30th January, 2015
By Aidy Thomas
As a way of starting off the new year, I decided to go through my letters to see which questions occurred severally so to help me know what to respond to urgently.
There were loads of responses on how to make more money, how to chose a good partner, secrete of lasting love, signs of a good relationship, how to call it quit, etc. The conclusion drawn was to do a piece to reflect things people might count as small but turn out to have great impact on the strength of the union.
Building relationship on its own sounds a tedious task taking into consideration the number of failed or badly managed ones readily available. Young folks are scared to give a chance; older ones are tired of living in unhappy ties: feeling trapped.
The solution really should not be a ‘quick quit’ which people unfortunately think is the way out of trouble. The question is “How many relationships will you quit”? Challenges are everywhere and each union has its peculiar falls; sometimes only known to its parties. Looking from afar, you’ll be tempted to think it’s better off with others without knowing that they are just trying to carry on with life.
Having said that, relationships can be a lot better if certain things are done differently; they do not have to be big sacrifices all the time- little ones can also suffice.
Little things like…..
Being cheerful: When there are no smiles, your partner is bound to feel highly uncomfortable. Recently in UK , there was news of a man who beheaded is wife after losing his job. Trying to analyse the situation, people think it was an act of depression or frustration that pushed him to that extreme. In most cases, ‘big bangs’ like murder do not just happen; it starts with disagreement, resentment, picking quarrels, argument, etc.
Smiling does not only make you look younger; it lightens the atmosphere around you such that people would love to hang out where you are. A cheerful spouse is fun to be with- said a married man who claimed his wife’s ‘all smiles’ attitude helped him cope with many challenges of life.
Frequent conversation: Silence can be golden but the one you love wants to hear you talk about issues that matter. Nagging is certainly not part of this package as no sane person desires such. Clear and simple communication helps people understand themselves, be part of what is happening in the other fellow’s life, share feelings, seek solution and finally bond nicely.
Belief system: Without any intentions to sound restrictive, it’s been observed by behavioural analysts that people who have the same religious belief tend to cope better than others with diverse views. That single act of having a common spiritual ‘source’ and taking time often to worship is quite refreshing and can encourage couples to be like minded.
Mutual Child care: Women might be seen as primary carers but how good will it feel to have a dad ask to change nappies? Children want to know that both parents do love and care for them. Lulu, a woman who has been running round town; dropping children in different schools (nursery, primary & secondary) was not seen for about three days. Her friends and acquaintances wondered what happened and finally rang her up to enquire. Her reply was overwhelming- “My husband is off work for a whole week and has asked me to catch a break from all of that school run and busy stuff. Her friends envied her but hey! didn’t she deserve the break? She also felt deeply loved and you can tell how ‘Mr right’ will be appreciated for that move.
Planning: Ability to be a good planner is a valuable skill but rubbing minds with your loved one to proffer solutions or handle a difficult situation will draw you so close that separation will be near impossible. I remember my former boss saying very often that “Two good heads are better than one”. Take advantage of the fact that there is someone willing to join forces with you to make life better.
Encouragement: If most people had the kind of encouragement needed for survival, there would be reduced cases of failure recorded both at paid employment and private businesses. Telling someone ‘they can make it’ is quite soothing and can help build confidence that will in turn enhance performance. Once your spouse identifies you as a source of encouragement; you can be sure of having a smooth ride.
Holiday: Taking time out to be with each other is good for relationships. Holiday offers a perfect atmosphere if well planned. House chores and daily routines give way to luxury private moments where you can actually repaint the pictures of your initial fantasies and honeymoon cuddles difficult to grasp amidst hectic schedule. The whole idea is to bring spark into your lives.
Watch dog: We all know how much people hate to be monitored, corrected, criticised or told what to do but for every successful man/woman; there is someone behind or beside them. Something as little as choosing the right clothing for occasions can mess you up- big time. A person who has his/her spouse to suggest: try this or keep that, is likely going to come out more gorgeous than a one man/woman show. Checking for character flaws and ways to effectively manage them provides cover for your mate.
Validation: No one outgrows compliments or kind words. Speak nicely to the one you love; it makes them tick. If you refuse to tell them that they are great; outsiders will do it for you and also have a place in their heart- something you wouldn’t want to hear; isn’t it?
Play by the rule: People are so different from others and their need are too so playing by the rule; simply put, relate with people according to who they are, what they like and what they expect of you. Now, this puts the ball right back in your court: you have the responsibility of finding out what will make your relationship work. Find it, do it and enjoy it!