Saturday, February 06, 2010

Valentine is about love, romance and twosomes. Yet, it is next to impossible to have an intimate Valentine's Day when your relationship is subject to resentment and conflict. It is like going for dinner with an upset stomach. Again this year, thousands tolerate their relationships, rather than enjoying them. Thousands are at the brink of break-up and just as many will head for the divorce court. Single again, thousands will walk away from the all-you-eat-buffet of dating companies with empty stomachs. Despite this sad state and plenty of how-to advice, we ignore the true catalyst for powerful change: Improving Our Characters! Our relationship and dating affairs are out of control and need critical attention NOW!
Ben and Tara have lived a silent war for years. With a part-time job and 3 children, she blames Ben for always working and never being at home. Ben, working his butt off to provide for his family, blames Tara for being uncooperative. Not quite ready to call the quits, the wall between them seems impossible to climb. Ben's statement of defense: Tara knew from day one that my work commitment would absorb all my time. Tara's comeback: What I agreed to then does not work now. With resentment growing faster than the will to compromise, this deteriorating marriage is sucking the life out them. The facts are that:
  • Relationships have to work for both partners.
  • Life and people change, a fact we must consider in our relationships.
  • Conflict resolution must focus on the NOW - not the past.
Regardless of why or when Ben and Tara arrived at this juncture, their relationship needs critical attention by way of compromise. Compromise leads to conflict resolution by using the 3 principles of being Fit 2 Love:
Mutual RespectYour partner is just as important as you are! Tara must regain respect for Ben and his work while still insisting that he spent more time with his family. Ben must realize that even though his family benefits from his work, they suffer from his absence. Less hours at work, better time management, cutting down expenses are a few suggestions. Where there is a will, there is a way!
Moral ResponsibilityYou are always responsible when in a relationship! Tara and Ben have the power to make each other feel miserable or exceptional. What will it be? They are responsible for each other's well-being and have an obligation to become better people for each other. With family at home, Ben can't spend every moment at the office. Tara cannot simply complain without offering solutions.
AuthenticityLove only happens when you are real! Like many in strained relationships, you may have become passive-aggressive and no longer are as loving as you once were. Buried under fear and resentment you are afraid to be you. Don't hide, instead, ask for what you need from your partner. Explain how you feel. Address issues in a non-accusing manner. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Step forward and live the change you like to see. Love can only re-emerge when you lose the fear of being you!
In any strained relationship, the deep question is: Do I really want this to work? The answer can only be a “yes” or “no”. If “yes” you must compromise for the sake of a more rewarding relationship. Our selfish what's-in-it-for-me attitude never works. If you can say “yes” wholeheartedly and live by the 3 simple principles above, your relationship will improve instantaneously - guaranteed!
Allie Ochs 

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