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Support the Growth of the Other Person in Your Relationship

Man on a trainWe’ve always held that one of the reasons our relationship works so well is that we respect the individuality of the other person. A core value and bedrock of our relationship is the commitment we share to supporting the growth of each other as individuals. Apart and Separate.

We both have a strong desire to see each other develop and explore ourselves and own path. We both clearly see that although we are thrilled to be sharing our lives together, and intensely enjoy our mutual life, there is a separate life that each of us also has, one that needs its own fostering and nurturing.

Our life abounds with examples of this. Maude has been spending time supporting her children by watching her grandchildren, and staying over at their place to do so, often for days at a time. Phil is very wrapped up in a phase of his own writing interests and needs lots of private time to develop that. Maude follows her own spiritual practice and goes to meetings and events regularly that do not include Phil. Phil participates in several groups, including a long-standing bridge game that meets regularly and separately. He also does retreats to further self-enlightenment and is contemplating one again soon. Maude is feeling a desire to connect with people and places of her earlier life (probably brought on by the recent deaths of two friends) and is making a trip in the early fall for several weeks on her own.

These work for many reasons:

  • We both recognize the benefit of alone time. It allows us to remember, own and feel our identity.
  • We place no limit on what the other person does. We don’t need to understand it or control it.
  • We are secure in our commitment to each other. We trust each other. We are open with each other. We know the attractions and strengths that make up the relationship, and that these remain unchanged by separation.
  • We support the growth of the other person. We get so much pleasure from seeing the other person thrive in the world.
  • We recognize that crimping the style of the other person is the first step in making them uncomfortable, dissatisfied, limited by the relationship. A few dozen more steps in that direction and a relationship is over.

You need to feel secure within yourself as a person to let this happen. If what we describe makes you uncomfortable in any way, it’s best to look inside at that discomfort, rather than tamping it down by trying to limit your partner’s behavior. Explore trust, commitment, expectations and core values. That place of comfort comes from within you.

All of these kinds of self-development and self-realization activities are balanced by the fact that we spend a goodly amount of time together sharing our mutual interests and enjoying each other to the max!

The knowledge that we both support each other in this way is both comforting and freeing. It creates a feeling of generosity and a feeling of calm that is hard to describe, yet so vital to a peaceful relationship. In fact, it generates peace.

When you know that you are not going to be pressured to only do things with your partner, or only do things your partner also relates to and wants to participate in, you can blossom on your own as a full individual. You can feel comfortable to pursue your own path and know that it in no way threatens or disturbs your partner.

This is a path that leads to both partners growing and supporting each other’s growth to the fullest. It leads to a relationship filled with calm and joy.

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Successful Relationship Reading Corner

BookshelfThis week, we wrote about supporting the growth of the other person in your relationship. This sounds obvious, but proves to be a challenge for many people. Here are some some articles that may help with this.

Partner Power: Supportive Relationships Linked To Personal Development "Your romantic partner can be a source of encouragement or discouragement and whether they uplift you or deflate you can determine what you achieve in life. New research also suggests that if you have a partner that is supportive, you are more likely to take advantage of opportunities for personal growth that come your way (Feeney et al. 2017). On the other hand, if your partner is not so supportive of you in your relationship, you are more likely to forgo opportunities for personal growth."

11 Ways To Be Independent In A Romantic Relationship, No Matter What ""It’s very important to have independence in a relationship. Successful, healthy relationships allow for the both people to form a bond which lets them to not only grow together but also to grow independently as people. It’s essential to have your own sense of autonomy while feeling you can depend on each other."

How to Build a Relationship Based on Interdependence "Interdependence suggests that partners recognize and value the importance of the emotional bond they share while maintaining a solid sense of self within the relationship dynamic. An interdependent person recognizes the value of vulnerability, being able to turn to their partner in meaningful ways to create emotional intimacy. They also value a sense of self that allows them and their partner to be themselves without any need to compromise who they are or their values system."


Spreading peace one relationship at a time
Phil and Maude
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