Last month, we discussed how to manage being disappointed by your partner. Being respectful – even when your partner messes up — is a skill that must be “practiced” to be mastered. But it’s worth the effort so that your partner feels energized and inspired to change an inconsiderate behavior — as opposed to feeling defeated and unwilling to even try. Here’s a great application of The Golden Rule: Love others as God loves you – make the way you love — resemble the way God loves you!
This month — what successful couples know – is that they owe each other everything; and they are owed nothing in return — ergo, each person behaves as if they owe the other person everything – a consciousness of good intention and thanksgiving – a consciousness of gratitude – a consciousness of never taking any act for granted – regardless of how great, or how small, or how often the act takes place.
For example, not responding with elation each time your partner calls or texts during the day (because this is expected).
Another example, not responding with grateful words and a grateful countenance when your partner prepares dinner (because this is expected).
Function (walking and living) in a spirit of thanksgiving (instead of a spirit of expectation) moves mountains of emotional irritation – “we decide to owe each other everything – our hopes, dreams, and desires — but we also decide we are owed nothing in return.” We intentionally love and pour out such love without expecting anything in return. According to Rev. Andy Stanley, when our hopes, dreams, and desires become expectations the relationship becomes transactional — creating a debt/debtor relationship – creating a relationship that cannot stand the test of time.
Communication at the onset is very important – share your hopes, dreams, and desires with your partner. For certain, oftentimes your hopes, dreams, and desires will not be met; however, they will never feel burdensome to you or your partner. Remember your hopes, dreams, and desires are yours and ultimately your responsibility — when you make your hopes, dreams, and desires expectations for your partner – you create tension, burdens, and weight in the relationship. Walking in the intention and consciousness of “giving it your best shot” and always “being grateful” for whatever act or action that takes place makes the difference — and successful couples know this all too well.
Next Month, we will discuss how to manage your hopes, dreams, and desires. Your homework is to define and list your hopes, dreams, and desires.