Linda: What does it mean to honor our partner? According to dictionary.com, honor is to hold with high respect, to confer distinction upon, and to show a courteous regard for. Those couples with great relationships are honoring each other on a daily basis. If you want to join the elite group of highly successful couples, consider the following practices, and become members of the population that makes a point of letting their partner know that they are valued in all the most meaningful ways.
When we master the art of honoring, these are the kinds of actions that we take regularly.
1. make the relationship a priority, are fully present, and we show up and pay attention.
2. show respect by listening attentively when our partner speaks to us.
3. take influence from them whenever we can.
4. commit ourselves to create safety in the relationship so they can be at ease and live with peace of mind.
5. hold ourselves as their devoted friend who will be their strongest supporter, especially in the hard times.
6. learn how to speak the truth of our experience, our feelings, and our needs without blame and judgment.
7. offer ourselves up to be their believing eyes seeing their greatness and potential when they might not be able to see it themselves.
8. have a sympathetic joy for their successes.
9. understand that people change over time as does the needs of the relationship, and are flexible, adaptable, and creative about transitioning with those changes.
10. commit to a growth path so that we are evolving into our greatest self to bring more of who we are to our partner.
11. learn how to handle disappointment, anger, frustration, and resentment in a responsible way so that we don’t cause harm to our partner by expressing it crudely.
12. internally clear as much irritability as possible to spare them from having to hear our complaints, and when we can’t clear it, only then do we speak up as respectfully as possible.
13. cultivate self-discipline so that we cease and desist from using sarcasm, hostility, criticism, judgment, or any other forms of manipulation to get our way.
14. look for our part and take responsibility for any breakdown.
15. show our caring through both our words and actions by learning their favorite love language (touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts, and how we spend our leisure time) so that they will feel the love in our heart nourishing them.
16. become a gracious receiver so that the love they offer us goes in and they can enjoy giving to us.
17. stretch into their world to see things from their perspective and to share activities that they are passionate about.
18. seek to understand what intimacy means to them so that we meet their intimacy needs.
19. realize that a failure to confront is a failure to love and that there are times when difficult truths must be spoken.
20. strive for the balance between safety and challenge.
21. risk vulnerability through the process of reveal rather than conceal, open rather than close, express rather than repress, connect rather than protect.
22. repair any damage done to the relationship at the first possible moment and become masterful in repair.
Please don't be confined to this list.
This is just a starter kit, a small portion of the ways that we honor our mate thereby increasing the chances of creating a delightful, resilient, loving, lasting partnership. Tune into your partner to discover the specific ways that they long for you to honor them, and then get busy laying it on them. You both stand to benefit enormously, and that’s a very good deal.