It all comes down to two things, namely – who are you being and what do you want?
Let’s suppose your idea of a great relationship means you have trust, honesty, integrity, respect and love, perhaps – sensational. These are all values. So let’s take a closer look.
What does it mean to have these values? What are your rules around each of these values? Are your rules around trust, for example, the same as the other person in your relationship? Are you both on the same page? Does trust mean the same to you as it does to the other person? We all have our own rules around our values.
Then what about the other values – honesty, for example. Would it be OK with you if your version of honesty was not exactly the same for the other person? Does being honest just mean you are honest some of the time or all of the time and then there are varying degrees of honesty. Does this mean it’s OK to cheat on the other person just as long as the other person doesn’t ask or find out? After all, you haven’t actually told him that you are cheating on him and he hasn’t asked! Or does it mean that you respect both yourself and the other person’s world to the extent that you would own up to your situation and be honest with him?
The point is that unless you are both on the same page with your values, when your values are violated this leads to resentment, mistrust, discontent and sometimes worse. It is not long before there is all out war.
We see this on a grander scale with the relationship between nations, companies, co-workers, families, coupled – in fact with any two entities that function together there must be some common values, sometimes called ground rules.
How these rules are implemented depends on the entities involved. Nations have trading agreements or some other agreement to ensure the success of their relationship. Corporate bodies have contracts and so on.
The same thing happens with coupled – there is a common agreement about what the couple actually wants in life. While usually this is not in the form of a formal written legal document, basically it comes about by each of the people involved working towards a common goal and demonstrating respect and consideration for the other person’s world. This can be called love. The success or otherwise of the relationship usually depends on how much discussion has taken place over some of the more vital deal breakers before committing to a relationship. For example, are children important to both parties or only one or neither? It’s too late to send them back after the event!
Of course this is not the only issue that could arise and there are times when things happen that couldn’t have been foreseen and in those circumstances, the success or otherwise of any relationship will be tested.
These views are very simplistically stated and I am aware life is often more complicated. However it’s the issue of values and how they impact on our lives that is really the point.
How do you see your relationship – first with yourself and then with others? After all, if it’s not in you, how can you share what you don’t have already?
I’d be glad to hear your views and remember – be kind to yourself – you are the best friend you have.