Thursday, January 24, 2013

Climbing The Step Ladder - Part 2

Step 2 – Respect your partner 

Respecting the person you have chosen as your partner is of second importance only to respecting yourself. By choosing him you have taken a very important step that changes everything in your life. Instead of focusing solely on yourself, you now need to shift that focus onto another, whilst at the same time continuing to respect your own needs.

Respecting your partner means sharing yourself with him – giving him entrance to your physical, emotional and spiritual being. It means giving him permission to show himself to you (warts and all) and accepting him unconditionally (despite his imperfections). It also means allowing him to know who you are (the good, the bad and the ugly) and giving him the opportunity to love and accept you unconditionally (despite your imperfections).

Respecting your partner means giving, sharing and compromising. It means being open to learning, to growing and changing as you travel through life together.

Practical you respect your partner in a stepfamily situation:

·      Recognize the importance of time spent alone together – away from your step-parenting responsibilities.

Daily - find 15-20 minutes to talk about your day – share coffee, a pre-dinner drink, go for a walk …
Weekly – spend an evening together (without the kids) - go to the movies, eat at a restaurant, share a candle-lit dinner at home…..
Monthly – spend a day together - roam the city, go boating, fishing or swimming…..
Yearly – Take a holiday together (without the children).

·      Romance your partner. Be aware that romance is often the first victim in a stepfamily situation. Write love notes. Tell him how much he means to you.

·      Let him know your feelings (about him, about the stepfamily situation, about life). Don’t hide your upsets, whether they are to do with him or to do with other issues. Be sure that you communicate in a non-blaming self-responsible way for instance “When you give your children all your attention and time, I feel left out and that hurts”.

·      Remember that conflict is part of life – so don’t be afraid of it. Use the opportunity to discuss and work out your differences.

·      Support each other.

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