100 Practices For Great Relationships


100 Practices For Great Relationships

[Editor's Note: While this article is written about the relationship in a marriage, its information and advice can be applied to all relationships, with friends, family, co-workers, yourself, and the "world-out-there".]

When my husband Charlie and I conducted our study, Secrets of Great Marriages: Real Truths from Real Couples about Lasting Love, these are the practices that respondents told us had held them in good stead to grow their exemplary relationships.

As you read through the list, assess your own strengths and growing edge. Congratulate yourself for the areas where you shine.

This list will assist you in identifying where your work is still required to become eligible for a great relationship.

1. Cultivating vision by asking yourself, “What's available? What’s possible here?

2. Risking by growing courage and assertiveness

3. Showing up for what's happening

4. Accepting/Letting Go/Surrender to what is

5. Staying on top of incompletions

6. Being able to change channels/flexibility

7. Being able to distinguish truth from imagination

8. Letting go of guilt and seeing its source

9. Allowing yourself to receive and be supported: Being a gracious receiver

10. Creating a community of support by accepting physical and emotional support and connection

11. Practicing gratitude, especially when you’re resentful or feeling self-pity

12. Practicing compassion for yourself and others when there is mistreatment or unkindness

13. Being open and vulnerable

14. Having trusting relationships with others who can see what you can't

15. Telling the truth

16. Refusing to lie and refusing to lie to yourself

17. Practicing patience when we are tired of waiting

18. Regularly checking in with yourself and with your partner

19. Setting boundaries and stopping before you get to your limit

20. Not withholding love

21. Willingness to feel the pain

22. Creating a close primary relationship through giving and loving abundantly

23. Living with authenticity

24. Willingness to feel

25. Letting others know how you feel

26. Acknowledging vulnerability, fears, needs, and desires

27. Dis-identifying with the ego/body

28. Taking solace and comfort wherever you find it

29. Creating work that you love and that heals you as you do it

30. Being involved with your kids' friends

31. Outgrowing the need for others' approval

32. Not taking on others' projections

33. Practicing acceptance of the little pains and losses

34. Using all experiences in life to deepen spiritual practice

35. Staying current and complete with everyone in your life, all the time

36. Trusting the truth of your experience

37. Refusing to accept a victim identity

38. Taking responsibility for everything in your life

39. Refusing to engage in blame of self or others

40. Staying away from bad therapists

41. Staying out of the mainstream

42. Making a big space for the dark shadow, to include your craziness, weakness, helplessness, vulnerability, hatred, ignorance, and prejudice

43. Taking care of your body

44. Cultivating self-love and self-acceptance

45. Practicing humility

46. Knowing how to replenish and refuel and do it!

47. Trusting your body not your mind

48. Knowing what feels right and going after it

49. Continuing to give no matter what

50. Working if you can; if you can't, don't

51. Doing whatever it takes to get you through the night

52. Practicing generosity of spirit

53. Finding something to be grateful for always

54. Accepting love from others even if you doubt you are worthy or deserving

55. Avoiding comparisons

56. Reducing attachments to preferences

57. Finding the teachings and blessings in everything

58. Saying "yes" to everything life brings you

59. Living in such a way as to be worthy of trust and respect

60. Participating fully in grief-work

61. Experiencing feelings and emotions, expressing, acknowledging feelings through journaling, group-work, therapy, and looking for opportunities to communicate feelings

62. Living with mindfulness, presence, meditation

63. Finding your courage, risk challenging yourself and pressing the edge

64. Going outside of your comfort zone

65. Asking for help, requesting support

66. Containing or holding feelings (this is not repressing or suppressing them)

67. Expressing spontaneously

68. Checking in with self and other

69. Checking your intention, stating intention

70. Taking down-time or soul-time

71. Living a life of service, contribution, volunteerism, generosity, giving

72. Committing to compassionate self-care

73. Drawing boundaries

74. Saying “no” without explanation, justification, rationalization or excuses

75. Uncovering and recognizing the fear

76. Making requests

77. Only making agreements you are committed to keeping

78.Going on a “should" fast

79. Checking in and only doing what you can do without feeling obligated

80. Doing only what you want to do, rather than acting from a sense of duty or obligation. If there isn’t a desire, don’t do it

