Understanding is the Key to any Relationship

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To understand one another in a relationship is to "stand-under" by supporting and putting the relationship first. Did you notice my "word play" above? I flipped the word "understand" backwards to explain my point. The easiest example I often use is a table. If you want a relationship to work, then learn to stay humble by being a leg of the table. If the top of the table represents your relationship and all parties involved represents the legs of the table, then that top, which is the relationship will always take precedent over everyone involved.

Everyone involved will always put the relationship first and focus on holding it up. When pride kicks in and one of the legs decides to show off by being bossy, that table top, which is the relationship will begin to wobble and may fall if that prideful leg doesn't get back where it belongs. Now imagine if all parties involved think too highly of themselves and then move away from underneath the table top; the relationship will collapse.

Staying humble and putting the relationship first doesn't mean there is no leader or a head in some relationship. Every ship needs a captain and the captain always lead by example. Captains are usually the last to leave the ship because captains puts everyone else ahead of themselves. Jesus was a leader that washed His disciples' feet. To lead effectively, you must become a servant.
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It is not uncommon for two people to have different point of view on the same issue. The easiest way to understand their point of view is usually to first see where they are coming from and then look for a common ground. Sometimes, that common ground can be in the middle or simply the old fashion agree to disagree. Majority of the issues that create conflicts in a relationship usually ends up being trivia things. The first kind of relationship that comes to mind is between husband and wife. However, we all have relationships with people around us on a daily basis. 
  • You have a pet-peeve and it annoys the daylight out of you when someone pushes out the tooth paste from the middle instead of the bottom of the tube. Your spouse's pet-peeve is the reverse. You both can agree that the most important thing is for the paste to come out of the tube.
  • When was the last time you took one for the team, your friend, your parents, your co-worker, your brother, your sister, your cousin, your neighbor, your kids etc. 
  • If you have a kid, how often do you lookout for their best interest instead of yours when making a decision?
The point is, little things like these examples may not sound like a big deal but they can create an escalation of other issues if not kept in check. And when "little" things like these are blown out of proportion, it becomes harder for people in a relationship to actually listen to each other or have an open mind about everything else. So these "small things" may be bigger than you think.

We must first recognize that every relationship demands commitment from all sides involved. So don't tell your spouse to "understand" you if you're not willing to do the same. This piece is not about "everything" you need to know about relationships. My focus is on what I refer to as the key to keeping all kinds of relationships afloat in the midst of a storm. You cannot relate or have a successful relationship with someone you don't understand. Know their likes and dis-likes, then sacrifice where possible.