Recipe to a Healthy Relationship
There are blogs, books, and articles in which you can find any of your favorite recipes. Recipes on pasta, meat, deserts, etc are just a click away. The recipe which may be most important to your life may be the hardest to find, and that’s the recipe to a healthy relationship.
There are some fundamental steps to take to make sure that a marriage can be happy and long lasting.
Step 1: Honesty is by far the best policy…
Many people use the term “white lie”, as though the implied innocence of the color white negates the lie. It doesn’t. In fact white lies create a foundational lack of respect between two people.
“Honey, the shoes only cost $50”, LIE!! The shoes really cost $75. “Baby I only bet $25 on the game”, LIE!!! You really bet $35 on the game.
Yes, it may seem insignificant to lie over a few dollars or some minor details of a story, however you tempt creating an atmosphere where everything you say is second guessed and must go through an informal vetting process in order to get to the truth.
The obvious implication of a relationship based on trepidation is the stress that ensues when people lie to each other.
So in the future be aware of what you are saying. It may seem insignificant, but why tempt fate? Make sure what you share with your partner is both honest and accurate.
Step 2: Fight fair, don’t hit below the belt…
You will have fights with your partner; it’s about as close a guarantee as death and taxes. Even the happiest of marriages will have disagreements as it is only natural to disagree from time to time. The common factor in those relationships which withstand turmoil is that the fights never “hit below the belt”.
You may disagree on politics or religion, you may have cultural differences which make it hard to understand each other, and you may even disagree over what’s for dinner. The only way to withstand is to make sure that you as adults come to a healthy, peaceful resolution which does not become a battle of insults.
Remember, you can never erase what you say.
Step 3: R-E-S-P-E-C-T…
Try to always remember what it was that initially attracted you to your partner. Remember what exact admiration you had for each other from the start and where it stemmed from.
We alluded to lies being characteristic of a relationship lacking respect before, however there are many characteristics most of which are personal.
Be open with each other. Tell each other often what ultimately gained your respect for one another. Tell others as well. It’s important to constantly reinforce what it is that you love about your partner or you may forget it in the midst of your every day stresses.
Always try to describe and think of your partner in the most positive light both privately and publically.
Step 4: Live, Laugh, Love…
Dealing with the everyday expectations of life can sometimes be very stressful. Bills, work, and family can be some of the contributing factors to the stress of life. This is when it becomes important to remember to laugh at things. It’s those couples that shed the brightest light on a dark situation that are most at peace with stress and in turn with each other.
Do things together that are light and require teamwork. Mindless activities such as taking walks, watching a funny movie, even exercising together can create moments of levity which allow you to escape and regroup.
The brain works in a way that it also requires rest. When you stress, you lose sleep, when you lose sleep, you stress. It’s a vicious cycle that needs to be broken by an intense focus on losing focus. Try to clear your brain with yoga or meditation. Even attempt to sit in the dark with your eyes closed for 10 minutes in the middle of your day. Those 10 minutes can go a long way in creating a relaxing atmosphere that leads to a happier and healthier marriage.
Step 5: Let’s Get Physical…
Let’s face it; sex is a major part of life and our relationships.
According to Sigmund Freud, who is often referred to as the “Father of Psychology”, human beings, much like animals are motivated by two “basic drives”, as he referred to them. One being aggression, the other being sex.
The flaw in Mr. Freud’s theory is that when you enter a relationship, a partnership, it is no longer about your individual needs/wants, but more so about the collective betterment of the relationship.
A relationship based entirely on sex has no chance to survive because one or both parties will eventually get over the lust and look for it elsewhere.
It’s important to establish a kinship more so than sexual attraction in a marriage. Be conscious of the power of touch. Hold hands, hug, kiss each other hello and goodbye, understand that these connections with the one you love are far more important to your long term gratification, than the short term gratification which sex offers.
Remember the things you did early in your relationship which kept you wanting more of each other. Go to the movies, dinner dates, and weekend road trips, are all tremendous ways to keep the flame kindled, and enjoy the connection of your life partner.
Remember to follow the steps to this recipe thoroughly. Bake on high until you achieve a spiritual richness, a collective sweetness, and flavor for one another that keeps you wanting more… Bon Appétit….