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Relationships: How to negotiate the best working deal possible.

At a certain point in relationships there will be conflict or disagreements.  As we get to know the other person, moving past whatever attracted us to them, we will argue and differ.  In any marriage or partnership, the principles who agree to a contract and its parameters often realize that it has it limits.  As we share our lives all of the aspects that we share are not usually discussed.  In a business contract, attorneys make sure their exacting language spells out responsibilities.  In today’s world some couples will sign a prenuptial agreement that protects assets but not the day to day parts of our lives.

What about who cooks, cleans, manages the money and other parts of out lives?  One of the universal parts of great partnerships is reciprocity, or what is in to the individual.  Having provided counseling to couples and families, it can be helpful to ask the participants to make a list of demands that they would like to negotiate.  This sounds cold and similar to labor negotiations but it has merit in that everything in life can be negotiated, with the exception of death and taxes.

Partnerships flourish when all parties maximize their strengths to the benefit of the organization or family.  When all parties know what is expected and enjoy the interaction counseling is seldom needed or sought.

All of this is fine for business, but no mention of love has been included.  Whatever love means to the participants should be discussed openly and this can include sex, fidelity, and related parts of the relationship.  All organizational and marital issues in counseling or consulting include communication issues.  This is true, because it is difficult to clearly communicate emotional concerns and share how we really feel about them. We are not necessarily raised to do this, and in some cases what we learn comes from out parents and how they communicate or “fight” in front of us.  As children we do not ask parents difficult questions.

Marital counseling requires honesty and an environment that is safe to share such communication.  Without it there can be little progress or understanding.

Simple questions about what does happiness look and feel like and how will you know when you have reached a goal? Change is difficult but evolution or alterations in our lives can be tried to see how it feels for all of the parties in the family.  Just being honest and showing openness to what others want and need to be happy has a positive impact on those in the family. It is not easy to live with another human, especially when we are so different.  The differences do add spice to any relationship, especially when we share it.

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