Signs of Positive Relationship Teamwork

Somehow I find this list of suggestions for building and sustaining a healthy relationship extremely valuable for myself at this point in time, and something that is important to share with my readers…  Hope they offer you guidance and inspiration. No doubt about it… Relationships of any sort are hard work and need ongoing nurturance and care.

In honor of Dolly and Jim (miss you guys…) and the 65 years that they sustained a strong marriage, here are some powerful goals for all of us to work toward in our own relationships with those we love…

  • You openly and frequently talk about your life: your respective dreams, fantasies, fears, pressures, victories, and disappointments.
  • Without nagging or policing each other, you encourage each other to stick to your plans to better yourself.
  • You offer help to each other when motivation to live healthy begins to sag.
  • No one is victimized by the choices you make as you try to take better care of yourself.
  • You help each other make time to take care of yourselves.
  • You encourage each other to reward yourselves for this healthier way of living.
  • You allow each other to express strong emotions.
  • You accept that relationships, just like individuals, grow and change and that you therefore must periodically alter your expectations and ways of relating to each other in order to adjust to new ways of being together — just as you would with a financial plan.
  • You are honest with each other about what you think, feel, need, and want.
  • You are flexible in your roles as you deal with the tasks and responsibilities facing your family.
  • When you have conflicts, you listen, empathize, and compromise with each other, or maturely agree to disagree.
  • You privately and publically express respect and appreciation for each other.
  • You avoid using power-struggle tactics. You are direct, honest, and fair in trying to get your needs and desires met.
  • You are gentle and forgiving in dealing with each other.
  • You encourage and help each other develop abilities and traits that will make you more complete people.
  • You try not to be driven by stress and frustration.
  • Rather than clinging to the unrealistic belief that a relationship can work naturally, you accept the fact that you will have to work to keep the healing spirit of your relationship alive.
  • You are able to forgive each other for mistakes.
  • You are at peace with the fact that no one — no matter how good or loving they may be — is perfect.
  • You regularly have fun together.
  • In your marriage, you continue that “boyfriend-girlfriend” action that serves as the core of your romance. You regularly notice, court, and romance each other.
  • In your marriage, you regularly let each other know that you still choose each other.

Mom & Dad Weber 11-16-12

Are there any of these that you and your partner do well? Any that you think you could work on? How might you do that?


Sotile, W. & Sotile, M. (1996). The Medical Marriage: A couple’s Survival Guide. Carol Publishing Group.

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Summer Home Renovation Project

Has it really been four years since the kitchen renovation?!!! Continue to love and enjoy this happy and cheerful room in our home!!!

Thank you, Greg Price and HALCO Construction, Inc. in Greenville, NC!!!


So hard to believe that the school buses are rolling this week… Where has the summer gone? It has been busy for most of us, too busy at times. Is it just me, or are the responsibilities on our plates multiplying at breakneck speed?

Of course, I can attribute our major home renovation project as something consuming a great deal of time and energy for a lot of my time this summer. But I tend to forget that during that time I was also able to sit and reread a series of five books by James Redfield starting with “The Celestine Prophecy” written in 1993. There was a lot of quiet time to read and reflect throughout recent weeks. What a wonderful respite in a busy season…

And the renovation project was wonderful in a strange way, too. I was not expecting to have the flashback memories of a child growing up with a dad and brothers who spent lots of time buzzing saws and hammering nails and planning their next wood-working project… The smell of sawdust and paint and the communication of tool and workmen in the distance carried me back to my roots on many days.

The ebb and flow of early morning greetings, lunch time communications, text messages and phone calls about schedule modifications throughout any day or week all seemed so normal. Who would have thought that such a disruptive project to our home life could have ended up having a joyous life of it’s own?!!

Now the house is quiet again, the workman gone on to other places, and in its wake is a magnificent area of my home that is truly a work of art, filled with unexpected memories of my youth and ready for a new chapter of life in the years to come… Glad all is done and settled, yet I miss the energy and interaction of a professional team making a dream on paper come to life…

If you live in Greenville, North Carolina I have an excellent contractor and crew to recommend! (Thank you, HALCO Construction, Inc.!) This home renovation project was a delightful experience, and the outcome truly amazing…  🙂

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Ten Keys to a Strong Family

Our world today is complicated. Daily we are reminded that life is fragile, and downright unpredictable. We feel incredible stress and anxiety, uncertain of what the future holds for ourselves and those we love. Many of us hunger to know the secrets of caring families — families who make good times better and tough times more endurable. How do we create and sustain families that strive to make life safe and meaningful for each member?

