R - E - S - P - E - C - T

What does it mean to you? (Yes, I do feel like breaking out in song right now!)

Have you been in a relationship and done absolutely everything you can think of to make that relationship work, but nothing seems to help? Or have you gone beyond what you feel comfortable with and pushed past your own values in an attempt to make your significant other happy?

Many times one person in a relationship "goes along to get along" so much so that the other partner winds up losing respect for them. If John knows that he can push Sarah beyond Sarah's own boundaries, then John eventually thinks less of Sarah. When this happens the relationship is usually at the beginning of the end. 

This is human nature. For instance, if my boss never complains when I'm 15 minutes late to work each day, then I will eventually push to see if I can come in 20, maybe even 30 minutes late.

It isn't that I am normally unprofessional. It's just how the human race operates. Human nature says - Why should I care about coming in to work on time if my boss doesn't care? But this is HUGELY disrespectful. I accepted the job and I know the terms and conditions I agreed to - like coming into work on time; therefor, I should choose to uphold the agreement no matter what my boss does or doesn't do. That is treating myself and the workplace with respect.

For me to treat my employment so cavalier means I begin to devalue my work environment and my boss. We do the same thing in relationships. If my man always lets me pick the restaurant then eventually I won't think to give consideration to his desires when eating out. 

I know this seems trivial - a restaurant pick, but this is exactly how loss of respect begins. In a partnership, for respect to be maintained there needs to be equality.

Do partners make decisions together giving consideration to each others preferences?

Do they truly understand why their partner wants to: save money, spend money, go on a vacation, remodel the house, eat in versus eating out, make a child work to pay for his or her first car, have a bedtime routine for their children...?

When we understand the dreams behind our partner's desires, it is much easier to maintain respect, be understanding and choose good compromises. 

What are you doing in your relationship? Are you going along to get along? Or do you put in the time to understand each other and make choices based on that understanding? 

Gottman Couples Therapy helps couples discover how to have a true partnership and create a win-win!

I hope you have achieved this in your relationship, but if it's not quite there, then make the decision to set an appointment today and get started on your win-win relationship!