Relationships, like water, cannot lie still. Else, they stagnate. We can either choose to make a relationship great, or let it slack.
What makes love a labour of love depends on how much we respect and value the people who come into our lives.
Respect is at the core of all relationships. When we respect, we revere. In life's many aspects, relationships form an integral part of our development and emotional wellbeing.
A case in point
Harish, a 30-year-old marketing executive, wondered where his wife and he were headed. Harish found Sunita, a housewife, often on the 'phone talking to her friends, or shopping and dining out, leaving him in the "microwave." Post-it cards seemed a familiar form of communication for the couple that married two years ago.
While Harish blamed his wife for the breakdown of communication, he failed to notice the pattern he developed in the early days since their marriage. While Harish made time to meet Sunita during their courtship, Sunita found herself at the receiving end of his frustrations and abusive language with no regard for her wanting his affections. Worse, Harish assumed his obligations were fulfilled by way of marriage.
Feeling unwanted and inferior, Sunita chose to hide herself behind rather than having to hear her husband was, perhaps, having an affair with someone more charming. A lacklustre life was sure draining her vitality, while Harish had become a haggard hustler.
Harish and Sunita loved each other and had made the commitment to spend the rest of their lives together. But relationships, like plants, if not watered, wither. Harish took for granted the significant "other" in his life, and Sunita felt too terrified and helpless to confront him.
Spend quality time together
What would have really helped in the Harish-Sunita situation was some quality time spent together, at least once a week, when Harish could put aside his work, and Sunita, in turn, could make an effort to understand the hectic demands of his job.
Notes Dr Kersi Chavda, a psychotherapist, "Great relationships depend largely on making time for the person, sharing good news as well as bad; all this shows you care." He adds, "If the person spends time with a positive intent, it makes him/her feel good and increases the feelings of security, or being bonded which is a necessity to survive."
Add to this, the following pointers, and you can make things work for you:
- Life is a series of small events. This applies to relationships
- It is not difficult to build great relationships. All you need is commitment
- When a person is important enough in our lives, we commit to keep the relationship alive. This, by itself, brings enthusiasm
- A sense of steadfast commitment contributes to making each day together a pleasure and blessing.
Small things; big dividends
It is the small things we overlook that sour relationships to the point of disharmony. Commitment may appear a big word. However, it is essentially the building of a relationship which comes about as a natural progression when the person is someone we cherish or want to draw into our lives. When we feel good about having the person in our life, it is important to show and express it. Most often, relationships break down for want of communication.
By communication, we do not mean words like, "I love you," or candy and flowers, although they have a beautiful way of re-affirming affection.
It is these little things like knowing what the other would appreciate that makes life brighter. It reflects thoughtfulness - an endearing quality:
- Little errands, such as helping with kitchen chores, or tidying up by oneself
- Little matters, like taking the other into confidence, or a change that involves both individuals, can affect relationships
- Think also of co-operative teamwork, within couples, within families, and within teams at work.
All this leads to better understanding and rewarding lives, not to mention enduring relationships.
Accept and trust
We all know what makes great relationships truly great. Yet the fact remains: great relationships are not without strife or their dose of disagreement. Even when individuals involved may not see eye-to-eye on certain issues, they accept the other person for what s/he stands for and try to understand his/her point of view, however, different it may be.
So, what would have otherwise been a contentious issue, holding the relationship by a thread, becomes a challenge they may not like. Yet, they are comforted in the knowledge that they are not alone. This can lead to an amiable compromise.
Trust makes tough decisions easier. For example -
Without trust, there can be no worthy relationships. What kind of a relationship would it be when you have to constantly look over your shoulder, and inspect your partner's every move? In trust lies faith.
Since people are mutually important to each other, any decision could be arrived at keeping in mind the sensitivity and needs of both people involved and not at the cost of, or in the bid to overstep the other. The harmony that comes with trust can do wonders - be it in a family, or at the workplace.
It is a chain of tiny, thoughtful efforts that brings about great relationships. It is a chain of caring, unselfish endeavours that enhances a person's emotional wellbeing and, in turn, encourages the person to contribute more to furthering the relationship.
This is what we may all relate to as a string of happiness, or success - a gradual and beautiful nurturing of emotional needs of the individual who is a gift to life and in every sphere of it.
In other words, what sustains love can sustain great relationships - and, also life as a whole.
Two to tango
Unless you love yourself, it's hard for you to believe that anyone else will.
Like your partner
Healthy relationships happen between two people who really like each other. It may be more romantic to talk about love, but it's important to remember that love is an emotion that comes and goes.
Good communication is essential for a healthy relationship. It's the only way you can tell your partner who you are, what you want and why you behave the way you do. Talking is the way we let each other into our private worlds.
It's important to accept that arguments are a normal part of a relationship. We are all unique and so are bound to have our differences.
Touch every day
Touching is a vital human need. Being caressed also lowers blood pressure and releases natural opiates in the brain, as well as the chemical oxytocin, which is essential for human pair-bonding.
People change over the years and it's these changes that can keep a relationship alive. Life changes too - and not always in ways that we want.
Keeping all these principles going is not easy, but the more you can manage on a regular basis, the stronger your relationships will be.
- Team CW
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