Relationship Advice

For all the relationship advice I have received over the years, I can safely say that little of it served me well; if anything it contributed only to the fact that I stayed in relationships that I really ought to have ended long before I did. In fact some of them I never should have started!

I do recall my mother’s not-so-sage advice when I was embarking on my first serious relationship where she said, “try living with three different men before you decide to marry as you don’t really know someone until you live with them!” Even when she told me that something in me thought, “But what if I decide it should have been the first or second one and l’ve already moved on!”

Fortunately this advice didn’t stick and nothing of it swayed my choices to be in a relationship or not, let alone whether to marry or not. I already knew that I would only marry if it felt right.

Thirty-five years down the track from that advice I HAVE married, a man I never expected to meet and one so beautifully compatible there was no question when it came to marrying him, no matter what number he was in the ‘lived-with’ stakes.

Regardless of this compatibility, which supported us to establish a very harmonious and easy day-to-day relationship, there was still the inevitable navigation of our particular idiosyncrasies, or to be more precise, the areas where we were each still inclined to get triggered by one another.

This would lead to inevitable small irritations and occasionally escalate into a more obvious annoyance. These moments were short-lived but seemed out of place within the usual harmonious flow we generally found ourselves in.

One day, after one of these moments, I pondered a little deeper on what was taking place and how it might be addressed. I had already tried the usual head-on approach with little receptivity, unsurprisingly!

I recalled a presentation I had attended on appreciation with Serge Benhayon and he’d said something that suddenly struck home.

“If ever you have an issue with someone, it’s because you haven’t appreciated them well before.”

(AWT Presentation July 9th on Appreciation, 2016)

Bingo! I knew that was the answer.

Being someone with a tendency until then to see faults well before I might acknowledge valuable attributes (both in myself and others), I pondered the potential impact of my husband not feeling the extent of appreciation for who he is and ALL that he brings that is true and amazing.

So we embarked on what became a fun and playful nightly exercise of sharing one thing each that we appreciated about the other that day, each time something that had never been expressed before. The stipulation was that these could not be things we had done at a functional level; we were nominating true qualities we could recognise as present in something the other had done or said. For example, one thing that emerged is my husband has an in-built radar for truth. He can pick the ‘untruth’ in almost any situation and nail it in a few words. He is seldom swayed by the outer appearance of things and can hone in on exactly what it is that is out of order.

What unfolded for me was nothing short of incredible, with every night revealing yet another aspect or detail to this beautiful man that I had not brought to the light of day and expressed in full before. Interestingly, I found the healing in this exercise was often felt more in the expressing than it was in receiving back.

Each time something of truth was shared, we both felt expansive and confirmed in who we are, being beautiful, most definitely divine and oh, so worthwhile!

Essentially what occurred in our relationship over the next six months was that we built a foundation of love and respect for each other’s true value, a foundation that is there to this day and leaves us feeling unshakeable as a couple. There can be no focus on faults, when what is amazing and true in each other is plain as day.

As well, and quite miraculously, we got to know each other in such an intricate and detailed way that those niggles previously mentioned just melted away. There is no longer any annoyance with each other; that is now something relegated to an amusing, distant memory.

Appreciation of one another’s true value is now a natural and constant exchange between us, no longer a pointed exercise, as it is now just part of the foundation we call our relationship.

So, what resulted from a simple but profoundly true statement by Serge Benhayon became the most sage piece of relationship advice I have yet to receive.

 By Jennifer Ellis, Brisbane, Australia

Related Reading:
Appreciation in Relationships
Peeling Back the Layers of Appreciation
Making a Relationship about True Love

909 thoughts on “Relationship Advice

  1. Appreciation from the Joy we are living is worth while sharing and thus we can deepen the relationship we have not only with God but the flow on to our partners and society.

  2. “I had already tried the usual head-on approach with little receptivity, unsurprisingly!” Thanks for this line Jennifer, I hadn’t realised that I also have a head on approach at times which may be too confronting for some people. Something for me to bring more sensitivity to.

    1. Melinda like you reading the head on approach I realised that this isn’t always the way that if I observe, observe, observe the energy reveals it self. I cannot always do this but when I do there is such clarity.

  3. I do love this blog. I searched it out this morning as I recalled how significant this is for any relationship, not just that of our partners. Simple practical and something that can be enacted as shows by what has been shared here.

