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13 Things Mentally Strong Couples Don’t Do: Review, Summary & Guide

Navigating the ups and downs of a relationship isn’t a walk in the park. It’s more like a hike through unpredictable terrain. That’s where Amy Morin’s guide, “13 Things Mentally Strong Couples Don’t Do,” comes into play. It’s a beacon of light for those of us trying to strengthen our relationships without losing our minds.

I’m Mike Piet, and over the years, I’ve delved deep into the world of relationship dynamics, exploring what makes couples tick and what breaks them apart. My journey has led me to understand the importance of mental strength in maintaining a healthy, thriving relationship. That’s why I’m perfectly placed to talk about Morin’s guide—it resonates with my experiences and the insights I’ve gained.

From this guide, three key takeaways stood out to me: the power of mutual respect, the importance of maintaining individuality, and the need for open communication. These elements are crucial for any couple looking to navigate the complexities of a relationship with grace and resilience.

Mutual Respect: The Cornerstone of Strong Relationships

Diving into Amy Morin’s guidance, mutual respect leaps out as the fundamental pillar holding together the architecture of a strong relationship. It’s a simple concept, but man, does it work wonders when applied consistently. I’ve seen it in my own life and the lives of those I advise. Without mutual respect, the relationship’s foundation starts to crack, leading to a labyrinth of complications.

Here’s Why Mutual Respect is Non-Negotiable:

  • Promotes Open Communication: Remember the late-night talks about everything and nothing? That’s mutual respect in action, fostering an environment where both partners feel heard.
  • Ensures Equality: No one’s playing second fiddle in a relationship that thrives on mutual respect. Both partners have an equal say, making decisions a team effort.
  • Builds Trust: It’s astonishing how trust flourishes when you know your partner respects your feelings, opinions, and boundaries.

Let me share a personal anecdote to bring this home. My partner and I had our fair share of rocky moments, but what glued us back was the mutual respect we had for each other’s dreams and aspirations. We learned it’s not about agreeing on everything but respecting each other’s viewpoints enough to find a common ground.

Experts couldn’t agree more. A study from the Gottman Institute highlights that couples who practice mutual respect are more likely to have long-term, satisfying relationships. It’s like putting Miracle-Gro on your relationship garden.

  • Always listen with the intent to understand, not reply.
  • Celebrate each other’s successes, no matter how small.
  • Acknowledge your partner’s feelings before jumping into solutions.

In a world that’s increasingly self-centered, being part of a mutually respectful relationship is like finding a rare gem. As mentioned earlier, open communication and maintaining individuality are critical, but mutual respect? It’s the soil that nourishes the roots of your relationship, ensuring it stands strong against any storm.

Maintaining Individuality: Balancing “We” and “Me”

In Amy Morin’s insightful list, balancing the “we” and the “me” stands out as a game-changer. It’s this delicate dance of still being your own person while being part of a duo that fascinated me the most. I’ve seen couples morph into a single entity, forgetting they’re two individuals with distinct desires and interests. It’s a pitfall Morin warns against, and honestly, it struck a chord with me.

Let’s get real: 45% of individuals feel they’ve lost their identity in a partnership, a statistic that both surprised and saddened me. It made me rethink the dynamics of my own relationship. I’ve always considered my partner and me as two peas in a pod, which isn’t bad until one of us starts feeling more like a pea and less like a pod. Morin suggests actively fostering personal growth alongside your relationship. It’s a concept I took to heart, enrolling in a pottery class without my other half and encouraging her to continue her solo hiking adventures.

Remember when I mentioned mutual respect? It ties in here, too. Respecting each other’s need for personal space and individual interests is crucial. There were times when my partner’s marathon training took up a lot of her time, and initially, I won’t lie, it bugged me. But seeing her cross that finish line, the glow of achievement on her face, reminded me of the importance of supporting each other’s “me” time. This not only enriches our own experiences but invigorates our shared life with new stories and accomplishments.

Experts like John Gottman speak to the vitality of nurturing love and admiration to keep the relationship’s spark alive. Yet, they also highlight the significance of maintaining individual passions and friendships outside the couple’s bubble. This equilibrium ensures that both partners bring fresh perspectives and energy into their shared life, keeping the relationship dynamic and thriving.

Through my journey, I’ve discovered that actively maintaining our individuality enriches our relationship in ways I never anticipated. It’s like giving each other permission to grow, explore, and then come back together, stronger and more in love than ever. It’s a delicate balance, sure, but one that’s absolutely worth striving for.

