7 Apr 2014

Gwyneth Paltrow: Making Us Think, What Makes A Great Relationship?

The Taming Of The Shrew- Silent Movie Still.

image – taming of the shrew


Gwyneth Paltrow did get a hammering in the media for her “conscious uncoupling” statement…  like it or not, they were talked about.

On the other hand, our discussion on this subject lead me to thoughts on the qualities and elements that do make a relationship great and endurable.

~ ~ ~

Spending time with one person over a long period of time, despite the joy, is marked with challenges.

It would be naive of us to think otherwise… and to embark on a serious commitment without this understanding would be foolish. Long term partnerships require work… endless compromise and patience… but the rewards are there.

The rewards are the greatest gift of all.

~ ~ ~

I have always believed that what holds many long standing relationships together is history… a shared history.

Time together means memories are created, battles are fought and won. A life together is built, explored and developed… experiences are shared. Commonality bonds us together…

History binds us through the big and the small… Without consciously thinking about it, when we choose a long term partner, we are writing our history with that person.

Our lives will be intertwined forever… for however long we are together or apart.

A relationship cannot function on the past alone… for a relationship is a living, breathing and constantly changing momentum…

As we grow, we change, as does our relationship… but our shared experience, our friends, our family … memories of great happiness… can oftentimes give us the strength to forge on when the difficulties seem insurmountable.

~ ~ ~

Your comments of last week about relationships were instilled with great, great wisdom.

Many of you shared the same sentiments when it came to the qualities needed to sustain a long term relationship.


In summary… ten lines… ten I will remember… ten, that must surely signify a deep and profound love.


Trust, loyalty and perseverance…

Honesty and consideration for each other.

Compassion and courtesy…

Commitment and communication.

Patience and understanding… be open minded and flexible in your thoughts.

Choose your battles…

Be simpatico with your goals and dreams…

Kindness… don’t take each other for granted.

Respect and acceptance…

Friendship and laughter.


Did we miss any? What other qualities do you believe contributes to a long and happy relationship? xv



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Anita Rivera

Vicki, I love every thing you have shared here. At this moment, I am terribly dizzy; I woke up with the room spinning, and it still is and I need to drive to work today! I hope I make it ok….

What is a striking theme to me in your writing today is the idea of having a “history.” When my husband and I stop to talk, laugh and reflect on what we’ve done, we are flipping the pages back in OUR history. No one can forget their history and shouldn’t. Whether good or bad, that compilation of actions and failures, achievements and goals have made us who we are. We must forge on.

The same goes with friendships both in real life and in the new way of communicating. We have all WRITTEN so many words to each other, creating a history journal from all over the world. This is why I blog, and the benefits are the chance to share creativity and that is what has kept me close to you all. WE have a history, together, in this world.

helen tilston

Good Morning Vicki

I believe you have covered all the points so well in this list.
Now if it could just all be contained in a capsule similar to a multi-vitamin with extra unlimited doses of kindness and laughter.
Have a wonderful week


The Enchanted Home

Think you nailed it with your top ten list. I might include tolerance, because it is imperative to living and accepting one another…we are not going to love everything that person does but we take the good with the bad:)
I saw an interesting film last night, Le Weekend…have you seen it? It puts an interesting and at least thought provoking spin on marriage, long term relationships,etc, it definitely got my girlfriend and I talking about this very subject!!


Lovely post, Vicki…and a great top 10…kindness and laughter and respect…the 3 big ones for me ;)
Have a great week!


I know it’s cliché, and you did mention laughter, but I think a key component for a good life together is a sense of humor. The ability lo laugh at oneself, particularly. Also useful is the ability not to take life too seriously!


I am about to be married for 30 years…it does take work! Your words here are very wise…and I would add, be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. You did an excellent job with your list, Vicki!

tara dillard

I stayed too long, a 30 year marriage to an alcoholic. Too afraid of losing my house/garden.

The days were not miserable. Chose to focus on the positive. We shared a trinity of loves.

Cats, art films, his incredible cooking.

Alas, once his car wrecks began I knew even the positives were outweighed by the negatives. The fear went away too.

And, the horrible economy conspired to lower the price of my home/garden which I bought and still live in !

