top of page


In this issue of RELATIONSHIP CALISTHENICS - The Second Habit

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 seven 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 Two

Justify Your Partner's Failures

Speaking of failures, let’s talk about them for a second and how they show up. Failures can show up in many forms and can be hard to accept depending on their context. There are personal failures and relationship failures.

No one is perfect; everyone enters into a relationship with their own baggage, traumas, and failures. That’s what makes relationships the best place to learn and grow as a human being. It is also the best place to develop habits to keep the bond safe and strong.

Personal Failures

For example, your partner may have many aspirations and you want him/her to achieve them all. Sometimes, it might only be getting up on a ladder to fix Christmas lights or maybe a bigger project like trying to do a perfect job painting the house. They might be trying to achieve any number of goals and fail to realize them. It doesn’t feel good to not live up to one’s own expectations, and it can feel downright lousy to let down the one you love. 

How to practice habit two isn’t difficult, but it is creative. For example, I generally cook at my house, at least dinner every night. I often try new recipes and have been pretty successful most of the time. On occasion though, things just don’t turn out quite the way I had hoped. I feel bad about it - I want my spouse to have a great meal and that gets thwarted. A personal failure.

He will almost always praise me for everything that worked in that meal. And often he will even justify my failure by saying things like, “well, that recipe didn’t make any sense, how could anybody have it turn out right the first time?” I can see right through it, but it fills me with gratitude that he takes the time to creatively help me stand tall.

What’s the alternative to justifying your partner’s personal failures? Rubbing their face in the failure? Making certain that they know that you know what they did was unacceptable. Perhaps even dramatizing it to them or with friends and family. This is extreme, but so is justifying it for them is extreme. It’s a habit though that really pays off.

Relationship Failures

The failures I just mentioned are all personal failures and these are the ones I am referring to in the Seven Habits. You or your partner may also have some relationship failures though. He/she might make promises and then fail to keep them. They might break agreements around parenting or supporting your family. These are different animals and justifying them is certainly not the route to take.

Relationship failures need a second look, maybe even a third. Stop and check-in - has this failure harmed, disappointed, or discouraged your family structure? Were the actions realistic and excusable? Are you or your partner trying to validate the actions to avoid responsibility?

These are some important questions. Bringing honor to the relationship first and foremost has the second habit be extraordinary. It is above ordinary because it has nothing to do with eliminating growing and getting better. It has everything to do with having so much space with your partner that growing and getting better is all you want to do.

Share with me how you justify some of your partner's personal failures.


bottom of page