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

483 thoughts on “Relationship Advice

  1. We take so much for granted in this world and often do not appreciate what we have until it has gone. What a grace to bring our awareness back to the simplicity of appreciation, for one another and the qualities we bring, confirming that there is more to life than just the physical plane of life and that we have a huge amount of wisdom, care and love to express.

  2. ‘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!’ what a solid foundation to deepen your relation on allowing you to expose what is not truth in a deeply loving way.

  3. Oh my Jenny this is GOLD, something I want to re read again and again, all our complicated frustrations can be brought back to the simplicity of not appreciating another.

  4. I always used to ask people in relationships why they argued and why arguing was taken as such a normal part of a relationship and for many their answer was that it was healthy and that somehow not arguing would mean there was something wrong. But what if the fact or the argument is a symptom that there have been things left unsaid well before there needs to be an argument? And what if not all those things need to be negative, but also expressing appreciation is part of it?

    1. Great point Rebecca, there’s always a building up before an argument, ‘And what if not all those things need to be negative, but also expressing appreciation is part of it?’ it’s so easy to see the negative and not the appreciation being held back.

  5. Utilising the potential of knowledge and understanding and activating it to a lived wisdom that is experienced tangibly and thus is known as truth.

  6. When we are focused on finding solutions that may appear to be the obvious way to deal with a problem we often overlook that we are still in the same quality/energy that created the problem in the first place. Changing the energy/quality of our approach like in choosing appreciation over critique, judgment, reaction etc then has the potential to do the magic.

    1. I agree Alex – we can think we can think our way out of things, yet whilst the view may be different we are still in the same ‘soup’ – and going around and around in circles.

  7. I’m pondering the true purpose of being in a relationship and this quote feels like a pearl to start ““If ever you have an issue with someone, it’s because you haven’t appreciated them well before.” Being in a relationship with someone is about all the things we can learn about ourselves from having such a close reflection . . .?
    Any others?

  8. I love this Jenny, it highlights the alchemy of appreciation. Wither it’s with ourselves or others it’s an essential part of brining love to any equation.

  9. Another most wise and sage relationship advice has been to let go of pictures, beliefs and ideals when it comes to everything in life. Any argument I’ve initiated has come from a picture or expectation I’ve placed on another person.

  10. Arguing in a relationship does not feel healthy, but if we allow ourselves to take responsibility for our part in each argument, we can identify what our needs are:- to be listened to, to be understood, to be respected, to be confirmed, to be loved. None of these things will be reflected back to us unless we can first of all do them for ourselves and then we can listen, understand, respect, confirm and love others. When it’s in our own body then it doesn’t matter what other people do, we feel the love anyway.

  11. “If ever you have an issue with someone, it’s because you haven’t appreciated them well before.” I had an issue with myself this morning – nothing that a bit of appreciation couldn’t cut through!

  12. Acknowledging and appreciating the qualities of another debases the scaffolding of tension immediately. What a great way of addressing relationship issues, as this builds ” … a foundation of love and respect for each other’s true value, a foundation that …. leaves us feeling unshakeable as a couple…” An awesome sharing, Thank you

  13. I love it how one sentence can completely change your whole relationship, such a great reminder how powerful and life-changing our words can be if used wisely.

  14. I love the invitation of this blog to appreciate! The more I appreciate (especially after a spate of not doing so) I understand its huge support in feeling expanded and joyful. If we teach our kids nothing else, teaching them lovingly to appreciate could serve them more than anything else I know!

  15. ‘Being someone with a tendency until then to see faults well before I might acknowledge valuable attributes (both in myself and others) …’ this is a trait I recognise in myself also, awesome to feel the change of allowing and expressing appreciation for ourselves and each other.

  16. The soundest relationship advice is to be in a deep, honouring relationship with ourselves first. Because that is the only way we can rise above the traps and hurdles of ideals, beliefs, hurts and many other forces that can cloud life, and be bale to read the truth of any situation.

    1. So beautifully said Golnaz, the relationship we have with ourselves and the level of honesty and integrity that we have with self, lays the foundation for our relationship with all others.

  17. Just today a received relationship advice in an esoteric numerology session during a training course that actually was completely free of any advice as no personal view of the practitioner´s views; much more it was a reading on the what is and the potential of what is available for me to explore and unfold my relationships – quite an extraordinary experience, extraordinary as in the clarity and integrity of the numbers laying it all out for us.

  18. ‘There can be no focus on faults, when what is amazing and true in each other is plain as day.’ Very beautiful Jennifer, imagine if this is normal in all relationships. There would be no issues.

  19. I too recall getting some relationship advice from older adults as I was growing up. The advice I recall was that it was good to live with someone first before you married them so that you would get a chance to get to know them much better. In the generation previous to mine, it was a no-no to be in a relationship and to not be married and some were disowned by their families if they left the home without being in wedlock, so I can understand this advice, and I would say it certainly helps to have spent time with a person and lived with them before deciding on marriage. Though in my experience it does not take a long time to feel if you are so called ‘compatible’ with another. I know in my current relationship, we moved in together as house mates, not knowing each other, and yet from day 1 we got along super well, in fact so well that everyone assumed we were married before we even got together as a couple! And so we got together and have now been married for 14 years! But over this time, the relationship has grown and transformed as we have had an opportunity to deepen our relationship with ourselves and each other.

  20. “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.” – Appreciation is a key ingredient in all relationships, and though it may begin as a so called exercise (as we learn what appreciation is and how to express it), it can develop into the natural foundation for self and relationship with others that it truly can be and is.

  21. We’ve probably all handed on some pretty shonky relationship advice to friends and daughters, and perhaps sons. At last some true and valuable relationship advice is here – simply because we are becoming aware of the truth. Wonderful!

  22. Living with someone who is evolving with you is one of the greatest things I have experienced in my life. I had to wait through five years of looking before I found her. It was well worth it.

  23. Appreciation is a very powerful and beautiful tool as we can let go of any negative thoughts that may hinder intimacy. The deeper and more intimate we become with others the more we open ourselves up to their inner beauty which confirms that we are innately connected and divine.

  24. Making the focus on appreciation of each other in relationships instead of faults feels so lovely and completely changes the whole scenario. This can really deepen the foundation of any relationship too, any friendship, all we need to do is notice and appreciate more and more.

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