One man said of his marriage, "I very distinctly remember my wedding
day. As we unloaded the moving van into our little house, I said,
'Darling, this is your and my little world.'"

"And I suppose," wondered his friend, "that you've lived happily ever

"We've been fighting for the world's championship ever since," he

That must have been the same couple who seemed to always be in
conflict, but had a habit of calling a truce at bedtime. Every evening
they knelt together and asked for strength to fight one more round....

They often wondered why they remained together. One night, while
kneeling, she said to him, "Why don't we just ask God to strike one of
us dead tonight, then this marriage would have peace at last...and I
could go live with my sister."

All relationships experience conflict. Marriages, friendships, parents
and children. But too many unfortunate souls, like this couple, seem
to be unable to resolve their differences. Their relationship dries
up, becomes brittle and breaks apart like a old and valuable
photograph left in the hot sun. A union that once seemed a work of art
eventually resembles a discolored and crumbling canvass. Finding and
restoring those pieces to anything attractive can be a near-impossible

And the amazing realization is this: the incidents that finally
destroy a relationship are usually small and insignificant! Momentous
decisions and huge obstacles generally don't pull people apart. Most
people in committed relationships can stand united when disaster
strikes. It is the little problems, the insignificant stressors, that
do the most damage when allowed to fester.

Do you know what issue causes the greatest number of conflicts in
households? According to a "USA Today" report, people argue most often
about which TV show to watch! Would any couple or family have believed
that the selection of television programs would become the major cause
of their unhappiness?

They forgot what is important! They forgot that relationships are
built of such things as love, respect, consideration, kindness, and
understanding. They forgot all those compelling and wonderful reasons
that brought them together in the first place. Instead, they let minor
inconveniences become major issues. In short, they forgot the
basics. And they are paying a high price for their forgetfulness.

For healthy and satisfying relationships, it's vital to remember the

Remember that the people of your life are more valuable than the
things. That is basic.

Remember that there's a difference between inconveniences and
hardships. That is basic.

Remember that the "little things," if left unattended, can hurt a
relationship as much as the big ones. That, too, is basic.

And remember that love between individuals -- friends or family -- is
the most precious possession we humans can hope to attain. Above all,
other people should be cherished.

It's basic -- all of it. But it's the stuff of happy lives.

Author's Bio: 

Steve Goodier, M.Div. is a professional speaker, consultant, ordained minister and author of numerous books. Get the free e-book "Laughing All the Way" when you sign up for his free newsletter of Life, Love and Laughter - Your Life Support System - at .