Saturday, August 17, 2013

How to really love someone. And a checklist for relationships.

This evening, someone shared a link online containing words of wisdom from a man named David Mikus who had been married 37 years, and who was just about to finalize his divorce.

He wrote down the things he wished he'd known or done a long time ago, as it was now too late to do so.

Scroll down to


Much of what he wrote contained important reminders that we all know is Relationship 101, but that few of us take to heart on a regular basis.

In a nutshell, these include:

1) Never stop courting or dating.
2) Don't forget to love and take care of yourself, too.
3) Keep falling in love with your partner as he or she grows and changes.
4) Always focus on the best in the other person.
5) Don't hold grudges and be easy and quick with forgiveness.
6) Never stop growing together.


But in between those lines he shared was something that might be called my eureka moments about relationships, based on the following premises:

Most people are looking for a partner in love, and they want to be loved. To be loved and cherished is a basic human need.

Most people embark on a serious relationship aiming for success and happiness.

Few people will consciously sabotage their relationships at the outset, even if they may end up doing so later on.

Most adults carry a hurt, insecurity or trauma from childhood that was caused by someone around them, whether intentionally or not.

This defines how a person approaches and acts in a relationship way more than people realize.


Many people will subconsciously choose a partner who they think can help them heal from these past hurts.

The most successful relationships are those wherein two people are helping (or have helped) their partners to overcome their past hurts.

Correspondingly, relationships that do not nurture healing, or that aggravate the childhood wounds, are almost doomed to fail in a matter of time -- whether the two people stay together or not.

Two unhappy people staying together is still a failure of a relationship.


Love or affection is an ideal prerequisite for relationship success, of course.

But as we live in an imperfect world, two people can get together for reasons other than love, including shared interests or goals, convenience, or a mutual need for each other.

And reading this entry penned by a man about to be divorced from his wife of 37 years, I indirectly realized that there is a checklist for relationship success.

Scroll down to


Some people call it compatibility -- but this is really such a vague term.

I thought I'd spell it out here instead in two easy checkpoints for serious relationships.


1) Do two people bring out the best in each other?

Each person has positive and negative triggers, and it's important that your partner trigger the positives more often than the negatives.

This is not about one person being bad and the other being good. Rather, it's about each person's style of relating to and communicating with another person, and whether this suits their partner.

If partners trigger more negatives than positives, it will mean a relationship full of conflict rather than support.


2) Are both people willing to understand the childhood trauma of their partners, that their partners hope to heal?

Understanding the childhood trauma of a partner in a non-judgmental way, and helping them heal this in some way, is a major contributor to relationship stability.

This constitutes the partner's deepest weakness, whether he or she even realizes it or not.

We are products of our childhood traumas way more than we realize.

But it is important for the success of the relationship that the other person understands this and avoids triggering it or reacting to it in a negative way.

Ideally, the other person should even help their partner through it.

Without enough healing taking place, this may become a conflict area for the relationship or become a source of unhappiness.

Two perfectly good people may become incompatible for each other.


One of the most famous examples of incompatibility between two people who were perfectly fine human beings with their own share of faults and weaknesses is the failed marriage of Prince Charles and the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

They were both good people who needed healing, but they were unable to help each other heal.

Their fairytale existence and privileged lives contributed little to helping their marriage succeed -- thus their personal unhappiness.

Fortunately, Prince Charles seems to have found someone who finally understands him. May everyone be as lucky.


Ultimately, real love in a relationship can be described in many ways. 

But one of the key aspects is understanding one's partner's traumas, whether the partner himself or herself understands these or not, and helping him or her rise above these in some way.

Without this understanding, the relationship can so easily become a life of continuous conflict.


This is about bringing out the best in someone, and enabling him or her to be the best he or she can be in a relationship.

This is not about giving what you want or what you can in a relationship, but about giving what your partner needs.

Hopefully, the other person will do it for you too.

And, of course, a happy relationship is something everyone wants, along with a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.


No comments:

Post a Comment