You have no idea how many are in horrendous situations for ‘reasons’. Met them at anonymous group for friends/family of alcoholics.

My divorce and aftermath? Amicable. We still communicate kindly.

Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Esther George

Hi Vicki must say you have covered everything. Sometimes I find compromise to be a dirty word I guess being married for 36 years does that to you. I have been someone’s daughter….compromise I am a wife….compromise and I’m a mum….compromise. But you know I look at these amazing people in my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way. There are disagreements in the most perfect family’s the thing is to never to go for the silent treatment….I can’t keep silent…5 min. Max. and I can’t go to bed angry. Thank you for sharing. Till next time Regards Esther from Sydney.

Rissi Cherie

Vicki, all you said is so true, yet I think we must add one thing. There must be something we truly admire in the other. Better if there is more than one quality. If we can’t find something fine to admire, why would we stay together?


Love your list, I too have been married 35 years and love the history element of our relationship. A very wise friend of mine who was celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary mentioned these three things that have stuck with me. Don’t take yourself too seriously; focus on your spouses positive traits; ask yourself each evening before going to bed “have I been fun to live with today?”


Wonderful list and I agree with all of them. I like what Esther said too about not inflicting a silent treatment. I know couples who would go days without speaking. Thank goodness my husband and I can’t go long without making up. Forgiveness is a big one! For my husband and I though, the number one thing is having a relationship with Jesus. I’ve been mad at my husband and gone to my room, opened the Bible and BAM! Truth hits me and I am softened.

Melanie Snyder

After 38 years, he’s still the sexiest man on the planet to me, along with being my best friend and making me laugh til no sound comes out :)

Michelle Dann

I love your post! It is so well stated! Thank you for sharing!


you nailed it Vicki, I might add that “safe harbor” to be our authentic selves having deep spiritual beliefs to backup by actions not just words…..both sincerely believe in commitment, I love Harville Hendrix’s concept of the IMAGO, excellent for validation and communication together….beautiful indeed, I hope to have this in my life one day too ~ xo


Great list and the mantra my husband goes by…”Happy wife, happy life” doesn’t hurt too much either:)


A light heart, great sense of humor, a generosity of spirit ad passion for life….

The Arts by Karena



In a world grabbing onto all the wrong topics and ignoring the important ones, I am grateful that you hung onto this conversation. Thank you.

Your list is dead on…I like that Pam adds “be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger…” This is very important. And your point about time is so profound, “with age comes wisdom”. As we all grow, we learn more of the lessons in your top 10 list and can employ them in our relationships. When we let go too early, too young, we have not given ourselves or our partners time to learn new lessons and to grow and change from them.


dear Vicki

first of all thank you for your kindness.. which I appreciate very much :)

May I just add an unusual thought towards helping to make a marriage or long relationship work??
….it is Food…. the importance of this has become clear to me since meeting my Italian love, for their passion for food is world renowned…

But there are indeed so many wonderful memories made in love, through sharing meals and food together.
Whether a romantic elegant dinner for 2, a special delicacy on holiday, a lovely happy occasion with family or friends all around the table….or even just the pleasure of preparing simple fresh, maybe favourite foods, and enjoying eating and talking at the end of an ordinary day…
Good food brings us together, and makes happiness and memories.

Marsha @ Splenderosa

Your list is spot-on. Shared experiences, both good & bad, & how you come through them are the glue. Respect. That’s another word that cannot be omitted. Gwyneth never had much interest for me, I think she tried way too hard to be “the woman everyone envied, admired.” And, yes, the US media is crushing her now. Just like they did Meg Ryan, remember that one. Onward & upward….

Donna Baker

After 42 years with the same man, I can honestly say, I do not know how relationships hold together for the long run. I can come up with two bits of advice. Don’t marry the baby of the family and marry in your, I don’t know how to put it politically correct – marry someone in your same social class. The in-laws are a huge part in a marriage; I never even thought about it when we married.


Love the post Vicki and all the fabulous comments. 45 years in August for us. Lots of health hardships along the way but we have endured. My list: separate bathrooms :) wonderful father, short memory, respect, courtesy, same values, many small kindnesses, secret winks, thoughtfulness, and compromise :)

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