  4. “Each time something of truth was shared, we both felt expansive and confirmed in who we are, being beautiful, most definitely divine and oh, so worthwhile!” We have such little focus on the beauty in ourselves and others, our life seems to be focused on the hurts we carry, and at times judgement, criticising, and being in protection. We tend to think we are not enough and are blind to what’s truly within ourselves. Life actually hurts without appreciation because it’s the view of everything that’s wrong and not as it ‘should’ be. When our mind is cluttered up with that negative focus on ourselves and others we really miss the magic.

  5. Such great advice for any relationship, including friends and family. Sometimes I notice people can struggle to let in the love and accept the appreciation, but I still feel how valuable it is to express because it offers an opportunity to begin to receive love in a way we may not be used to.

  6. I’m reminded about another piece of relationship advice… not just restricted to one’s partner but all relationships, and that is: if there is something that comes up, then to take responsibility for my part in it. When you then add appreciating another it just cuts through my self oriented responses of blame or denial of one’s own role, and gets to work on the reaction that we can all so easily fall into.

  7. Love this “If ever you have an issue with someone, it’s because you haven’t appreciated them well before.” Bingo indeed. Thank you for sharing.

  8. No matter who we are with in a relationship (friendship, romance, family etc) and who we live with, there will be areas that challenge us and areas that will delight us with the other person. We can of course focus on the challenges and forget the beauty or we can focus on the beauty and allow that to light the way through the challenges. Either way both have a purpose and if we see this for what is on offer, we can make that much more out of it and grow together.

  9. Every relationship we enter into is simply another opportunity to learn from another about ourselves and this is the blessing and the gift.

  10. True appreciation is something that can never be downplayed our underestimated. The perfect way to meander through the fog of our created issues.

  11. “There can be no focus on faults, when what is amazing and true in each other is plain as day.” Focusing on faults undermines relationship as it diminishes the love while appreciation establishes and expands confidence, trust and deepens love.

  12. This quote from Serge Benhayon changed how you were approaching your relationship. The wisdom in his words ignited yours to realize what could be the next step to take and the blessing that was for you both. Love this fact which inspires me to appreciate the imprint that Serge is leaving in my life as well.

  13. This is very beautiful to read Jennifer. I find inspiring how you as a couple support and deeply appreciating each other day by day. Definitely a relationship based on true appreciation is really powerful and unshackable.

  14. Appreciation works absolute magic. When I apply this fact I am blown away by the impact. What I have come to learn though is that true appreciation has to be founded in my relationship with myself – if I am not feeling it in me, then there is no depth in my expression of it to another. And I love the purpose and responsibility this brings to my relationship with myself.

    1. Well said Matilda. What we practice and live in our own lives others feel. When they are receiving appreciation from another who lives appreciation in there own life, you can’t help but feel the truth of this. Nothing fake nor put on here, but a depth of truth coming from a body that is living that truth, communicated to another body where that truth has been seen and very much appreciated. So that that person can easily connect to and feel that quality within themselves. So so beautiful.

  15. I love and adore my gorgeous husband and we express appreciation for and to each other many times a day every day – it would be impossible not to – however we have not done it “formally” in the specific way you have outlined. That sounds like a lot of fun so I will suggest to him that we give it a go!

    1. I was feeling into this as I was reading the blog and realising that it takes one to appreciate another without any formality to start to see change which means we can apply this approach to anyone and my feeling is that they would naturally start to appreciate back.

  16. I am always amazed at how little I know myself until someone says what qualities they know me to live by. We take ourselves for granted and dont appreciate ourselves, so we dont really know ourselves. This ritual of sharing of appreciation heals all that.

  17. Appreciation is something that is very much foundational to all relationships, including the one we have with ourselves. It does take consistent practice to connect and feel our inner qualities and then move in a way where we claim these qualities our ourselves. Like the practice you established with your husband, the appreciation was key to knowing each other and yourselves at a much deeper level.

  18. Expressing our appreciation can sometimes feel easy and natural yet at other times it can be very uncomfortable. Opening my heart and welcoming people into my heart supports me to express; I am learning to make it about the relationship and the letting go of that which is getting in the way of my evolution and the evolution of others.

  19. I think I have to put this relationship of Serge Benhayon into practice as well, as I have quite some issues with people, specially the ones who are dear to me. It has struck home with me as well.

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