Ever wonder how some couples manage to stay together against all odds? Recently, I attended the 70th wedding anniversary party for the grandparents of a dear friend of mine. I was fascinated by their insights and the fact that they had been and remain sweethearts for over 75 years. Here’s their secret.
- Write down the purpose and desired results for your partnership.A partnership without a stated purpose and intended results is like a ship setting sail without a chart or plotted course. The purpose should be stated in a way that lifts the spirit of all partners.
- Make choices grounded in love rather than fear.Become aware of your automatic reactions that are based in fear and look for the love choice instead. Ask yourself, what would love do or say in this situation?
- Mutually agree upon strategies for dealing with predictable breakdowns, i.e., miscommunications, upsets or disagreements, and use them when needed.It is important to have these strategies in place before the breakdowns occur. It is difficult, if not impossible, to create and implement them in the middle of a breakdown.
- Commit to win/win outcomes; don’t settle for anyone being the loser.For the partnership to win, all partners need to win. If anyone in the partnership loses, the entire partnership loses. Keep asking questions that lead you to the win/win outcome.
- Communicate honestly from the heart and practice high-performance listening.People respond positively to the expression of heart-felt truth because it builds trust, even if they don’t agree with it. High performance listening is listening without judgment for the concerns of the other person that may be hidden behind their words.
- Assume personal responsibility for your emotional reality and refrain from blame.Blame and projection will pollute the emotional climate of a partnership faster than anything.
- Take the initiative for the satisfaction of your own needs and wants and make clear requests of others that inspire their cooperation.Don’t wait for people to guess what will make you happy. Nobody likes to endure demands or covert manipulation.
- Share power rather than struggle for it.Let go of the need to be right all the time. Value others ideas and perceptions as being as valid as your own. Heal your unresolved power/authority issues from the past.
- See problems as opportunities.Every problem contains the gift of spiritual development within it. Learn to unwrap the package.
- Nurture a conscious relationship with your Soul.
The more spiritually attuned you are, the more enlightened you and your partnerships will be.