Sonia and Tom
Sonia and Tom had been regular guests around the dinner tables of friends for the 5 years of their relationship. They were fun, entertaining, good storytellers, real life-of-the-party types.
But of recent times, their social calendar was looking sparse.
The sparkle and zest had gone out of their company, once the acid tones crept into Sonia's voice when she spoke of/to Tom. Everyone could hear it, and felt uncomfortable.
Tom would voice an opinion and Sonia would come back with some funny/cruel line that made Tom look, and feel, small! They always sounded like they had interrupted their latest fight to come out and socialise, and everyone paid THAT price.
It made you want to stand in front of Tom and shield him from the verbal arrows. Who needs that?
Respect and Goodwill
One of the key secrets to successful relationships is a simple value that our Mums and Dads probably taught us - Respect and Goodwill.
What turns that head-over-heels love into a belief that Your Adored One is always "out to get you"? What would make you think that a nasty attack is the best form of defence? Where has that mean spirit come from and how long do you want to live with it?
For some reason slowly and painfully respect and goodwill have leaked out of the "lovin' feeling"
How can you tell?
Here's some questions:
- Do you tend to keep tabs on how much you or your partner has/hasn't done?
- Do you make concessions to, or do things for your partner to earn brownie points?
- Does one displeasure get rolled into a whole pile of sins just as you start complaining?
- Are there lots of things he/she "should" have done or said that you can't forget?
- Do you criticise openly and/or frequently?
- Can she/he make a good decision any more? Or do you frequently find fault with most of her/his choices?
- Do you often sulk or play the martyr to get your own way?
- Is your way the "best" way? In whose eyes?
- Do you tell others about what you have to "put up with"?
- Do you often manipulate? "If you loved me, then you'd ..."
- With what kind of tone do you speak to/about your partner? Do you shout at him/her?
- Do you make negative comments publicly/privately? "You're a loser!"
- Do you deliberately "stuff up" tasks so you won't be asked again?
There are 13 questions in that list. If you mentally said Yes a few times then you have to wonder how much respect and goodwill you have towards your partner, and probably vice versa.
If respect and goodwill are missing then, without changing your attitudes and behaviours, your partnership is probably on the slippery slope!
Why is respect and goodwill so important?
Well you see if you think that your partner has your BEST interests at heart, then:
- the chances of you misrepresenting/misinterpreting things heard and said are diminished
- the tone with which you speak is different
- your interest in what's happening in her/his life rises
- your opportunities to laugh improve
- your chances of fights diminish
Doesn't THAT sound appealing?
Think about it ...