8 Essential Traits of Couples Who Thrive pt. 1

12 Nov

Relationships are by far the thing that people come in to talk about the most.  There is always a him that is causing a something, or if there is no him (or her) then that is a problem as well.  We were not meant to be alone, and we’ve figured that much out.

In our counseling library I came across a book by author Susan Page called The 8 essential traits of couples who thrive, and I started to thumb through it seeing what her take on successful relationships were.  I’ll make this an 8 part post, because of the depth of each trait.  The first trait she lists is: Desire, Belief, and Commitment.

Couples who thrive show no evidence of ambivalence.  Their happiness and all the other beautiful qualities in their relationships derive from their unmitigated desire to be together, belief in the rightness of their relationship, and their total  and their absolute commitment to their life together (4).

This boils down to something I call choosing your choice.  When you choose your choice, you throw yourself into it, believing with the entirety of your being that this is the right decision.  There has to to be a want, right? This does not just go for romantic relationship but this goes for any relationship.  Both entities have to be committed to the success of it.  Think about when you’re always the one to call up a friend how it makes you feel.  If you are giving 80% and your friend is giving 20% eventually you will doubt the commitment of the other person, the same works in any relationship.  Whether the person actually IS as committed as you perceive them to be is a different story altogether.

Belief…do you believe you can be happy with this person? If not then you won’t be.  As previously discussed, our emotions are tied to our thoughts.  If you don’t think happiness is attainable with this person then you won’t feel it, and you certainly won’t achieve it.  So much of relationships are based on faith.  Not necessarily of the spiritual kind, but the essence of the word itself, belief without proof.  If you do not believe in the success of your relationship, trust me, its days are numbered.  Think about it in terms of work.  If you are working on a project that you don’t believe in, that you don’t feel with be successful or profitable will you put your all into it? Can you sell it to a crowd before you’ve sold it to yourself?

Commitment…is it unconditional? Is it unwavering? Are there hesitations? All boil down to doubt and distrust.  Trust, in my opinion, is an absolute; either you do it or you don’t-with no in between, its like being a little bit pregnant.  Having a doubt filled relationship where you think your needs are not being met, or could be better met elsewhere, or voicing hesitations are all disastrous.  Getting into a relationship is like signing up for a game of russian roulette, you don’t know what will happen whether the gun will misfire or strike but you sit and you pull the trigger anyway.  Often we can find commitment in bad habits quicker than we can in good relationships.  Why is it easier to commit to disaster than to commit to happiness?  Again…faith.  There is no guarantee that that commitment will be reciprocated or everlasting, so we protect ourselves armed with doubt.  Perhaps this is why love is an act of insanity, proof of the illogical.

What are your thoughts on Desire|Belief|Commitment being the foundation of a successful relationship?


3 Responses to “8 Essential Traits of Couples Who Thrive pt. 1”

  1. leandro November 12, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    Desire, belief, yes.. commitment definitely!!! I’d add flexibility, commonality of basic values, patience, willingness to step up and be unselfish , compromise, respect, tenderness, and the list goes on..

  2. An Athlete's Wife November 12, 2010 at 5:59 pm #

    Great post love! My Bishop said that decision means to “cut off,” meaning eliminating other options and making a firm choice. So when you choose your choice you need to make sure that it is the proper choice so that you can put all you have into it. I was always told to be the change that you want to see. There are going to be times when the relationship is not going to be 50/50 and we have to understanding of that. That’s in friendship, relationship or marriage. But when you have faith in the relationship, you know that when the other person can do more they will. Now if it never started as 50/50 or at no point does the person believe it should be 50/50 then you might want to keep it moving lol.

    The problem with relationships is that we think they will fix all of the problems in our lives. I am a firm believer that you attract what you put out. Sometimes this can be subconsciously, but we have to whole before attracting the right mate. We get caught up in the hype of the line from Jerry Maguire…”You complete me!” NO, no, no…you want someone that will compliment you because when they are out of the picture you still need to be able to SURVIVE!


  3. Brownbelle November 12, 2010 at 6:54 pm #

    I agree. Thing is, everybody wants the fantasy love that just magically happens–you find Prince(ss) Charming and the universe complies by making every day happily ever after. It takes some of the thrill out to know that at some point, you just CHOOSE the person you want to love forever. The only fate in it is whether you make a good gamble on someone who will choose you back.

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