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How Can Your Relationship Make You Stronger?

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How Can Your Relationship Make You Stronger?
Like exercise, challenge builds strength.

There is a concept in Buddhism called The Middle Way. It means that wisdom or liberation does not occur in the extremes, but in a place of moderation. I believe there is a Middle Way to this question of struggle in relationship.

At one extreme is a relationship characterized by abuse, neglect, or abandonment. This relationship does not have suffering that builds "resilient" muscles in our souls. It is destructive. We must avoid or end this kind of relationship.

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At the other extreme is a relationship where the need to get our way creates an inability to tolerate frustration. It clearly tips the balance too far toward the pursuit of individual happiness, creating endless and needless conflict in the couple.

The Middle Way is a relationship where the need of the couple is more important than the needs of either individual, but it is not independent of those needs. While neither individual can expect their own views and happiness to prevail at all times, the couple cannot survive if either party is consistently denied that satisfaction.

How can you learn to navigate this Middle Way? It requires a commitment to learning and practicing skills. At Smart Relationships we teach these practical skills like communication and conflict resolution that are proven to benefit the quality of relationships. They must be learned and practiced over and over again. The more you practice, the more skilled you will become, and the more success and happiness you will find in your relationships.

This is the same kind of dedication you need to bring to physical fitness. We all know what happens when we stop exercising. There is never a time when we arrive at a perfect state of fitness that allows us to become physically lazy but stay fit forever. So it is with relationships. There is never a time when you can go on auto-pilot and stop practicing your skills.

More from YourTango: Does Premarital Cohabitation Predict Divorce?

Considering the importance of the quality of our relationships to daily life, isn't the struggle worth it?

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