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Relationship – A Core Value

The Family of Women has 5 Core Values. Those Core Values are the heart of what we stand for in the world.   We’re going to look at the one core value that makes us unique – the core value of Relationship.  

Our Core Value of Relationship:  Everything we do is based on being responsible for the success of our relationships. Being responsible for our actions and communication, we bring our best to all of our relationships and create a legacy for all women to follow.

Here are some tips from how we’ve integrated this Core Value into our lives.


I recognize I am the common denominator in all my relationships. 

Betty:  I’ve changed; before I tended to blame others for relationships that were not working.  The truth is I am the common denominator in all of my relationships and if something is working or not working I need to look first at myself.  This self-reflection has gotten easier over the years.  In many cases, I have not been clear on what I wanted or what I was trying to express.


Keeping score or pointing a finger doesn’t work in a relationship.

Yonghee:  I realized that I had not been responsible for my relationships at all in the early stage of my marriage.  It was “tit for tat” and keeping score.  Now I really show up for the relationship and treat it with respect, tenderness, caring, and compassion.  When I’m showing up fully responsible then I realize my complaining is about me.  My husband shows up the way he always has – balanced and steady. 

Blanche:  In a relationship with a coworker I said,” Well you know, you are responsible in the relationship.”  She heard “I’m at fault.”  What I meant was “I’m choosing to be at my best.”  It determines the quality of the relationship when no one is “pointing a finger.”  Then, each person can reflect on what they said and how they behaved.

Knowing my core values has caused me to recognize my responsibility in society.  I take  a stand for being at my best everywhere in my life.     


Ask for what you need with no expectation of the outcome.

Cynthia – I’ve learned to take a pause to be present in the moment to what is being said. It takes practice; it can be an emotionally charged thing.  It takes humility and owning up, sometimes in a humorous way.   It can translate in a moment.

While shopping in Costco, I ran into a woman who had helped us pack when we moved to our new home. She’s “wearing” a mask, talking with another woman while holding it away from her face and hanging it from one ear.  I’m usually compassionate and friendly.  When I saw her I asked, “Are you having trouble breathing?”  She responded, “No, I’m not having trouble breathing” and I said, “Would you please put on your mask?” to which she replied, “No.”  I was shocked, but said calmly “I see” or “OK” and turned back to my produce, at which point she quickly turned away and moved away.  Reflecting on that interaction I was proud of myself for not reacting with my shock, and first asking her if she was okay, and could she breathe. 

Blanche:  Remembering this core value of Relationship has helped me look at my level of maturity – I can be responsible or I can have an attitude and act more carelessly.  At the same time, as we pay attention to our emotions and how we are reacting, we are being responsible for our relationships.

Betty:  It’s not all about me!  When my mother moved from her home to an independent living situation – there were other women who had been through this before me and helped me to adjust.  These women didn’t judge me, they validated my feelings and supported me to step up and be my best in that situation.  Now as I support my husband I am there for him as he cares for his aging parents.    


In the Family of Women, we learn from our core values, helping us to leave a legacy for all women to follow.  It’s not about being perfect or having everything handled.  We like to keep in mind that we are human. Our best is different on different days.

From Maya Angelou –

“Do the best you can until you know better.  Then when you know better, do better.”

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