloud

Life is not about who we’re with; what we’re wearing; where we live or how much money we earn. It is all about unfolding an understanding about your Self and about Life itself. One of the speediest ways to unfold understanding is through your relationship. In no other way is who you are and what you think exposed as in a relationship.

If you’re in a relationship and you’re hurting there, here are some ideas to consider that might keep you in the relationship. Some people learn the hard way that if you don’t clean up what is in one relationship, you will simply drag it to the next relationship, because you are the common denominator.

Think through your own relationship and those of some of your friends and see if these issues were there right before the relationship failed:

• You Put Down the Character of the Other. You and your significant other will not always agree. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but when minor disagreements escalate into attacking your significant other’s character, this is an enormous red flag. Remember those days when you loved him or her because of their good traits? They’re still there.

• Hateful Actions. If you’ve forgotten the good about your “other,” you may slide into thinking of them with no love present. You’ll roll your eyes, make hand gestures, say insulting things to them, tease them with cruelty, etc. and all this will be motivated by hate. They might react to what you’re putting out there, but that hatred is inside of you. Not a healthy idea.

• The Blame Game. If all that is wrong in your relationship is the other fellow’s fault, you are feel incapable of resolution. It’s wiser to ask yourself what role you are playing here. What input and responsibility can you own. Whatever you own, you can change. You can’t fix what belongs to another. Blaming your spouse will put the brakes on genuine communication toward a resolution.

• Going Silent. A friend’s husband would lie face down on their sofa and refuse to discuss any problems by going completely silent. He wouldn’t respond to any of her questions. It’s as if she wasn’t even there, and that is the key point: silence removes another from the situation entirely. This resolves nothing except to initiate a breakup.

Honoring Individuality

One of the most beautiful things about this life is the limitlessness of individuality. Think about how many different ways there are to prepare the very same piece of steak, for example. Think about how many ways there are to plant a garden. Each individual has his or her ideas about how things should be in life, and for sure, in a relationship.

One of the ideas for harmonious relationships requiring acceptance of another’s individuality is this one: “Let’s agree to disagree.” This says: It’s okay for me to have my take on things. It’s okay for you to have your take on things. At this time, neither of us wants to budge, so let’s just agree to disagree on this point.

Acceptance is the most practical form that love can assume. If you accept the other in your life – in sickness and in health, for better and for worse, for richer and poorer, etc. – your acceptance basically says “I may not agree with how you are, how you look at things, and your take on this particular issue, but I have made a commitment to be with you and that is precisely what I’m going to do. I might need a breather to remember this.”

When you were young and in love, what you didn’t think about beyond how beautiful the other was, their physical attributes, and the fact they were attracted to you is this: both of you brought to the table unresolved problems that could take dozens of years into the future to be resolved.

How Do I Love Thee; Let Me Count the Ways

Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote a sonnet in the late 1800s but its words are true still today.
• Do I keep tract of what is true and good about you?
• Do I keep sacred the work of our relationship and not share it outside the relationship?
• Do I speak about my own thoughts and feelings without starting sentences with “you” and placing blame outside of myself?

Love inside of a relationship takes decisive intention, dedication for the long haul, and plenty of hard work. This is why it’s said that the quickest way to unfold understanding is inside of a relationship. When your love grows to embrace all the foibles of your mate and all the bumps in the road you’ve encountered, you can celebrate your success.

Author's Bio: 

With over 20 years of experience gained across television, radio and print, Maria Khalifé brings to her clients knowledge and understanding in holistic and motivational living. Maria brings to the world powerful life-changing experiences for those who seek extraordinary lives and want to reach their maximum potential. Maria can help you to uncover your true dynamic self. Please visit http://www.MariaKhalife.com