Open Communication: The Lifeline of Healthy Relationships

When I first stumbled upon Amy Morin’s “13 Things Mentally Strong Couples Don’t Do,” the point about open communication truly hit home for me. It reminded me of the time my partner and I decided to tackle a month-long backpacking trip through Europe—with only our backpacks and each other for company. Real talk? That trip was the ultimate test of our communication skills.

Open Communication isn’t Just Talking; It’s Listening. During our travels, I quickly learned that openly expressing my needs was only half the equation. The real game-changer was developing an authentic interest in listening to what my partner had to say. It’s a lesson backed by relationship experts like Dr. John Gottman, who emphasizes the importance of understanding your partner’s perspective.

Let’s address the elephant in the room: Avoiding tough conversations doesn’t make them disappear. Remember, it’s all about how you discuss them. I learned the hard way that dismissing my partner’s concerns because they seemed trivial to me only led to resentment. Acknowledging each other’s feelings without judgment is the cornerstone of strong communication.

Here’s something interesting: A study from the University of Georgia found that couples who can openly communicate about their issues are more likely to report satisfaction in their relationship. This doesn’t surprise me—some of our deepest connections emerged from conversations that started uncomfortably.

Sharing Your Day Isn’t Just Small Talk. It might seem mundane to talk about how your day went, but it’s these little insights that keep you connected to your partner’s world. It’s not just about recounting events; it’s about sharing feelings, reactions, and dreams.

By fostering an environment where open communication is not just encouraged but expected, my partner and I have strengthened our bond beyond measure. It’s not about achieving perfection but embracing the journey of understanding and growth together. Sometimes, a simple conversation over coffee can lead to revelations that enrich your relationship in ways you never anticipated.

Setting Boundaries: Safeguarding Your Relationship

As I’ve navigated through my own relationships and devoured countless self-help books, one truth sticks out like a sore thumb: boundaries are the unsung heroes of healthy relationships. Amy Morin, in her insightful “13 Things Mentally Strong Couples Don’t Do,” nails it when she stresses the importance of setting boundaries. It’s not about building walls; it’s about drawing lines in the sand that protect and honor the individuality within the partnership.

Creating a Safe Space for Individual Growth – that’s what it boils down to, really. Mentally strong couples understand that their partner’s need for personal space or alone time isn’t a rejection, but a requirement for personal growth. I remember reading about a survey from Pew Research Center, which found that 87% of successful couples attribute their relationship satisfaction to having personal freedom. That hit home for me. My partner and I have our “me” times scheduled, and it’s incredible how it rejuvenates our connection.

On to the practical side—setting boundaries around Financial Habits can be a game changer. Did you know that the American Psychological Association found money issues to be the number one stressor in relationships? Amy suggests open discussions and setting clear financial boundaries early on. I’ve found linking this with shared goals, like saving for a vacation or a house, makes the process more of a team effort and less of a tug-of-war.

Digital Boundaries Can’t Be Ignored. In this age of constant connectivity, deciding when and how much to share online is crucial. A fascinating piece I read highlighted a study showing couples who kept their relationship more private on social media reported higher levels of happiness. My take? It’s about cherishing real moments over virtual validations.

Respect Around In-Laws and Friends – This is tricky territory but essential. Dr. John Gottman mentions in his work that respect and understanding towards your partner’s external relationships can significantly impact your own relationship’s health. From personal experience, setting aside time for family visits and friend hangouts independently strengthens trust and respect.

Handling Conflict Constructively: Turning Challenges into Opportunities

In my journey with my partner, I’ve learned that handling conflicts constructively is not just about solving a problem. It’s about transforming challenges into opportunities for growth. Amy Morin emphasizes this, and trust me, she’s onto something big. I remember a time when a simple disagreement about weekend plans spiraled into a full-blown argument. Instead of letting it tear us down, we used it as a chance to understand each other’s needs better.

Conflict As a Catalyst for Growth

Mentally strong couples see conflict differently. They don’t dodge disagreements; they embrace them as catalysts for growth. A statistic that stuck with me is that 69% of relationship conflicts are perpetual, based on research by relationship expert John Gottman. This means they’re not solvable but manageable. It’s the management technique that sets strong couples apart. Handling it right can turn a perpetual problem into an ongoing dialogue that strengthens the bond.

Embracing Vulnerability

One key aspect I’ve found transformative is embracing vulnerability. During conflicts, being open about my fears and insecurities instead of shielding them has changed the game. It’s scary, sure, but it invites a level of intimacy that’s hard to reach otherwise. Brené Brown, a research professor, says vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, and creativity. Tapping into this, especially in rough waters, has been a revelation.

Communicate, Don’t Escalate

Mentally strong couples know that the goal of conflict is understanding, not victory. This mindset shift is crucial. It’s easy to get caught up in wanting to ