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This is one of a series of articles on Lesson 4 - optimize your relationships. These articles build on Lessons 1 - 3, and prepare
you for Lesson 5 (evolve a nourishing family) and Lesson 6 (learn
to practice effective parenting).
This brief YouTube video previews what you'll find below.
The video refers to eight self-improvement lessons in this Web site. I've reduced
that to seven.
over 50 adult years on Earth and
36 years' experience as a family-systems
and trauma-recovery therapist, I propose necessary ingredients for mutually-satisfying relationships.
Use it as a checklist to assess the quality of key relationships in your
life - including with a Higher Power, and among the dynamic subselves that make up your personality.
to satisfying interpersonal relationships.
We humans are social critters.
Well-nurtured adults and kids
instinctively form minor to primary
bonds - emotional attachments
with other living things, starting with early
caregivers. A relationship exists when the existence, presence (or
absence), attitudes, and behaviors of one person "significantly" affect the
life-quality of another person.
Interpersonal relationships form spontaneously between people to fill
each person's array of
relationships are governed by your and your partner's
personalities, needs, priorities, and
circumstances. They range between...
chosen to required - e.g. relationships with
neighbors and co-workers;
(need-filling and growth-promoting) to toxic
symmetrical (balanced) to unsymmetrical;
genuine to pseudo (pretended);
independent to interdependent to dependent
primary to secondary to superficial;
intimate to platonic to impersonal;
temporary to long-term; and..
proactive (intentional, conscious) to reactive (passive,
All relationships have common and unique requisites, depending on the mix of
these factors. If you become
aware of the factors that
shape the quality of your key relationships (below), you can (a)choose more
compatible people, and (b) identify and negotiate
missing relationship ingredients with receptive partners. You can also (c) teach
your kids this priceless knowledge!
See how you feel about these proposals:
Each partner can
control or acquire
relationship-requisites (below) and not others.
All four sets of factors
must be present "often enough," as judged by each partner. for an
enduring, mutually-satisfying relationship.
A core requisite for any healthy relationship is that
personality is often
led by their resident
Most personal and social "problems" strongly suggest that the people involved are
dominated by false selves, and don't know that or how to reduce it. The
Lesson-1 Web pages and
related guidebookWho's Really Running Your Life?offer perspective, answers, options, and resources.
Mostcore relationship ingredients
high-nurturance childhood. Once aware
of them, adults guided by their
true Selves can cultivate these factors
in their homes and family.
Courtship neediness, idealisms, and excitement are apt to
distort your clear,
subjective assessment of these relationship ingredients with a prospective
partner and their family. Over half of typical marrying Americans eventually decide that they
committed to the wrong
people, for the wrong
reasons, at the wrong
The presence or absence
of the factors below form a rough indicator of the
wholistic health of your relationship with each child and
adult in your life. They also provide a way of
identifying specific factors that could improve your relationships over time.
Once aware, motivated,
self-responsible, your family
members, friends, and co-workers can help each other
missing or weak relationship ingredients. How open is each adult and
in your family to doing that now?
of a High-nurturance Relationship
Read this diagram from the
item you feel you and/or a relationship partner have enough of or
are intentionally working toward. This is about what is, not about
anyone being good or bad, or right or wrong!
Option - think of an
important relationship with an adult or child in your life, and see how many
of these ingredients you two people have or had.
self-improvement Lessons 1 thru 4 here
offer more perspective and ideas on how to achieve mutually-satisfying
relationships with yourself, other people, and a
Steady mutual honesty and
"Enough" shared interests
Stable self and mutual respect
Compatible-enough core beliefs,
Enough time to communicate, share, and problem-solve together
to flex between
focusing on my needs, your needs, and ourneeds
Enough current securities, including social supports
An emerging life purpose
risk and "fail"
Basic social knowledge and
Clear identity and personal
Genuine inner permission
to grieve life losses
Genuine ability to bond
Enough Self trust
Genuine self respect.
self-love, and integrity
A harmonious inner family of
subselves (personality),usually led by your true Self
3) YOUR PARTNER'S REQUISITES
REQUITE 1) A safe, stable
No natural and/or human
disasters now or likely, and enough
consistently available now and the near future
Note your reaction to seeing all these ingredients at once. Does this raise
your appreciation for how rare mutually-fulfilling relationships are?
Reality Check: Reflect on
your most satisfying relationships. Were most or all of these four
sets of ingredients consistently present? Now think of past or present
relationships that cause you and/or someone
significant stress. How many of these ingredients were missing
"too much, too often" in your opinion?
How does this four-factor concept compare
with how you've always thought of a "healthy relationship"?
Keep your version of this
concept in mind as your family members and friends react to significant relationship problems
Notes / Thoughts
Some things I need to do now are...
This Lesson-4 article proposes key premises about a high-nurturance
(mutually satisfying) relationship between any two people. It builds on these
premises to propose four sets of requisites that motivated partners can
evolve and help each other maintain over time.