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    Why Some Relationships Work

    By Kristen Houghton     

    If any one person could find a formula for just the right ingredients that would make a relationship work well, that person would not only become a multi-millionaire but would win the Nobel Prize for Peace as well! The field of relationships is that complicated and tricky.

    Yet there are some couples who seem to have, if not the perfect relationship, a very good workable one.

    Interviewing couples for this article, I found that there was one theme all of them seemed to have in common. Even as a couple, each one had his or her own identity. This was as true of the couple who ran a successful catering business together as it was for the man and woman who agreed to live on one salary so the woman could be a stay-at-home-mom to their first child.

    They knew exactly who they were and what they wanted to have in their lives.

    Your own identity is a combination of self-esteem and individual interests. This means that you are not so totally dependent upon your significant other that you have no life outside your relationship. You are you.

    The couple who have the catering business work long hours side by side. On some hectic days, it isn’t unusual for them to be together for over eighteen hours. Yet each has their own interests. She is a runner and does her running in the early morning hours of each day. Her goal is to run in the Boston Marathon. He plays basketball twice a week without fail and participates in a semi-pro league. Each partner knows that this part of the other’s life cannot be compromised in any way. It makes them who they are.

    The stay-at-home-mom volunteers at a library twice a week and sings in a local choir. Music is very important to her and always has been. Her husband takes gourmet cooking classes. He loves creating special dishes for family and friends. These interests are sacred and each respects what the other one does.

    Being a couple, whether married or not, doesn’t mean that you give up your individuality. The person who had specific interests or talents as a single man or woman should not give them up simply because they are now part of a couple. Your passion for art, music, athletics, or anything else, defines you as a person. They are part of what makes you, you.

    Relationships where one person sacrifices their own interests for the other rarely work. The person doing the sacrificing becomes frustrated and angry at not doing something close to his or her heart. Nor will a relationship survive if one partner ridicules the other for what he or she likes to do. Mutual respect is a necessary part of any relationship as is encouraging your partner to continue personal interests.

    Though some adjustments in time and money may have to be made as to the extent of your participation in your interest, no one should discard what gives them enjoyment. Think of this time spent as an investment in yourself.

    Relationships work well if each person realizes that there are two individuals who have chosen to be together and that each one has a distinct identity. Hidden in the “we” is a “me.”

    Written by Kristen HoughtonRate this article:

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