“Great Relationships Do Not Just Happen. They Are The Result of Bold Decisions.” ~ Mark Webb
1) A great relationship requires effort and sacrifice. What you get out of it is the same degree you put into it. Don’t cut corners and try to be cheap in your efforts. Going the extra mile will bless you in uncountable ways.
2) Don’t talk bad about your partner behind their back. What they don’t know won’t hurt them but it will gradually destroy how you view your partner. Your friends will follow your lead and over time they will poison your views of your partner as well.
3) Strive to understand your partner better instead of putting your efforts into being understood. Make getting to know your partner’s dreams and interests your priority.
4) Your partner is rarely upset for the reason you may think. Learn to pay attention and to ask questions versus making assumptions that you already know what is wrong.
5) If you argue, don’t fight to win. It is possible not to argue but if you do; maintain a sense of respect and honor for your partner. Don’t say things that are hurtful and full of negative emotion.
6) Trust takes time to build. Keep your promises and be consistent in your words and actions. Trust helps a couple maintain their sense of playfulness and youthful energy. They are able to relax in the certainty that their relationship is grounded in trust.
7) Commitment is crucial. Be as committed as possible to your relationship. Do not hold back for fear of getting hurt or out of concerns of past failures in other relationships. Your level of commitment may be the most important aspect of your relationship’s success.
8) Your relationship is a reflection of your desire. Hold a very strong desire for your partner and watch your relationship soar to heights you have never imagined. Enjoy everything about your partner and enjoy every minute with them; even if they seem self-consumed.
9) Don’t make humorous putdowns about your partner. It’s funny when you see it on television but strive to never make your partner the brunt of your jokes. Over time it will hurt their esteem and they may grow to resent you.
10) Counseling is cheaper than divorce. If your partner ever suggests that you both need counseling, then you should go, either individually or as a couple. Be open to the process. Ask anyone who refused to go and lost a great partner; they will tell that they regret not going to counseling. The only thing you will have to lose is some bad habits. The benefits will far outweigh anything else.
11) Be careful in your efforts to give well intended feedback. Criticism whether constructive or otherwise is still criticism. Be mindful of how you speak to your partner when you are trying to point out their areas of needed improvement.
12) Your opinion isn’t necessarily the truth. Different people view things differently. Don’t be so determined to have your way that you forget to appreciate the opinions of your partner. Most couples are opposites and their differences compliment the relationship’s completeness.
13) Allow yourself to be vulnerable sometimes. Great relationships don’t operate out of a defense mode but rather one of openness.
14) Strive to meet your partner’s needs. Being service oriented towards your partner means putting their needs ahead of your needs. Your level of greatness as a partner can be measured in your servitude.
15) Learn to truly listen. Know when to shut up and pay attention. One of the most honoring things you can do for your partner is to listen when they talk. What you have to say may seem important but you are only one side of the relationship. By listening, you may truly hear what your partner is saying about the relationship.
16) Don’t be bossy and demanding. Do you want respect or connection? Don’t compromise your level of connectedness for things like being right or having them treat you in unwavering significance.
17) Don’t let your job get your best energy. Your job, your children and your relationship should always receive at least an 80% effort. I encourage you to give your relationship a 90% to a 100% effort. The investment of time and energy pays great rewards.
18) Forgiveness is required. Don’t hold resentments towards your partner.
19) Remember your manners. Always show proper etiquette towards your partner. Just because the relationship is locked in doesn’t mean you can neglect behaviors of respect and honor.
20) Focus on what your partner does right versus what they do wrong. If overall your partner scores around 80% in terms of what you want from a partner; then learn to let a little bit slide from time to time.
21) Relationships aren’t 50/50. They are 100/100! Don’t ever coast as a partner. Always give your best to your partner. Strive to be a great partner and a great relationship will unfold. Don’t focus on whether your partner is doing their 100%; but rather focus on your end of things.
Mark Webb is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice at South Georgia Psychiatric and Counseling Center in Valdosta. He is the author of How To Be A Great Partner. Mark has been in the field of helping individuals and couples since 1986. He has a vast amount of experience and he can have a very positive impact on your life and your relationship. If you are looking for individual or marriage counseling, please call his office in Valdosta, Georgia and his staff will help you set up an appointment.
South Georgia Psychiatric and Counseling Center
2704 N. Oak St. Blg B-3
Valdosta, Georgia 31602