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If You Find These Moments Familiar, Your Relationship Is Going To Last

If You Find These Moments Familiar, Your Relationship Is Going To Last

How many people do you know that enjoyed a wonderful relationship for a period of time and then things fell apart? Maybe that’s you. In fact, you may be wondering if the relationship you are in right now will go the distance. I’m here to tell you how long a relationship lasts is not a mystery. Relationships are built in moments, not years.

I married my amazing wife nearly 25 years ago. Our relationship is crazy happy and we love spending time together. Our happiness comes from what we do throughout the day — every day. Perhaps our experience can help you live in daily love just like us.

Here are moments to look for (or create) to make sure your relationship lasts.

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Moments of Joyful Service

Earlier this evening, my wife was working on dinner. When I said, “Thank you for cooking dinner,” she turned and replied with a smile, “Thank YOU for cooking dinner.” You see, we were making dinner together. I wanted to show my appreciation for her effort. Neither of us especially enjoys cooking. However, we are happy to cook for the other. We do this mundane task with joy. Why? Because the task must be done anyway. Doing it as a joyful service keeps out the poison of resentment. Completing a task in this manner gives it special meaning. Look at it like, I’m not just making dinner, I’m making dinner for the one I love. Look for moments to serve with joy.

Moments Filled with Words of Endearment

I almost never call my wife by her given name. I use terms such as “my love”, “pretty girl”, and “love of my life”. Such terms remind her of how much I care for her, but more importantly they are a reminder for me. It’s hard to be upset with someone you call “my love” multiple times a day. Every time I call her by those terms of endearment it burrows into my subconscious, constantly reinforcing the bond between us.

A note to the opposition, referring to your spouse as “the old ball and chain” or “my old lady” has a reinforcing negative effect in your subconscious and is an insult to her. Always refer to your loved one in a positive manner. Use your speech to create moments filled with words of endearment.

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Moments of Compliments

What do your friends think of your loved one? Their opinions of your special person come from two places: interactions your friends have with him or her, and what you say about your loved one. When I am speaking speaking with someone and the topic of marriage comes up I am unfailingly complimentary to my wife. Don’t put me on a pedestal here. I just know how blessed I am to be married to her – and I want it to stay that way. Telling her in person is great, but if she hears it from a third party then it is even more powerful.

How many times have you heard someone complain about their spouse? I’ll bet you quickly decided either the speaker was a jerk or they had married a terrible person. Now, what do you think when someone praises their spouse… when the spouse is not even around? Or better yet, in a situation where their spouse is likely to never to know about it? I speak in front of a lot of groups, often about relationships. My wife isn’t in the audience, but I talk her up anyway. Like the previous point, complimenting her whether she is around or not reminds me just how special and precious she is to me. Be careful to frequently create moments of compliments.

Moments of Love

I realize this one seems obvious, but stay with me here. One thing we learned very early in our marriage is that not everyone feels love in the same way. In his wonderful book The Five Love Languages, Dr. Gary Chapman reveals the curious truth that most of us are showing love incorrectly to our spouses and loved ones. He likens it to one person speaking English while the other only understands Chinese.

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One of the greatest challenges to making a relationship last is discovering and learning to love each other in a way that is understood. My wife’s love languages are quality time and physical touch. Do you know what I do? I spend time every day sitting down and talking with her. When we walk together I reach out and take her hand. I consciously love her in the ways that make her feel loved.

I can’t recommend Dr. Chapman’s book enough. We’ve repeatedly taught classes based on his principles. Take the time to find out what makes your loved one feel love, then spend every day using what you have learned. Create moments of love for each other.

Conclusion

There are no secrets to making a relationship last. It is simple, but not necessarily easy. The simplicity is in making moments every day that show service, endearment, compliments, and powerful love to another person. The challenge is to be consistent, but you can do it!

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Let love be your motivator.

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Troy Stoneking

Troy is a coach and speaker who helps people develop amazing relationships and love their work.

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Last Updated on August 4, 2020

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to master the Gentle Art of Saying No:

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1. Value Your Time

Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”

2. Know Your Priorities

Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.

3. Practice Saying No

Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

4. Don’t Apologize

A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.

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5. Stop Being Nice

Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets.

Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

6. Say No to Your Boss

Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no,” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning.

But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

7. Pre-Empting

It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

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“Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

8. Get Back to You

Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them:

“After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

At least you gave it some consideration.

9. Maybe Later

If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

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“This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.

10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

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Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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