8 Essential Traits of Couples Who Thrive: Pt. 2

16 Nov

Goodwill

“Showing goodwill means giving your partner the benefit of the doubt.  It means being on your partner’s side and knowing that your partner is on your side.  When two people have good will toward one another, their spirits are open to each other (27).”

I can’t help but think of that line in Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married,” when he is fighting with his wife and he exclaims, “When you get married you give up the I for a we!” As it stands, we as black women-and really women in general-are being raised to be more and more independent. Additionally, the lack of adequate father figures in many of our lives leaves us grasping for straws when it comes to knowing what to look for in a partner.  Therefore we often enter relationships bandaged and bloody, wounded and then we treat our current partner as if he is the one who hurt us.  We don’t trust him, because we don’t trust men in general-we haven’t learned how. We haven’t learned how to discern from those with good intentions from those with ill will and once scorned we take our wrath out on the closest man in proximity.  This isn’t good-and perhaps its part of the reason black women are seen as bitter, angry, and emasculating.

I read a blog a while back about a woman who was getting married and going through couples counseling with her future husband, she considered herself an “independent woman,” and was having trouble with her assumed role within a marriage.  She remarks,

“Placing your trust in an individual is beyond terrifying. Too often we are willing to trust an individual with our bodies but not with our emotions or place confidence in their ability to take care of us. This is a mistake. If you don’t trust the individual you are with to provide for you and be able to hold it down then you are wasting your time and his…After our counseling was over there was a huge change in our relationship. I let go and I gave in. I trust my husband I don’t agree with every decision he makes but I trust that he has OUR best interest at heart (source) .”

That is having goodwill.  Couples must trust each other, and they must believe that the person they’ve chosen will not hurt them, but will instead have their best interests at heart.  Does it seem overly simplistic to assume that this is the case in any relationship?  Yet its not.  If you find yourself in a relationship where you don’t trust your partner, ask yourself why? Is it because of something they did or something you’re holding on from your past, and then communicate your feelings to your partner.  If you’re in a relationship why should you have to struggle alone?

In a class of mine a fellow classmate said that she believes marriages are always 75/25 but that the sums are constantly moving from one person to the other.  I would imagine that without goodwill in a relationship, you may have trouble being the 75 when your partner needed you, and accepting the 75 from them.  In a relationship, if you don’t have trust-you may as well be alone.

What are your thoughts on goodwill?

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