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Sophie Keller

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How Happy is... 5 Easy Ways To Serve Your Relationship

Posted: 01/27/09 09:40 AM ET

As we are continuing this week with the theme of service, here are some ways in which you can serve the relationship that you are in now or one you might be in, in the future. Even though the focus is on love relationships, many of these points can apply to all close relationships.

1. Remain Lovers. Never be your partner's therapist as it unbalances the dynamic. If your partner thinks they have an issue that they need to work through, the most you can do is to suggest someone for them to go to. It's okay every now and then to give advice if they ask for it, but with those deeper-rooted issues let them look elsewhere, even if you feel qualified to help them and have the answers. The reason is that the minute you become their shrink suddenly the relationship can easily turn from being lovers to a Mother/Son or Father/Daughter dynamic which will hardly be beneficial for your sex life!

2. What you see is what you get. Love your partner as they are, not what you want them to be. If you are one of those people that like to fall in love with the potential of what you think your partner can possibly be, rather than what they are, then you will never be satisfied. Perhaps they don't want to be what you want them to be. Maybe they don't feel it's possible. If this is the case and they have personality traits that don't work for you, then either look at where you need to heal in the dynamic and if it is something that you really can't do without in a partner then maybe this isn't the person for you. People only transform because they want to, not because you want them to.

3. Grow together. Do not expect perfection from the other person, you are here to assist each other transform, heal and grow through this lifetime and they will not have all their answers, all the time, just as you won't, so be patient. Let your partner do their healing knowing that they are loved and supported by you, regardless, and they will do the same with you. It is an honor to be part of another person's journey and to be there to support each other through this lifetime. What a blessing to have that opportunity.

4. Always be a team.
Never undermine your partner in public by exposing anything about them that's private, by criticizing them or if they are in a dispute with someone, by taking the other person's side. (Believe me, you'll get it in the ear on the way home if you do that!) If you don't agree with what they're saying, stay silent and, if you are asked to comment, just say that your partner has strong opinions and has his or her own mind. You can always discuss it with them after, in private. This also is the case when it comes to children; make sure they see that you are tight. Your children will grow up much more secure in that way when they see their parents as a team. If you do disagree with each other on parenting methods, do it privately and come to some sort of agreement, between you first, so you are singing from the same song sheet.

5. Giving. A question to ask yourself is what can I give to my relationship, not what can I get from it. One of the primary ways to make a relationship work is to give to the other person at every opportunity. Obviously you both need to be giving to each other so you don't feel that it is you giving all the time and that you get nothing back. If you feel that is the case, then perhaps this isn't the relationship for you. But, if you both get huge amount of joy from giving to each other, then that is essential to making the partnership work. I am not saying not to take at all, but to always have the other person in mind.

That's it for this week, if you want to make contact with me please do so at sophie@howhappyis.com.