“Strong” is only one word for such families. We can call them functional, if we want to be technical, or opt for more inspiring words such as balanced, happy, successful, or content.

Most families have the capacity to grow stronger. These are the principles strong families live by:

“Our family comes first”

Strong families support each others dreams; they sacrifice to show support. A friend turned down a company trip to the Bahamas so he could attend his son’s championship soccer game. “The beach will always be there but my son won’t always be 14 and team captain.” This “family first” attitude begins with a bond of loyalty between marital partners. But single-parent families can be just as successful in raising strong children if they develop a “family first” attitude.

“We belong together — and apart”

Strong families use the word “we” a lot, but “I” is never forgotten. Family members know they have the freedom to go off on their own, even if the direction is one that “we” have never followed before. The family message is, “We’re behind you, so you can be you.”

“We are a democracy”

While parents are naturally in a leadership role, strong families strive to share decision-making. They resolve difference by respecting other viewpoints and accepting compromise solutions. One family decided to spend money on a son’s music lessons rather than replacing worn carpeting. The compromise was to pitch in and clean the carpet. In another family, everyone but the youngest daughter loved to ski. They rented a vacation condo with plenty of activities for the daughter, and the skiers accepted an hour’s drive to the slopes.

“We treat each other well”

In strong families, positive strokes outnumber negative broadsides by a wide margin. Members regularly express appreciation: “Thanks for fixing the drainpipe.” “You look so nice in that dress.” “The dinner was great.” Criticism is offered gently. After all, strong families figure, if we can be kind to strangers, why not to one another?

“We roll with the punches”

A 25-year study of more than 21,000 families found that the successful ones are adaptable. Recently, I heard about a retired couple whose son, after a business failure, returned to live with them along with his pregnant wife and two children. At the same time, the retired husband’s aged mother moved in. Plans for travel were put on hold, but this family expressed no regrets. Indeed, the wife talks about the joys of having four generations together. She sees a challenge rather than a setback. Strong families are flexible in everyday matters too. They don’t “sweat the small stuff — crabby kids, traffic jams, and bad hair days.” They just breathe deeply and move on.

“We pay attention”

Strong families are good listeners, whether the talk is large or small — about a pending layoff at work or a Little League practice. They make sure they understand, using phrases such as, “I’m not sure I know what you mean. Can you say it another way?” A good rule: Don’t read minds; listen with your heart.

“We cherish family time”

According to a Harris poll, a large majority of men and women aged 20 to 40, value a work schedule with enough time for family. But strong families do more than hope for time; they insist on it. They set work boundaries and prioritize family fun. “At work, I give 100 percent,” a young mother told me. “I won’t even take a phone call that doesn’t relate to the project at hand. But bring work home with me? Forget about it.” She added, “No job lasts forever, but a great family does.”

“We want to improve the world”

In disproportionate numbers, strong families volunteer in local organizations, serve on school boards and town councils, and coach sports teams. They help in individual ways, too, making house repairs for elderly neighbors, shopping for the home-bound, babysitting for frazzled young mothers. “What goes around comes around” is an adage well-known to strong families.

“We have faith”

Religious belief, trust, a sense of connection to the universe — no matter what you call it, there is a spiritual component to strong families. They see their lives imbued with purpose, reflected in the things they do for one another and the community. Small problems provide a chance to grow; large ones are a lesson in courage. A mother whose son died of a brain tumor bravely returned to the hospital where he died in order to set up a research fund. When she saw the parents of children who currently were suffering, she told her son’s doctor: “If any research you do produces any advance, my son’s passing won’t have been totally without purpose.” It takes a certain type of spiritual grace to see beyond one’s own misery to the needs of others. Strong families try to live so they can look outward — and inward — every single day.

Parade Magazine, December 1, 2002.

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