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Habit Four

The Seven Habits for a Breathtaking Relationship

In my practice - the title Amazing Couple - is often used to acknowledge those that have accomplished some amazing feats within their relationship. Overcoming obstacles that once got in their way of happiness and peace of mind together.

How did they overcome these obstacles? Practice, but practicing what?

The Seven Habits for a Breathtaking Relationship

I will take you through one habit each week over the next few weeks. These are not presented in any particular order and are intended to be practices that you learn and use throughout the life of your relationship.

Habit 4: Make Their Enemies, Your Enemies.

When you enter into a committed relationship, you are one whole made up of two halves. The halves are not always equal when it comes to agreements, which isn’t necessarily a problem. How you deal with not agreeing, though, can make your relationship breathtaking or suffocating.

Your relationship has a life of its own, and you want to nourish and protect it.

Abraham Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” and that could not be more true than in a long-term relationship. Sometimes feeling divided isn’t anyone’s fault - it just happens.

Don’t worry, when that happens, you can quickly practice the habits of a breathtaking relationship to get your connection restored. In the instant you practice making their enemies yours, habit number four, you will experience being one.


When it comes to bonding with your lover, you might have to temporarily ignore what you think is right for the sake of your relationship. I understand, for some of you, this will fly totally against what you consider moral. My response to that is you might be absolutely right, but that right will cost you.

This habit isn't about morality. It is about keeping your relationship healthy by acknowledging and understanding your partner’s position. Nothing bonds like having a common enemy. I realize how ugly this sounds, and yet, it is true just the same.

A Hard Battle

Those of you who understand this point can utilize it. If you don’t understand it, or worse yet, understand but refuse to use it, then you are throwing away one of the most effective ways of connecting with your partner. No matter what you may think of this, rest assured that people have enemies. All people.

It has been said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” The battle or the thing they are struggling with is their enemy. Whether it is an individual, group, illness, a setback, a rival philosophy, or religion, it feels like a fight, and when one is engaged in such a fight, it is like a battle.They are looking for their partner - you - to join them—they don’t want to be in it alone. Being by their side evokes trust and confidence.

Common sense is not always common practice.

It might sound a little like common sense, but if you look closely you may notice where you’ve missed some opportunities.

Being by your partner’s side might sound like this:

“I feel your pain.” “It isn’t your fault, it is a combination of …” “If they knew you better, they would love you as I do. Screw them” “You have me and we will beat this thing together; you are not alone - ever.”

A Hole in the Wall

Every summer for these past five or so years the season in San Francisco has gotten warmer and warmer. My little office has oftentimes been so unbearable that I’d have to work in a hotel room.

This year my spouse suggested we install a portable air conditioner. I was against the idea at first, not wanting to take up the floor space. He finally convinced me and then I found a model that I thought would work well and also fit on the ledge instead of the floor.

I left the planning and installing to him. He hired a guy we have used for lots of jobs and they went to work. About 15 minutes into the job I hear, “Oh no!”

That didn’t sound good.

A Quarter Inch of Steel

I went into my office and there was a big hole in the wall. I looked at the hole and then at my spouse who was shaking his head and then at the worker who was grinning from embarrassment. The hole started off good but what happened is they hit a mass of two by fours that they could not penetrate. This hole is about 4 inches in diameter.

I walked away to let them work it out. I hear some drilling and some pounding and then again “Oh no!” I didn’t want to see what happened, but had to go and check it out. Believe it or not, there are now two holes in my office wall, the second hole was blocked by ¼ inch of steel. I thought, “Oh my gosh, now what?”

It Was His Fault

Again, I decided again to walk away and let them handle it. Well, the third time's a charm and though the unit is on the floor where I didn’t want it, at least I have air - plus two extra holes in my wall, lol. I paid the guy and he left.

My spouse was really upset about the guy putting the holes in the wall that didn’t work. He told me he thinks the guy should have checked the walls better. My first thought was, “But you worked with him and selected where to put the holes. The office is an unusual structure under our carport and on a hillside, only the builder would know for sure where to drill.”

I stopped! I didn’t Say a Word.

I shifted my thoughts and actions around habit number four. The habit you're learning now. Make their enemies, your enemies. The guy wasn’t the enemy. Not really. The enemy was my spouse's own sense of failure, I think.

I could easily share in that battle, while not disputing his projecting onto the guy. My spouse is well intentioned, his reaction was simply trying to avoid his disappointment about the failure.

And I said, “You are right, he should have. I don’t think we should go back to him about it though, do you? Maybe we can just overlook it and see if he will patch up the holes for us.” And then he said, “Okay, and we can split the costs with him.”

“Good deal,” I said authentically.


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