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How You Make Decisions and Find Mutual Solutions is a Pattern for Your Relationships

Astonished catIt was probably the way we planned for our wedding that first drew our attention to how we interact. Flowers, venue, vows, catering – we made decisions on all of these without clashing. When we looked at how we were finding the answers, we saw that it came from various ways of behaving like choosing a good time to meet; speaking personally; hearing the other person completely, and being open to other possibilities.

We came to call this Our Process, and still use this method to navigate all manner of issues. We have often discussed how this leads to mutuality – a new path that encompasses what both people want. We have talked about the steps of this process as well as the content, and how it relies on a deep sense of the “we” in the relationship and a firm shared knowledge that we are both on the same side. (Here are some past blogs on the subject.)

As we continue to look at this process and its application within our life together, we discover more and more that this way of interacting is taking place all the time in the very fabric of how we relate to each other. It’s not just a tool that is brought out of the box to use on special occasions; it describes the way we interact 24/7.

This is because the qualities that make for successful resolution of issues are the same as those that we have recognized in our daily life together. They are fairness, trust, honesty, respect for each other’s individuality, appreciation, total acceptance, looking for the values underlying situations, appreciating and seeking mutuality. It turns out that our process is just a synonym for that clutch of attitudes.

This can be your experience as well. It is not something that happens in an instant, although there can be transformative moments when you grok a new way of seeing how to relate to your partner, This is a process that builds as it is used.

As you continue to apply this process to decision-making and finding solutions, the experience of how this feels and the knowledge you acquire accumulates. You recognize that place where you both feel heard, each of your wants and needs are being fulfilled, and you know the path to get there. This in turn engenders a feeling of profound peace and well-being, and a closeness of shared honesty and trust.

When this enters the bloodstream of your relationship, peace truly abides in your heart. The characteristics developed in the practice of our process flow through your everyday life together. You are deeply aware of your positive intentions toward each other, as well as your commitment to knowing your own truth; to being honest with yourself about what you feel and want. Once you have sought and found that truth, you can communicate it clearly. You are listening without defensiveness to hear and share. You reside in the experience that there are no reprisals for being honest, as total acceptance has become a way of being with each other.

The behaviors with each other that are practiced when applying our process are not just present when used to resolve issues or make decisions on points of contention; they are not just there to be pulled out in special circumstances. They become part of how you are with each other all the time.

In addition to all that is intention, that it is the kind of relationship you both want, and unlike wishing for a pony or a Ferrari, wanting it can make it so. Check with your partner and make it a conscious agreement.

What joy it is to live in the reality of peaceful relating. This is not a distant dream of possibilities but a realizable goal which you can manifest if you want to.

Photo credit: Maude Mayes
Photo note: Neighborhood cat shocked at what it is hearing!

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Successful Relationship Reading Corner


Books on shelfThis week we said that how you make decisions and find mutual solutions is a pattern for your relationships. Here are some people who have enumerated important factors in a healthy relationship.

8 Keys to a Strong Relationship "So what makes a relationship strong? Is it all about trust? Sexual satisfaction? Or something else? To help answer this universal question, researchers used machine learning to examine relationship variables in 11,196 couples during a 2020 study. They found that, above all, feeling your partner was committed to the relationship for the long haul and how appreciative you are of your mate were the largest predictors of relationship satisfaction."

9 Qualities of the Most Successful Relationships "In working with couples for more than four decades, I have been able to observe how committed partnerships are influenced by society’s changing definitions of what a quality relationship is. But despite those changing mores and values, I have also witnessed that some characteristics of successful relationships have remained constant independent of those influences."

Think you're in a healthy relationship? Couples therapists share 10 must-have qualities for long-lasting love "In a healthy relationship, both you and your partner feel connected to each other and are satisfied with how the relationship is going. That may sound obvious, but an estimated 40% to 50% of marriages, in particular, in the US end in divorce. So establishing a healthy relationship is often easier said than done. There are many factors that make up a healthy relationship, like commitment and trust, which can help you navigate problems and stay together. Here are 10 signs that you're in a healthy relationship."

Spreading peace one relationship at a time
Phil and Maude
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