I’m a personal development teacher and one of the things I teach about is relationships. I’m about to celebrate my 25th anniversary. I have four adult children, two daughters-in-law and a very close step-daughter.
So being a teacher, having my 25th anniversary in a few days and planning to see my family for Mother’s Day this Sunday got me thinking. “I know what ingredients have worked to make my 3rd marriage so very special. And I teach those. But what’s the difference between some of the secrets I discovered that make my marriage work and the things that make my family relationships work so well, also?”
If getting together with your family for Mother’s Day causes you to cringe a bit, read the short analysis of marriage and family right here:
Who’s Most Important - Me or Him? Me or Them?
In my marriage I learned that I have to walk a kind of joyful tightrope between putting myself first and putting my husband first. Well, the same thing is true with my adult children. They know I will take care of myself and I know they will take care of themselves. But if any of the four of them need me and I can help, I will. I believe the same is true for them. If I need them and they can, they will help. In the instance of family as in my marriage, it creates a wonderful sense of being cared about – all around.
My husband and I learned that instead of committing to each other, we needed to commit to the power of the relationship. We all have bad times and jerky days or even weeks. So when he’s grumpy or down, do I want to be committed to him?
But if my commitment is to the power of the relationship, I can get outside the current situation and remember that my relationship is usually great.
And that’s true with my family too. I am committed to us as a family. It’s not about each of us always being our very best. We aren’t. But we are committed to each other. We are committed to get along and forgive each other as soon as we can. We are committed to allowing each member of our ever growing family to be themselves and love them even if they aren’t our favorite person on any particular day.
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