Day 279 (R, 111006) — Keys to a Successful Relationship, Part 4; Day 11 of my UPs workout plan

How We’ve Eased Our Way to Happiness.  I am doing a five-part series this week on what I’ve found to be effective in maintaining a healthy and happy relationship.  Today is part four of the series.


Key #1: Your partner gets the benefit of the doubt.
Key #2: Take the Long View
Key #3:  Wait to have kids
Key #4: Believe Them

One of the best things we ever did as a couple was to establish early on that we are allowed to believe what the other person says.  I know this sounds strange but bear with me.

Have you ever heard (or lived through) people in this situation?

A: Everything OK?

B: Sure.

A: No seriously, is something wrong?

B: Nothing.

A: You seem sorta upset.

B: No-THING! OK?  I’m FINE!!! <stomps off>

<insert 2 hours to 2 days here>

B: You asshole!  I am so mad at you!

A: <erk?>

B: You knew I was (mad/annoyed/hurt/bothered/pissed/upset/miffed/etc.) (the other day/a little while ago).  Why didn’t you (fix it/stop it/do it/change it/etc.)?

A: <oh shit….>

(Usually, this is actually a much longer process but in the interest of space and not boring you with something you likely know by heart, I’ve shortened it a bit here.)

It’s the old “guess-which-adjective-applies-to-my-mood-or-I-won’t-answer-correctly” game.  Fun.

To avoid this fate, we made it a fundamental ground rule for our relationship that if you ask about their feelings, and your partner answers the question, you are entitled to take that answer at face value without later repercussions.

When you ask “Is everything OK?” and they say “Yes,” you are indemnified from future blame for not spending 2-3 hours wheedling it out of them.  It is incumbent upon them to be honest and tell you that something is wrong if they want your help, understanding, sympathy, etc.

I think it’s a version of the old “if you really loved me” parlor game so popular among immature relationships.

Well, if I really loved you, I would try to find out what’s wrong.  I did.  You, apparently, lied to me.  I believed your lie because I believe you tell me the truth.  Why am I in trouble for this?

Practical Application.  Tell your partner that you know how important honesty is to a relationship.  Tell them you will answer their questions truthfully.  Then tell them you will believe them when they answer your questions because you know they wouldn’t lie to you.

It takes some getting used to but after a time or two of refusing to play the game, most people come around.  Simply ask as normal, repeat your question with a note that you are going to take them at their word when they answer, and, if they persist, tell them, “OK.  I believe you are telling me the truth that you’re not mad/upset/pissed/etc.”

This puts the onus on them.  You are just accepting what they say to you as the truth.  Nothing more.  If they aren’t telling the truth, this is not your fault nor your responsibility.

Flipside.  There’s not much in the way of flipside to this one.  If you have a partner who lives for the drama of such a situation, thank them for their time, decide who gets the cat and the juicer, and GTFO.

Unless you are willing to spend years trying to fix this person, you are only setting yourself up for years of drama.  Then again, if you like that sort of thing . . . um . . . have fun?

Upshot. It’s amazing how much drama this cuts out of a relationship.  We can define a problem, preventing it from festering and growing, when we know that, if we have a problem and refuse to tell the other person, the responsibility is now on us to figure it out because they asked and we lied.

It doesn’t necessarily make it easier to resolve the problem, but identifying things early on at least prevents unnecessary additional emotional baggage from accumulating around the issue, complicating things and drawing them out.

Tomorrow’s Key is a tangent off of this one.


Exercise. Today is Day 11 of my UPs workout plan.  Squats and push-ups are split into two parts each now with fewer reps each time but with 8-9 smaller sets total within the 5 superset framework.

Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Set 5 Total
1 NM
A = assisted, AU = Australian, NM = negative, max hang
#s in parentheses = minimum goals for max reps

I’ve had to turn my table on its side to accommodate the extra sets without having it run wild across the page.

Review: I take very short breathers between sets.  Usually, as short as I can make them.  Total rest time in that 19 minutes is probably about 90 seconds. It’s tough but worth it. =)


Plan for Week 40.

Day Fast? SCD? Run/Exer?
Sunday No No* Yes
Monday Yes Yes No
Tuesday Yes Yes Yes
Wednesday Yes Yes No
Thursday Yes Yes Yes
Friday Yes Yes No
Saturday No No Yes
Red = a negative deviation | Green = a positive deviation | Blue = a note


* I ate little during the day, all SCD, and then had a Free Meal for my sister’s birthday celebration.

One response to “Day 279 (R, 111006) — Keys to a Successful Relationship, Part 4; Day 11 of my UPs workout plan

  1. Pingback: Day 280 (F, 111007) — Keys to a Successful Relationship, Part 5 | New John for a New Year·

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