What Overlooked Things are Important in a Successful Relationship

We try to write and teach about things that come from our direct experience, rather than from theories of relationships. As often happens, we went to breakfast this Friday morning to choose a blog topic. Maude suggested tone of voice, but felt dismissed when Phil said “Yes, but….” Phil’s response was then interrupted by Maude commenting.

We’ve been together long enough to recognize these patterns and express our right to be heard, so we yet again pointed them out, but this meta discussion didn’t get defensive. Instead, it consisted of getting our original points across and critiquing the ways the communication had failed. It wasn’t seen by either of us as a struggle to be right; it was a way to reconcile our different styles.

What is important is that we addressed this immediately. This brought about a very fruitful conversation on what we do and how we are with each other that prevents distance from growing between us. In essence, we’re telling this story because it illustrates a number of points.

  • When things between us stop being smooth, we are conscious of it,
  • and take steps to deal with it,
  • because the connected partnership we have is so valued by both of us.
  • It is easy to do because we have a history of doing this successfully.
  • We know we have the same core values, and so there is nothing to argue over, and we can
  • appreciate our individual differences and the variety they bring.

Besides these points about communication, what else helps us maintain our flow?

As we have written many times, touch is very important. We have observed that we seem to always be touching lightly when we are working on problems and looking for mutual solutions. Staying in physical contact greatly influences the process and outcome. It sounds like a small thing. It isn’t!

Something else that is as important as touch is tone of voice.

We have friends that have been a couple for a really long time. They are deeply in love and have developed a very committed relationship, but for the longest time it was really hard to be with them. The tone of voice that she used when talking with him or commenting on him was grating. It seemed to portray impatience, disdain, and even disregard. It made us flinch and feel like we wanted to get away from that couple as fast as we could, yet they loved each other and found their way to eventually replacing this disrespectful behavior.

In a relationship, it’s important to address things before they fester! #quote #relationships #love Click To TweetPeople often take their partners for granted and don’t take enough time to share thoughts, speaking hurriedly or disregarding their tone of voice. This can lead to unrealized hurt, and unwanted distance being created between mates.

What is the answer to this type of behavior? Respect. Always convey with your words and your actions the high regard you hold your partner in and the respect you have for them. This is paramount for us and that is why it is so obvious when there is any deviation. In those instances, we are able to quickly address them without any real misunderstandings occurring. We are able to use any such disjointed moments as growth experiences for each of us and our relationship.

You may not have an unblemished background like ours to draw on. Nonetheless, past is past, and if you want to live this way, all you need is awareness and intention.

Many of these things are little, but is is these things that build up and often lead to estrangement between couples. And often these moments and hurtful events are so small they go unnoticed and unrepaired, till they culminate in a crescendo of distance! Don’t let this happen to you. Pay attention and give each other the time and respect that your love deserves!

Posted in Relationships, Successful Relating Tagged with: , ,
4 comments on “What Overlooked Things are Important in a Successful Relationship
  1. Steve Figler says:

    That tone of voice thing certainly sets my alarm to ringing. I had an aunt and uncle who spoke disrespectfully to and about each other, yet their marriage lasted, though I think it was despite that behavior.

  2. Lynelle Paulick says:

    Ohmygolly, Phil and Maude, I’ve discovered SO many things that fall into this category, over time, with my partner of 34 years. Yes, well-put where you say, “unblemished background like ours”! That’s never an excuse, is it!! So, I know it would be optimal if I would actually Say something here for readers to contemplate or whatever…but all I can say is that you’ve been a big help during a time when my partner and I have in 2017 finally stepped over the “fish or cut bait” threshold and realized how deeply we care for each other and that there are many, many ways of being we’ve endured in our immaturity that are now absolutely untenable, unthinkable, just inappropriate in the biggest way. Your blog, your book, all of the various bits of fun and insight that you bring to this website, all of it has provided me with both a mirror and a map. My partner and I have pretty much done everything in our lives by braille forever; and at this particular crossroad, you two have been a silent teacher for me/us.

    Now maybe Later I’ll remember some little thing to offer that is hugely overlooked in our now-successful relationship! haaa

    Love to you both.

    • Maude says:

      Hey Lynelle, So glad to hear of your success with your relationship and humbled to think that we have been able in any way to contribute to your road map, 🙂 Congratulations on being able to be flexible enough to learn from your experiences and after 34 years to still make changes and move forward together! Love your reference to acting from Braille and that pretty much sums it up for so many! May you both continue to enjoy the fruits of your togetherness,
      we’ll take that love and raise ya!

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