What virtues do you admire, appreciate in your partner?
LOVE by DESIGN
“Why do people get married?” I heard someone ask during a discussion on why couples were parting ways at such a high rate — stemming from a recent story that indicated that Zimbabwe had experienced 100 percent increase in divorces in 2022 — which I found astronomical if true. It got me wondering just what can be done to promote healthier, long lasting relationships.
Looking at everything going on in our society, I feel we seem to get so caught up on a lot of the wrong things, someone described it as majoring in minor things. Have you ever noticed how people in general, are often more concerned about the latest actions of celebrities, and lifestyles of those they have never met in some cases, than the improvement and happiness of their own lives and relationships or the pursuit of their own passions?
In last week’s instalment I did promise that we would touch more on the qualities to cultivate and appreciate in a partner, having been challenged by the story of one character referred to as Angela, in the book Secrets of Fascinating Womanhood, who wanted to leave her husband because she focussed on so many ‘wrong things’ that she saw in him. But with a change of perspective, once she had received coaching on how to really appreciate her husband for who he was, things turned around for both of them.
The task Angela and others who were taking the fascinating womanhood class, was for each person to write down all the good they admired in their spouses. This particular woman couldn’t think of anything positive at first, because she was blinded by anger towards him for the things he wasn’t dong right according to her expectations. I’ve observed it’s a common tendency in relationships especially marriages, to focus on the negative traits in one’s significant other, so much that any good they do, or any good qualities they actually possess, are completely overshadowed.
No doubt everyone has their own preference when it comes to what makes a good partner. You know what your ideal spouse should be like, but it is important to realise it doesn’t mean what you want and what you need are always the same thing. Nurturing as well as appreciating good qualities in a partner can contribute to a couple’s happiness and ability to work through any challenges when they come — as they often do.
When was the last time you told your partner you love them? Well maybe today? But when was the last time you told them what it is you love about them?
So I have an exercise for you if you might like, especially if you are married or in a serious relationship: to list the positive attributes in your partner and you might be amazed at how many you will find. You’re welcome to share on the feedback details provided at the end of the article. I’ve seen couples that can’t seem to have a civil conversation with polite or courteous conversation. Everything is just harsh, the man bellowing instructions and demands, the woman bursting and lashing at her husband.
What I say is, stop with the character bashing. Think about what brought you together. See the good in your partner and appreciate that. More often than not, it produces positive results as you magnify and cultivate the good that is in your partner.
So my challenge to you is, out of more or less 200 good qualities listed in the book Fascinating Womanhood, see how many apply to your partner, I can almost guarantee you will find countless that actually apply to your partner.
All too often, our partners have great qualities but do we appreciate, do we see it or are we always looking for “greener pastures” elsewhere? When we ruin the relationship there’s a n inclination to look for the “devil under every bush” instead of taking responsibility, as my choir director (once upon a time) used to say, when he was teaching us about faithfulness to God and preparation for dating.
Appreciation of your partner is one of the many ways you can take charge of the happiness and growth of your relationship. In all things give thanks. Lets keep the conversation going.
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