Monday, August 27, 2012

Tips for a Successful Relationship

How do you have a successful relationship?  I have read many, many books on this subject to prepare for my relationship with my marine.  In anticipation of his return from afghanistan, I began to read some of the greats: Love and Respect, 5 Love Languages, How we Love, Boundaries, Men are Waffles Women are Spaghetti, Communication books, Necesary Endings, and the list goes on and on. 
My best examples of successful relationships are what I observe from my mom (married for life), my sister (married 20 years), my sister in-law( married 18 years), my friend (married 21 years), and my girlfriend (married 17 years). I have many single, professional girlfriends.  They offer their advice. But I prefer the relationship advice of someone who is successfully IN a relationship over someone who is successfully single anyday.
Mom was passive in public.  She allowed my dad to call the shots and her role was to support his decision.  When she her opinion differed, she would argue in private.  My dad was not perfect, by no means.  Irregardless she forgave his stubborness and harshness and was patient with him. In the early years of their marriage my dad was away for extended periods of time.  He did missionary work.  Mom tended the fort and we never went without.
My sister, runs her home.  She takes care of just about everything relational.  She is a superwoman soccer mom.  Her husband is the planner and takes care of the major finances, although she carries her own weight.  I think she earns a little more than he does, but when it comes to decisions she usually says "Let me talk it over with my husband".  Even when her husband is difficult, she is accomodating and compesates for him. They both live very buzy lives.  He is gone on educational trips and spent a few months out of state on an educational trip.  She tended the home and the kids life did not skip a beat.
My sister in law has her own career and manages the artistic appearance of the home and organizes the bulk of their social life.  My brother, her husband, spent months away doing research and to date he works out of state.  She is used to time alone and she sees the positives in that they value their together time more and get to recharge when they are away from each other.  Sometimes he talks over her and disregards her feelings.  She silences herself and lets him have his moment to speak and control the conversations.  She tidy's up after him and thinks the world of him.  He is brilliant, by the way.
My friend's wife is amazing.  She is a prayer warrior and for 17 years of their marriage she spent time on her knees praying for her husband.  Now he is a model family man and avid churchgoer.  He thanks her  for her prayers and her unconditional love for him.  She was patient when he was rambunctious.
My girlfriend is a balzy SOB.  She is always happy and joking.  Her husband lets her be herself and they have open candid conversations.  They tell each other everything and when they have time off, they love to spend it with each other.  She runs all decisions by him and verifies her calendar with him to ensure she doesnt book friend time in lieu of hubby time.  They both work alot.
The common theme among all these women is this.  They all have to spend significant time away from their person.  They all love their person very much and respect him. By respect, I mean, they partner with him on decisions, they are sure not to disrespect his position or his time.  They value what he thinks and who he is. They are patient with him and support his decision and his ways. None of these women are weak.  Most likely they can stand on their own.  In their case, they chose to submit to the will of their husbands and rest in a role of support and encouragement to them.   Their examples are better than any book.

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