Have you ever had dinner with a couple or met a couple at a party who were constantly stepping over the invisible line of normal?

She stops him mid-sentence, he contradicts her, she criticises him again. And on it goes. You start to roll your eyes and on the way home, you talk to your partner and you both agree that their behaviour towards each other is unacceptable – you wouldn’t accept it. Although at the same time, this couple seemed to be happy and despite all the harsh words to each other, they seemed to have a way of dealing with it.

What are these couples doing to each other? Where has the respect gone?

My mentor Dr John Demartini talks about similarities and differences in relationships and the ideal combinations.

He says if the differences in your relationship are greater than the similarities you put your partner on a pedestal.
If the similarities are greater than the differences, then you start to get bored.

You need to have the similarities and differences balanced at an equilibrium.
This gives you enough friction to grow and enough smoothness to feel secure.

If you give your power away in all aspects of your life it is easy for your partner to criticise everything you do. You need to stand up for yourself. You need to communicate with your partner and you need to set boundaries in your relationship and make clear what form of criticism you accept. You need to draw a line in the sand and remind your partner that you do not want to be reprimanded all the time. Otherwise the bickering and nagging might easily become the normal way of communication in your relationship.

If you respect yourself and your partner, your relationship will last the test of time.