The 3rd Party
A marriage — a partnership between 2 people creates a third party — the relationship. A partnership has three individuals — two people and a relationship. You need to treat the relationship as a third party with equal interest, input and time. For the partnership to thrive — the relationship must work.
By spending time defining our beliefs and values, we get to know ourself and each other—
We make a decision to enter a partnership for a reason. The reason is the whole, which the partnership creates, has greater value to us. Together we are more — we are a whole.
Maintenance is about 80% or more of living. Maintaining our self, our family, our career, our health, our home, our car, and anything else we value takes up the greater part of our life. When we enter a partnership, we create a relationship that requires more maintenance. Living is no longer about you and me, but about us. That us includes the relationship.
We need to start thinking in terms of me and you, and the relationship. Sometimes, that means making concessions to the relationship, even though it may not suit us individually. We can be at an impasse; each thinking the other is to blame. At this point, it’s time to think about the relationship. It may need tweaking — a small adjustment here and there may make the difference. It’s easier to be objective with the relationship, than with each other. We may have our disagreements, but we want the relationship to thrive. We must address and consider the ideas, feelings, and goals that we attribute to it. The relationship must get a vote.
When we approach a partnership this way, it is less about me or you, and aligns more with the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. This perspective gives a partnership a much better chance of survival. It enhances stability, therefore less downtime and fewer breakups.
When we go through many partnerships, it means starting all over again and carrying baggage from the last one. Not a good way to start anything. Consider thinking of your partnership with a separate entity — a relationship. This relationship is made of a composite of the desires, needs and goals of both of you. Each with an equal voice in the partnership. What’s good for the relationship has equal value. It is never about you and me, but you, me and the relationship.