Linda: What does it mean to honor our partner? According to dictionary.com, the verb to honor is: to hold with high respect, to confer distinction upon, and to show courteous regard for. Those couples with great relationships are honoring each other on a daily basis in all manner of ways. If you want to join the elite group of highly successful couples, consider the following practices, and become members of the population that makes a point of letting their partner know that they are valued in all the most meaningful ways. When we master the art of honoring, these are the kinds of actions that we take regularly.
- We make the relationship a priority, are fully present, and we show up and pay attention.
- We show respect when we listen attentively when our partner speaks to us.
- We take influence from them whenever we can.
- We commit ourselves to creating safety in the relationship so they can be at ease and live with peace of mind.
- We hold ourselves as their devoted friend who will be their strongest supporter, especially in the hard times.
- We dedicate ourselves to learning how to speak the truth of our experience, our feelings and needs without blame and judgment.
- We offer ourselves up to be their believing eyes seeing their greatness and potential, when they might not be able to see it themselves.
- We have sympathetic joy for their successes.
- We understand that people change over time as does the needs of the relationship, and are flexible, adaptable and creative about transitioning with those changes.
- We commit ourselves to a growth path so that we are evolving into our greatest self to bring more of who we are to our partner.
- We learn how to handle disappointment, anger, frustration and resentment in a responsible way so that we don’t cause harm to our partner by expressing it crudely.
- We internally clear as much reactivity and irritability as possible to spare them from having to hear our complaints, and when we can’t clear it, only then do we speak up as respectfully as possible.
- We cultivate self-discipline so that we cease and desist from using sarcasm, hostility, criticism, judgment or any other forms of manipulation to get our way.
- We look for our part and take responsibility in any breakdown.
- We show our caring through both our words and actions by learning their favorite love language (touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts and how we spend our leisure time) so that they will feel the love that is our heart nourishing them.
- We become a gracious receiver so that the love they offer us goes in and they can enjoy giving to us.
- We stretch into their world to see things from their perspective and to share activities that they are passionate about.
- We seek to understand what intimacy means to them so that we meet their intimacy needs.
- We realize that a failure to confront is a failure to love and that there are times when difficult truths must be spoken.
- We strive for the balance between safety and challenge.
- We risk vulnerability through the process of reveal rather than conceal, open rather than close, express rather than repress.
- We repair any damage done to the relationship at the first possible moment and become masterful in repair.
- We respect our partner’s way of doing things that may be quite different form our own style.
- We create small but significant rituals such as how we greet each other in the morning, a kiss before running off to work, a hug when coming home from work, a debrief about work, cooking her favorite dish, date night, and good night kisses, etc., that bring sweetness to each day.
- We bring an attitude of curiosity and wonder to our partner, showing interest in who they are and who they are becoming.
- We spend time devising ways of bringing novelty, excitement, passion, fun, meaning, and connection to our partnership.
- We take time to nurture the sensual and sexual connection.
- We pay attention to the balance of power to make sure that we continue to share power of decision-making.
- We practice generosity of spirit.
- We dedicate ourselves to loving them so thoroughly and demonstrate it in ways that are unmistakable so that they never have any doubt that they are honored and loved.
This is just a starter kit, a small portion of the ways that we honor our mate thereby increasing the chances of creating a delightful, resilient, loving, lasting partnership. Please don’t be confined to this list. Tune into your partner to discover the specific ways that they long for you to honor them, and then get busy laying it on them. You both stand to benefit enormously, and that’s a very good deal.
Our newest book, That Which Doesn’t Kill Us: How One Couple Got Stronger at the Broken Places, has just been published by Sacred Life Publishers and been receiving rave reviews. Their story is illuminating, instructive, and deeply inspiring. It has been described as being as compelling and engaging as a page-turning novel. The book contains powerful messages that are embedded in its pages that can serve any couple that desires valuable wisdom which can serve them in facing the inevitable challenges that frequently confront many committed partnerships. The book is available on-line on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. You can also receive a signed copy of That Which Doesn’t Kill Us by ordering directly from Bloomwork by calling (831) 421-9822 or emailing us at [email protected]. The cost is $16.95 plus tax, shipping & handling.