The other night I sat at a restaurant observing my surroundings. I am a people watcher and found myself staring at two different couples. One that appeared to me to be newly weds and the other potentially lifelong partners. The younger couple seemed to be anxiously engaged with each other. Touching frequently, laughing together, sharing common expressions, participating in active listening, and seeming to understand one another well. The older couple, who by my estimation should have had the world by the tail, full of life experiences to share, and capable of mastery within relationship were sitting stone faced as if they each were alone. They didn’t seem to share a single word, never touched, and held no positive expression of mutual admiration. It was as if the woman’s eyes uttered, “love me please.”
I wanted to get up and share my feelings with this elder fellow. Nothing more than simple words of encouragement. Suggesting that he do simple things that would get his spouse to open up and share her feelings with him. I didn’t of course… Having left that opportunity on the table, I have elected to share some of what my life experiences have taught me in this post. Perhaps he is a follower of my blog? Who knows…
Do we enter relationships with loved ones believing our enjoyment will be temporary, or only exciting during the time we feel we are “walking on clouds?” Certainly not! We enter hoping each day, month, and year will improve as we become more aware of the importance each of us play in our fulfillment of being human. We all begin believing our friendship will endure and improve over time. We desire that our partners are primary in our lives and will be our bff’s (best friend forever).
What happens then when many relationships find themselves feeling they are unable to pass over bumps along the road? Perhaps as life happens, our love takes a back seat as if it were sitting on the bookshelf alone; neglected collecting dust. Rather than keeping focus on who and what will buoy us up in times of need; we find ourselves taking for granted that which will prove to be most beneficial; the love (support) of our partner.
Marriage is designed to succeed through friendship with one another. Its depth in understanding, richness of unfailing love, and empathy all come as a natural result of “being friends.”
No relationship enjoys these qualities without work. It is impossible to have a fulfilling partnership if both participants aren’t willing to do his/her part. If the above is missing and your relationship isn’t quite where it should be; what should you do to begin pursuing a friendship that leads to the fulfillment of each partner? The beginnings are simple, it is nothing more than truly wanting it and doing what is necessary for your partner to feel your desires (heart). Here is a quick start method:
1- Tell your partner with all the genuineness of your heart that you want to be their “best friend.” Ask things such as, “How can I be a better friend to you?”
2- Now listen to your partner with real interest. Seek their perspective and opinions. Know that nothing stated is to be judged or corrected. You are partners with equal opportunity. A better whole is found when ears of understanding are filled with empathy gained from the heart.
3- Offer to your partner things that made you fall in love: talents, abilities, personality, knowledge, character, way of thinking, similarities, and looks. Share how they make you feel….
4- Find out what your partner is interested in? Ask what makes them tick, what their dreams are, and how your common experiences make them feel…
5- Then develop mutual goals. Discuss priorities seeing that your partners needs are your priority (yours will naturally become theirs).
6- Finally build your partner up in all that you do. Your words, your actions, and in how you present them in discussions with others…
Remind yourself daily that those who you want to be around are those who build you up, allow you to be yourself, and respect you for who you are. Be that person to your spouse.
You will each find desires to do something your partner will enjoy. You will anxiously serve each other with your hearts. It will be natural to feel the love existing and growing between you. And guess what? He/she will want to be with you (forever)! Your friendship will naturally be like the young couple mentioned above filled with excitement for times you share together.
Your marriage will be one for the story books. Your love will move to the front seat, be taken of the shelf, and dusted off just in time to become something many are longing for…