How to be a Great Partner in Your Marriage

June 24, 2011

By Kim Leatherdale

I’ve been recently involved in a group project. It was great to be invited to join, and I was flattered; however, it was important I keep up my end of the bargain for things to work.

You see a group of professionals had decided to do a group give-away of great information to our followers. I had to create something to donate to the cause, determine how to make an auto-responder, set up the technology behind it, and deliver all this by the launch date. I did, everyone else did, and we came up with a wonderful give-away.

But the flame would never have flourished if we all hadn’t have done our work.

The same is true in relationships; you have to hold up your end of the bargain, and you have to do your own work (not your partner’s) to spark a little flame and keep it alive.

What do I mean?

First you have to do what you promised to do– that’s holding up your end. You have to stand by your word and not break it. If you say you’ll do something, do it. If you give a time frame, do it in that time frame. If there is a “rule” to your relationship that you have agreed to, then don’t break it. Negotiate any changes you would like to have in your relationship if needed. I promised quality work by a certain time, and I delivered even though I had to stay up late a few nights – I kept my word, my promise. You need to do the same in your relationship.

Second, you can only do your own work. When I was writing for the give-away I wasn’t able to do Elaine’s piece, only my own. It wasn’t my responsibility, so I had to trust she’d come through (and she did with grace.) The same is true for you – do your own work and let your spouse/partner do theirs. If they ask for help, that is the time to pitch in. If you get caught up in another person’s work, you won’t get yours done like you need to. You may not be able to keep your promises. So, stop focusing on your spouse/partner and focus on what you need to do to create a rewarding relationship filled with a warm flame of connection.

Your courageous work is to do your work – both keeping commitments and working on yourself. That’s what being partners is about – keeping your commitments and doing your work so the other can trust you. It is about being reliable and responsible (neither of which are dirty words!) It is about building a fire that starts with a little flame that you hold, nurture and enjoy.

Kim Leatherdale About the Author: Kim Leatherdale is a licensed professional counselor and relationship blogger. She offers on-line, phone, and in office counseling and relationship coaching. For more information visit her website: CreatingRewardingRelationships, Facebook page: CreatingRewardingRelationships, or Twitter account: HappyCoupleXprt

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