Partnership – I win because you win

Then, the opinion of others came into play. The husband got the advice of his boys. They all unanimously agreed that the other guy was making a very skilled play to sleep with his wife. He flew off the handle. The argument was reopened. The fight got super heated.

The wife, wanting backup, spoke with her lady pals. The camp was split down the middle. Some felt it was a nice gift others felt it was wrong that a man spend that much money on someone who is not his wife or girlfriend.

Social media got involved. The debate raged for days. The vote eventually leaned towards the wife having made a huge mistake on the level of cheating by accepting the gift. Everyone wanted the name of the “home wrecker” to teach him a lesson. Everyone thought the wife was wrong for not naming names.

In the end, the shoes were returned, the friendship was strained, the relationship took time to recover. But that was not the end of the damages.

Months later, hubby’s job needed a certain deal closed. He was the only one who could close the deal. The only person who could block the deal… was the guy who had purchased the heels. Turns out, his company had the solution hubby’s job needed and the sole decision maker was the friend who had been rebuffed.

What a tangled web one can easily weave when too many cooks try to stir the relationship pot.

For the record, the opinion of this blogger is this… after some good dialogue, the couple has to figure for themselves what is considered acceptable gift acceptance and what is not. Then, they both have to stay on the same page and be consistent with it. By consistent, meaning unbiased meaningful application of the policy.

Hubby can’t accept a gift from a gal pal and insist that wifey can not get one from a male pal. No double standards. Plus, the policy has to make sense for the couple. Some people are fine with gifts being given and accepted. Others are not. Everyone needs to respect the position of the couple when they make their feelings known.

How does this relates to goal setting for a relationship?

Simply put, when a relationship is trying to move forward, silence and patience is gold. A couple has to flush out for themselves what they want to do first before dealing with the external networks.

If the goal for the relationship is to travel more and have more romantic experiences, it is best to keep silent about that until the couple can devise a plan to make the goal work.


Some networks do not like change. They only know how to do things one of a few ways. If these trips fly in the face of what the network feels is cool, they will resist.

This is partially why this author doesn’t share resolutions nearly as often as before.

Work in silence. Work patiently. Work as a team. Make sure your partner knows your needs and desires just as much as you know your own. Then, make sure to also know the needs and desires of your partner on the same level as you know yours. That means communicate with the purpose of understanding instead of being understood. When both parties try their best to understand the other, both end up understood.

This does not mean sacrificing one’s personal goals to make the relationship goals work. Or worse, sacrificing one’s goals for the benefit of the partner’s goals.

What this means is that there are three sets of goals to discuss. The individual goals. The relationship goals. The partner’s goals.

That’s right, relationships are work! All three sets have to be discussed, weighed, planned for, and allocated resources to be reached.

In order for one person to win in the relationship, the other party has to win. How you ask?

When all three sets of goals are weighed, discussed, and planned for, each person now knows what it takes to make the goals a reality. Both put their energy to make it work. Both make efforts and at times sacrifices. The relationship goals do take a slightly heavier resource allocation but not at the exclusion of personal goals.

As the other person wins, that means the goals of the relationship and individual are winning. In other words, as the husband tends to the relationship goals and that of his wife’s, he’s freeing up resources of his wife so that she can focus on helping him win at his goals. And vice versa.

Team made success

That is work. That is fun work. Even joyful work. Because both will celebrate their victories together and their bond will increase because they both were vested in the success. This could be part of the reason why after a long long time together, people can appear to be so in sync. That is practiced harmony. Not overnight success.

By the way, once a couple has gotten good at handling their own relationship goals, that same set of skills now applies to wider and wider circles of their networks. Relationships are not islands. They are part of a greater set of relationships.

Now, whenever there are failures, often times, it’s easy to point the finger and blame the other. However, when working as a team to make goals work, the finger pointer has their own part in the success and failure of the relationship. They have to look in the mirror as well and own up to their part.

Usually, failures are opportunities to learn. Just think about the earlier story of the gender reveal. If they’re smart, the couple will sit down and learn from this instead of being critical about it with each other.

The clear lessons are there. No assumptions going forward. No under-communicating going forward. No rushing to execute going forward. A lot more check-ins going forward. More planning going forward. No rushing going forward. And, less angry blaming going forward too.

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