This month, Kozo, our beloved founding father of has given us the following challenge for June:
Explore how to have peace in relationships or how to have peace at home.
- Turn your blog into a relationship advice column. What are the 5 things that make a peaceful relationship? What are the 4 things we can do to become a better partner?
- Post a piece of art, a photo, or a video that epitomizes a perfect relationship. Feel free to explain why. (This does not have to be a human relationship.)
- Write a letter to the opposite sex or your partner explaining why you love them, but what they need to do for you to keep loving them. This can be a letter to an actual person or to an entire community of people.
- Publish a story, poem, song, or video about struggle in relationships and what you learned from this struggle that brought peace into your world.
- Publish a post on the greatest love story ever that will inspire us to be more loving.
- Rant about what really frustrates you about the opposite sex, relationships, or your partners. (Maybe if we know what is wrong, we can fix it.)
- Post anything about the intersection of relationships and peace.
So people, here’s my take on how to keep the peace in a relationship. If you feel like commenting, then please do.
This year, my husband and I will be celebrating our 29th Wedding Anniversary. I won’t lie to you and say it has been all fun and games, because it hasn’t. But I can tell you, each and every episode that unfolded to lead us to where we are to today, was worth it. Don’t get me wrong, there were times in our relationship that either one of us could have walked away. But we didn’t.
So please take the following points as my opinion only. There are no hard and fast rules determining what works and what doesn’t, it is down to us as individuals to find the correct remedy within ourselves.
Number one. There is nothing wrong with being different.
I hear and see so many relationships falter or break with these very words, ‘but we’re so different’, or ‘he/she just doesn’t get me’. Why do people insist on the idea that we have to be one of the same. You don’t. And until people realise that they will never find peace. Of course there are things or beliefs each of you will agree with wholeheartedly, but there are also things that you won’t. There is no point in trying to mold yourselves into one entity, it doesn’t work. Rejoice in the fact that you each have your own likes and dislikes. That it’s okay not to see everything in life the same. Think of it as a well-oiled machine where you each have a part to play in keeping it working even though you are both different parts of the whole. Believe me when I say it makes for a far better ride. I know my husband and I much prefer the idea of being perfect opposites. Do you get me?
Number two. A relationship is not a restraint.
No matter of the time you have been together, one year, five years or twenty-nine years like my husband and I, never, I repeat never demand anything of one another. You are not your partners keeper, mother, prison guard, teacher… I could go on but I think you understand. Oh, I fell into that trap in the early years of our marriage and I shudder with guilt just thinking about how I behaved back then. I gave the odd sermon of ‘you’re not doing that today’, ‘you’re not going there without me’, or the worst one, ‘if you do that (thing), well I’m leaving’. Now, can peace, love or understanding stand a chance of existing with such limited restraints. Of course they can’t. It stifles a relationship. It sets the seed of doubt which in turn, will lead to hatred and anger. However, I’m not telling you that it’s fine when your partner feels the need to do everything without you, only, you have to understand you both need your space now and again. And that’s fine.
Number three. Never go to bed angry.
I don’t know if you’ve heard the saying, but it’s one I remember being told. It’s self-explanatory really. Go to bed angry=wake up a fire-breathing dragon. Or, go to bed happy=wake up rested and peaceful. I’ll let you sort that one out for yourself. I know I prefer the second equation.
If you do happen to argue (which is healthy by the way), then sort it out before your head hits the pillow. There’s nothing worse than trying to sleep when your insides are simmering at boiling point. 1) you probably won’t sleep that well. 2) you’ll no doubt ‘accidentally‘ kick your partner on purpose a few times during the night (yeah, I did that). And 3) you’ll wake like an erupting volcano ready to spew your lava on the closest victim. Your partner. Or just in case you do wake up a fire-breathing dragon, keep your mouth closed. It’ll be difficult trying to explain to the police why your partner’s a glowing heap of cinders on the bedroom floor! Okay, maybe a little O.T.T. and totally not going to happen, but try sorting out what it is that’s bothering you, it’s that simple. Angry never=happy.
Number four. It’s not a game of tit-for-tat.
Now it’s easy to fall under the spell of this one. Your other half treats themselves to something new so you think it’s your right to go ahead and do the same. And hey, you’ve been dying for an excuse to splurge on those £200 pair of shoes you’ve been drooling over in the shop window for the past few days. Okay, maybe the shoes would look good on you, but that’s not the point.
On a more serious note however, if by chance you discover your partner has cheated, there is never a stronger case against doing the same and if you do, it will never, never, make it right. If the relationship has no chance of being fixed then leave a better person. Tit-for-tat is for children and should be left that way. However, if a relationship breaks on this premise, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Never think that.
Number five. Pride comes before a fall (damn, I’m starting to sound like my mother!).
Probably the hardest pill to swallow. Call it what you will, pride, stubbornness, down-right pigheadedness, it all boils down to the same thing. It’s not healthy in a relationship.
You see, communication is the key to everything and without it, where would we be. Just remember, pride is a devilish thing. It starts out innocent enough, maybe the smallest twinge of resentment because your partner did something you didn’t quite agree with (heaven forbid they have a mind of their own!). However, that little twinge will soon grow into something bigger. It’ll fester, waiting for an opportunity to make you look an idiot. Believe me, you’ll look like an idiot. Step outside of the situation and take a good look at yourself. Go on. I bet you’re either, standing there with your arms folded tight across your chest, maybe your leg or foot is tapping or jiggling like a bad rendition of River Dance, but I can guarantee your mouth is stitched tighter than a misers purse.
So what is it exactly you are trying to prove. You’ll come out top in the one-sided argument? You’re the bigger person for not responding? You have a sense of fulfillment in watching your partner squirm? Wrong.
All jokes aside, pride is a sad partner to all of the points above. It’s a fake companion which will eventually leave you a lonely person. Talk. It isn’t a hard thing to do. Heck, you learnt it as a toddler so what’s so difficult. Give it try, you might surprise yourself.
I could carry on, however, I’m a stickler for the rules.
So to sum it all up, a relationship is not about what you can get out of it or what your partner can get out of it either. It’s not a game where you decide the rules to suit your needs when you see fit. And it’s definitely not a thing to be taken lightly. It takes commitment. It takes acts of selflessness to make it something worthwhile. And above all, it takes a lot of love and understanding on both sides. For me (whether you agree or disagree with my thoughts, and that’s fine), those are just a few of the points in obtaining a sense of peace within a relationship.
Here’s a few more posts from fellow bloggers4peace:
Monthly Peace Challenge: Peace at Home – (everydaygurus.com)
A peace prayer from Boston to Syria – (jenniferbruni.com)
A Love Letter – (joyfulcacophony.wordpress.com)
Local Landscapes – (happinesswithausten.wordpress.com)
Komainu – (jrosenberry1.wordpress.com)
Life Is A Rollercoaster – (yaussiechick.wordpress.com)
You gotta have heart – (discoversantosha.com)
The bite of love – (prayingforoneday.wordpress.com)
Being Peace in Relationship – (bluegrassnotes.wordpress.com)
June Post For Peace – (grandmalin.wordpress.com)
B4Peace June – Peace at Home with the Buddha – (heartflow2013.wordpress.com)
June Peace Post – (motherwifestudentworker.wordpress.com)
On this day – June Monthly Peace: Peace at Home – (theseeker57.wordpress.com)
Until next month people, peace out.