81. Playing. Doing activities for no reason other than they provide fun or pleasure

82.Looking at your motives and intentions with keen self-examination

83. Witnessing in the state of non-judging awareness

84. Allowing yourself solitude

85.Spending time in nature

86. Forgiving when you’ve been wronged or wronged another. Forgiving everyone

87.Breathing consciously

88. Identifying and cultivating and strengthening talents

89. Setting goals. What do you want to experience? How often?

90. Slowing down and examining the fear of slowing down

91. Holding the tension of the opposites

92. Withholding opinions, advice, and philosophy unless it is solicited

93. Taking time outs such as, “I need a moment to think about that.”

94. Declining requests and invitations

95.Finding and honoring your own pace and rhythm, rather than going along with others

96. Practicing non-judgment by going on a "blame" fast . This will prompt learning to distinguish the “judge” from your authentic self

97. Building strength, both physical and intellectual

98.Discovering the gold in the shadow and befriend it rather than resist it

99. Looking for the growth opportunity in each breakdown (A breakdown is any situation, which involves a disappointment in expectations of self or others or circumstances. Seeing it as a means of strengthening specific character traits.)

100. Becoming a better/more loving/stronger/ more whole person.

 ©2018 by Linda and Charlie Bloom.

Book by these Authors

Happily Ever After...and 39 Other Myths about Love: Breaking Through to the Relationship of Your Dreams
by Linda and Charlie Bloom.

Happily Ever After...and 39 Other Myths about Love: Breaking Through to the Relationship of Your Dreams by Linda and Charlie Bloom.According to bestselling authors and relationship counselors Linda and Charlie Bloom, accepting common myths such as “couples with great relationships don’t fight” or “little things aren’t worth getting upset over” can prevent you from building the strong relationship you hope for. This book offers compelling stories and valuable suggestions for replacing myths with realistic expectations, equipping you with behavior and communication guidelines that will enhance and strengthen your intimate relationship. With the Blooms’ strong yet flexible approach to love, you’ll discover a new openness in which mutual understanding can thrive.

Click here for more info and/or to order this paperback book or purchase the Kindle edition.

About the Authors

Linda Bloom, LCSW, and Charlie Bloom, MSWLinda Bloom, LCSW, and Charlie Bloom, MSW, married since 1972, are bestselling authors and the founders and codirectors of Bloomwork. Trained as psychotherapists and relationship counselors, they have worked with individuals, couples, groups, and organizations since 1975. They have lectured and taught at learning institutes throughout the USA and have offered seminars throughout the world, including China, Japan, Indonesia, Denmark, Sweden, India, Brazil, and many other locations. Their website is www.bloomwork.com.

More books by these Authors

Happily Ever After...and 39 Other Myths about Love: Breaking Through to the Relationship of Your Dreams

relationshipAuthor: Linda Bloom
Binding: Paperback
Studio: New World Library
Label: New World Library
Publisher: New World Library
Manufacturer: New World Library

Buy Now
Editorial Review:
Imagine what a difference in your life it might make if you had the ability to distinguish the truth from beliefs that are commonly-held, but untrue.
According to bestselling authors and relationship counselors Linda and Charlie Bloom, accepting certain commonly-held beliefs such as: "Couples with great relationships don't fight" or "Little things aren't worth getting upset over" and "If my partner were more like me we would have a better relationship" can prevent you from building a solid, mutually fulfilling partnership.

This book offers compelling stories and valuable suggestions for distinguishing truth from fiction and helps readers to recognize myths and avoid falling into the trap of believing everything that you think! Happily Ever After provides you with communication guidelines and tools that will enhance and strengthen your ability to avoid many of the pitfalls that so many couples experience when they mistakenly accept widely-held opinions that are masking as "truths".

