How To Stay Together

Ded­i­cated to my wife Antoinette with love

Today is our (Antoinette’s and my) 35th wed­ding anniver­sary, which prompted me to write this post. Our friends and fam­ily con­grat­u­late us and obvi­ously are impressed how we stayed together for such a long time. We do not really see any­thing to be impressed about. We just are together and it is the most nat­ural thing for both of us. In The Game­less Rela­tion­ship I have out­lined the four prin­ci­ples of a healthy rela­tion­ship and we are both draw­ing from it on daily bases. Some­one says that all is in atti­tude. And indeed it is. Let me explain.

Just to be on the same page here is the definition

atti­tude |ˈatiˌt(y)oōd|


a set­tled way of think­ing or feel­ing about some­one or some­thing, typ­i­cally one that is reflected in a person’s behavior

So, when it comes to your atti­tude towards your mar­riage, do you see it as a rela­tion­ship between two sep­a­rate peo­ple that have come together to share life, or do you see your­selves as one fam­ily and parts of the same fam­ily. Although both are true, which one do you think is more likely to sup­port a long-term rela­tion­ship? How do you see your par­ents or your grand­par­ents, as two peo­ple that got together, merely in a rela­tion­ship, or as your fam­ily? As a fam­ily of course. They are yours. Blood is thicker than water. Why is it than, that spouses can­not see them­selves as such a strong fam­ily unit as their chil­dren see them. (Hint: blood has noth­ing to do with it.) What would it look like if your atti­tude (set­tled way of think­ing) towards your mar­riage would be not merely as a mar­riage, but as a fam­ily unit? Remem­ber, you can­not dis­own your fam­ily i.e. par­ents, chil­dren etc. That kind of atti­tude requires you to make such a choice (“choice” is a key word here) with integrity, com­mit­ment, respon­si­bil­ity and love, the four prin­ci­ples of a per­fect rela­tion­ship as elab­o­rated in The Game­less Relationship.

So, when­ever a prob­lem comes up, you deal with it as a unit, a fam­ily, not as two sep­a­rate peo­ple look­ing to gain advan­tage over each other, or get some­thing more for your­self. In par­ent­ing there is a rule that you scold chil­dren for what they did, or did not do and not for who they are. Take 100% respon­si­bil­ity for your fam­ily and avoid per­sonal judg­ments and per­sonal attacks. Use the same prin­ci­ple in your mar­riage towards each other and deal with it from the point of view of your fam­ily and what’s best for it, which coin­ci­den­tally, most of the time turns out to be best for each of you. Trust the process and you’ll eas­ily reach your 35th anniver­sary and not be sur­prised about it and cel­e­brate it with joy like every other day in your marriage.

Aware­ness Exer­cise: Notice in what ways and in what sit­u­a­tions you feel alone, although you are mar­ried or in a rela­tion­ship. Do you feel that that your life is, and deserves to be sep­a­rate? What prob­lems would you con­sider to be his/hers or yours only? How eas­ily can you dis­own your spouse/partner? Can you do the same with your sib­ling or a parent?



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