Why on earth would you commit to spend the rest of your life with another person?
I think it’s a fair question, and an important one.
Ursula Elrod and I have been together for 17 years, married for 12.
On Saturday night, we went out for Valentine’s Day, and we not only celebrated how far we’ve come, we talked about where we’re committed to going, together.
What I continue to learn about having a successful, fulfilling relationship is that it has much less to do with the other person, and almost everything to do with how I choose to perceive and treat the other person.
I find that my perception of someone informs both how I feel and how I behave toward that person, and that we all have the power to alter our perception by choosing what we focus on.
We can choose to focus on their faults, or their gifts. We can amplify what we don’t like, or amplify what we appreciate.
Whatever we focus on will inform how we feel about that person, and influence how we treat them.
So, what’s the point of saying all this?
It’s to clarify that we all have the ability to choose what we focus on with regards to our significant other (or anyone else in our life for that matter), and thus create our perception and influence our behavior, and thus we’re able to determine how fulfilling our relationships are.
To ensure I remember all of this and implement it consistently, I keep a page of affirmations that I read every day, to remind myself of all the qualities I love and appreciate about my wife, and affirm how specifically I’m committed to treating her, every single day.
Remember, our perception informs how we feel and how we treat others, so let’s to be intentional and proactive about fostering a perception that compels us to love our significant others more deeply and treat them the way they want (and deserve) to be treated.
If we can commit to doing that, I think sharing our life with another person is one of the most fulfilling commitments we can make.
With love & gratitude,