September 22, 2006, Newsletter Issue #119: Healthy Relationships: Consensus

Tip of the Week

Real love involves making decisions together -- not making decisions for the other person, or allowing them to be made for you. In such a relationship, partners choose their path together. While remaining independent people, they seek out each other's agreement on choices that affect them both.

When they don't agree, they communicate and explore ways to find agreement. This is a challenging part of a healthy relationship, involving maturity, patience, and a willingness to learn. When couples commit to discussing and wrestling with their hopes and fears, wants and needs, they commit to a deeper love that can make them both better people.

Consensus isn't easy. It requires both partners to be trustworthy and willing to trust. If one person's trust has been broken -- either by this partner or by someone in the past -- it may take time before a consensus- and trust-based relationship can be achieved.

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