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The key to a good relationship

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, it’s also what it takes to sit down and listen.”—Winston Churchill.

I love Churchill’s words—especially the part about listening. I’m 84-years-old, but I am still learning every day to be a better listener.

Anything good that has come to me through the years—my marriage to JoAnn, for example—exists and prospers simply because somewhere along the way I learned to stop talking and listen to what this calm, down-to-earth woman was trying to tell me.

It hasn’t always been easy. I’m going to say that again. It hasn’t always been easy. For a long time, I had a habit of trying to share my side of the story before JoAnn even had half-a-chance to speak. I guess I thought my hurt feelings were more important than hers—and once I explained things properly, surely peace and light would prevail.

I’m happy to say there has been a lot of change in recent years. I think it’s fair to say I’m getting much better at simply sitting still and listening to what my wife has to say.

I realize how glad I am that JoAnn and I are different, and see life in different ways. We think differently and express ourselves differently. But we’ve learned to complement each other--we’re the same but different, as we like to remind ourselves sometimes.

Most importantly, we both love truth. We both love what is right. It’s the key to a happy marriage, and it’s the key to a happy life. To quote Winston Churchill once again, “There is only one duty, only one safe course, and that is to try to be right and not to fear to do or say what you believe to be right.”

My love and blessings to you. As always, your thoughts on the above would be much appreciated.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Llynde August 19, 2016 at 4:44 pm

As always you are such a positive force in my life. Thank you seems so inadequate!
I send you His Healing Light💕

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Christopher Foster August 21, 2016 at 2:33 pm

Hi Llynde, I’ll take a “thank you” any day, especially your sweet words spoken from the heart. Thank you and I hope all goes very well. Blessings.

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Dr. Neil Salka DC August 19, 2016 at 4:58 pm

what first comes to mind is Yoda: there is no ‘trying’: you either do or you don’t. our choices as spiritual beings is key. choose truth as the fundamental bedrock of our being and life with wifey or whoever will all-ways flow better. remember to switch on my angel consciousness and shut my stupid ego up.

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Christopher Foster August 21, 2016 at 2:37 pm

Thank you for your comment Neil, truth surely is the one true foundation isn’t it. It’s always great to hear from you. Love and best wishes.

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david banner August 20, 2016 at 6:50 am

Chris……Diane and I find that , in each of us trying to be right according to our own definition of “right” causes problems; we are very different, too. But, when I can listen with no reactivity, then things go very smoothly.

Love, David

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Christopher Foster August 21, 2016 at 2:41 pm

A lot of wisdom in your words, David, thank you very much for sharing, and my love and blessings to you and Diane.

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Bonnie Palombo August 20, 2016 at 10:31 am

So good to hear from you on this topic, Chris. It is like a visit from you and JoAnn. Deep listening is a gift that keeps on giving, for sure. Thanks for the reminder! Love to you both, Bonnie

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Christopher Foster August 21, 2016 at 2:45 pm

Thank you Bonnie, I’m very grateful for your words. Much love to you and Tony and I hope all goes very well.

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Nadeja August 21, 2016 at 5:33 am

Someone else said “you learn a lot more by listening than by talking”, or something close to that….This statement makes perfect sense to me as does your acknowledgement about listening to JoAnn! We are blessed with wisdom. Thank God! Life is good. Much love to you both. I am so glad to be in this world with you.

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Christopher Foster August 21, 2016 at 2:59 pm

Thank you Nadeja. It’s good to be sharing this journey with YOU. We have a few bunnies in our neighborhood, they seem to particularly love the grass near our house. We had the door open last evening, enjoying the summer air. I happened to look in that direction and there was a bunny sitting in perfect peace on our front porch looking out and enjoying the view. Life is good just as you say.

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Evan B. Griffith August 21, 2016 at 8:48 pm

Chris —

There’s a space below and between your words that I fall into every time. It’s a rapturous place . . .

Having had the extreme pleasure of meeting you and JoAnn once a few years back, I can picture you both so well. That phrase you sometimes say, “We’re the same but different,” . . . feels apt.

You both possess calm, powerful, giving spirits inside of your different personas . . .

May this week be a zesty one for you both —

Evan
Evan B. Griffith recently posted..Amy Schumer: I am an introvert

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Christopher Foster August 24, 2016 at 5:29 pm

Evan,

Thank you so much for your comment. I am so grateful for your support and love. Your presence in my life has been a blessing in my life for quite awhile now. I never fail to be moved by the exuberance, strength and constancy of your spirit, you express into this world a quality of character and love that is unique. Much love from JoAnn and me and hope to see you again in person somehow somewhere one of these days.

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Harvey Meale September 16, 2016 at 10:21 pm

>Most importantly, we both love truth. We both love what is right.

Huh? I don’t get this. Truth, if it exists, is not something you can base a relationship on. I don’t quite understand what you mean by truth here. Do you mean you both love being open and straight-forward with each other?

It’s hard to tell by reading this post what you think the key to a good relationship is. Is it truth and righteousness? Or is it learning to actually listen to your partner?
Harvey Meale recently posted..What Should We Be Teaching in Schools?

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Christopher Foster September 21, 2016 at 11:16 am

Thanks for your comment Harvey. Yes, that was my point, being open and straight forward with each other, and especially, learning to listen your partner. Take care.

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