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How Do You Keep A Relationship Working?
by Richard Bailey
TheSyndicatedNews columnist

Richard Bailey is a former Exec. Producer of the Deaf Broadcast Network and News Director for, as well as serving as a theatre,TV, film critic for several Los Angeles publications.

A relationship with your loved on is a wonderful thing. Until it begins to unravel. Little things begin to gnaw away at what was once taken for granted. Perceived thoughtlessness, unintended slights, and mounting disrespect begin to add up. The care that partners treated each other with slowly but surely comes apart.

The magic has gone. You’re at a loss as to what happened, when it happened, and where it’s going now. Once the process begins it becomes more and more difficult slow down or stop. What’s a person to do?
Most psychologists tell us that successful relationships have a dominant and submissive partner. One partner sets the rules and the other follows. This often leads to the dominant partner becoming insensitive to the needs of the submissive partner, who becomes resentful. Dominance and submissiveness doesn’t solve this problem.

Still, there are several things partners can do to keep their relationship meaningful and successful. It’s called getting back to the basics. Here are a few things to try whether you are beginning a relationship or trying to save one.

Listen. Then talk, and then listen again. Don’t interrupt, especially if you think you already know what your partner is going to say. Even if you’ve heard it before. Repetition is a clue to what needs understanding.

Realize men and women have different ways of listening. Men listen with the left, analytical side of their brain. Women listen with the right, more intuitive side of their brain. Women respond to emotional content more than men; while men concentrate on the more factual, they are trying to analyze what’s being said. This is why men think that when a woman discusses something that it demands a solution. It’s also why women don’t often understand why a man can’t understand that she just wants to talk.

Don’t wait to be asked. There’s an old adage about working around the house. If you see something that needs doing, do it. Don’t wait to be asked. Avoid having to say “Geez, all you had to do was say something, I don’t mind doing it.”

Share the household responsibilities. The line between men’s work and women’s work is blurring. When it comes to cleaning, cooking, doing the laundry, and taking out the garbage, both partners should be in there getting it done. Don’t be afraid to get things for yourself.
Don’t treat your partner like a servant. Get up and get the snack yourself. Ask if your partner wants something as well while you’re up.

Don’t expect your partner to do the things for you your parents did. Don’t wait for your partner to get up and head or the kitchen and then try to slip your order in while they’re on the way. And most of all remember a little kindness goes a long way. It’s your relationship with your loved one we’re talking about. Be kind.

Published: Jul 19,2008 14:40
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