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Saturday, March 2, 2013


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By Barr Godson Nwachukwu

Put your partner first. Selfishness will never work in relationship.

I know a couple who decided to seize an opportunity to build themselves a house, and the man took charge of the work. Halfway through the process, the woman decided- for entirely valid reasons , one of which was that the area was prone to armed robbery attacks - that she wasn't at all sure she wanted to live in that house when it was completed. The man on the other hand had put a great deal of effort into it and didn't want to waste it.

Now at this point, a lot of couples would have fallen out badly. But not these two! What was their approach? He said that if she really didn't want to live there they wouldn't. Meanwhile she took the approach that as he had put in so much time and work on the building, she would at least live there for a year or so and then they could sell if she really hated it.

So that was their compromise. The reason they managed to reach this entirely amicable agreement was quite simply because they were both putting the other before themselves. In order to do that, they had to really listen to each other, and consider the other's viewpoint. And then they both want the other one to be happy even more than themselves. Or to put it another way, neither of them could be happy if their partner wasn't.

(I stated in one of my updates, under MARRAIGE IS A COVENANT, NOT A CONTRACT that you can't be happy when your partner isn't)

This is absolutely essential to a good strong relationship. I can't think of a really happy relationship I've ever witnessed where both partners didn't operate this way. You have to put your partner's happiness before your own. You have to be unselfish, you have to put yourself second, otherwise you will have arguments and stalemate. If you've chosen your partner well, they'll be doing the same thing. That's why it works. You can ignore your own wants and needs, because your partner will be giving them priority on your behalf. They'll be putting you first so that you don't have to.

Relationships where one partner does this and the other doesn't are ultimately doomed. Maybe you'll stay together but you won't be happy. Well, at least one of you won't. And even the partner with the upper hand will be missing out on far better relationship in which both partners are happy. If neither of you puts the other first, you're likely to fight a lot or to argue or to drift apart and do things your own way. It's the partnership where both put the other first that are strong, warm, loving and connected. 

So, put each other first!

Reach Barr Godson Nwachukwu via email:

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