Readers, if you have, and/or cultivate these behaviors, I am sure your life will go well. It does not mean there will be no curveballs, death, grief, or unmet goals. It does mean that you will have the tools and information to manage whatever comes your way.
Honesty and integrity happen with you whether anyone else is present or not. These are commitments you’ve made to yourself (along with monogamy [if that’s your choice). Lies of commission or lies of omission are all lies. And that’s not how you roll. What do you think about white lies that grease social interaction? Would you tell your partner her jeans don’t make her look fat, if they did? Would you protect your partner’s pride?
Loyalty can show up in so many ways. Committed to your relationship is just the beginning. Oxford Dictionary defines loyal as “giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution.” Relationships have three entities: you, me, our relationship. Loyalty to the institution of your relationship is healthy, as long as you don’t lose yourself. Healthy relationships embrace and magnify your genuine, authentic selves. We care for and support each other even when it’s not easy to do so. At times, I’ll have a migraine when my husband is in physical pain. Then we muddle through together, bringing our best, which might not be that great at times.
Loving is a feeling, yet it’s also a verb. It’s enacting loving behavior even when you don’t feel like it. One example is seeing the best in me even when I’m at my worst. It can diffuse a downward spiral. It’s humbling because you see so much more of me in that moment than I’m able to do or show. If you’re exhausted and feeling beaten down by something in your day, you can still have a two-minute belly hug after you look your partner in the eye and say, “I love you.” These moments can range from small to medium to large ways you show your love.
Oxford Dictionary defines hardworking as “tending to work with energy and commitment; diligent.” This seems a given if you’re enacting all of the above behaviors. I’d like to challenge you to take a hard look at your work: Do you have healthy boundaries with it? I have seen couples in which one or both of them works to the detriment of most of the rest of their lives. Is this you? I know many of you fear losing your job if you bring anything up. I saw a man in therapy who needed to go on disability due to depression. He really worried about telling that truth at work. Ultimately, he decided to tell his boss and the team who worked for him. The response was overwhelmingly supportive and opened many dialogues.
In case you didn’t notice, all of this is in your control, your choice. Ain’t it grand?