101 Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Married: Simple Lessons to Make Love Last

relationshipAuthor: Linda Bloom
Binding: Paperback
Brand: Bloom, Linda/ Bloom, Charlie/ Hendricks, Kathlyn (FRW)/ Hendricks, Gay (FRW)
Studio: New World Library
Label: New World Library
Publisher: New World Library
Manufacturer: New World Library

Buy Now
Editorial Review: What if you could learn important relationship lessons now, rather than after you make the mistakes that most couples make? You can, and this best-selling book will point the way!
Linda and Charlie Bloom were in their early 20's when they met and fell in love. At twenty five they married and their first-born came eighteen months later.

According to Charlie, "We were young and we made a lot of mistakes; enough to fill a book." Fast forward about twenty years.

Charlie's little sister Claire was about to get married and she invited him to read something inspirational at her wedding.

"I couldn't find anything that felt like it really fit the occasion, so I asked Claire if I could come up with a few of the things that I wished someone had told me about before I got married. She agreed and that's what I did. I came up with about 20 one-liners and read them at the wedding. The guests seemed to really like them and afterwards several people asked me if I would send them a copy of my notes. That was the beginning of the book."

On the drive back North from LA, Charlie and Linda came up with a lot more one-liners and then more in the days immediately following the trip.

Charlie: Rather than continue adding to the list, we decided to cut the list back -by this time it had grown to almost 300!- and we added a short vignette of a couple of pages to each one, and just included the top 101 of them."

Here are a few one-liners, without the stories:
  • Vulnerability is disarming
  • Commitment isn't a prison, It's a means to greater freedom
  • If you think You're too good for your partner, Think again
  • Resisting the temptation to prove Your point will win you a lot of points
  • The prince isn't going to come
The amount of joy and fulfillment that is available in a loving partnership is considerably more that you can imagine!

101 Things is a collection of timeless wisdom that never grows old. It's not only enlightening, but it's easy and fun to read. Read it and discover what over 100,000 other readers have learned: that the creation of a great relationships does take some work but it's worth the effort that it takes.. REALLY worth it!

That Which Doesn't Kill Us: How One Couple Became Stronger at the Broken Places

relationshipAuthor: Charlie Bloom
Binding: Paperback
Studio: Sacred Life Publishers
Label: Sacred Life Publishers
Publisher: Sacred Life Publishers
Manufacturer: Sacred Life Publishers

Buy Now
Editorial Review:
Sometimes a relationship can feel hopelessly broken but can be resuscitated and even strengthened. Here's how one couple came back from the edge and how you can too!
This is the story of a couple's ten-year journey that took them through a series of ordeals that crippled their family and nearly destroyed their marriage. Trained as psychotherapists and practicing relationship counselors, both Charlie and Linda found that their professional training wasn't enough to free them from the challenges they encountered during a profoundly difficult time in which their marriage was broken, and hanging by threads.

This book explicitly address the increasingly prevalent problem of dealing with the challenge of balancing the work/family equation and provides examples of the kinds of marriage-threatening ordeals that are becoming increasingly familiar to couples and families throughout America and much of the rest of the developed world.
It is written in alternating chapters which provide the reader with details of the both Linda's and Charlie's inner struggles as well as the interpersonal turmoil that they endured, learned from and ultimately overcame. The book provides the deep wisdom that has come to inform The Blooms' work with couples and gives the reader an understanding of the process of developing the traits, practices and skills that are necessary to navigate the often treacherous waters that committed partnerships must contend with in the 21st century.

In the end, Charlie and Linda were able to not only salvage their marriage; they also managed to establish a connection that brought their relationship a depth of intimacy, trust, and integrity far beyond what they had ever previously experienced.

The process of their miraculous recovery is presented in vivid detail and reads like a riveting novel. The Blooms' unfolding story illuminates the essential practices necessary to breathe life back into a failing marriage and move into a deep, loving connection that surpasses even the dreams that each partner had dared to hope to fulfill.


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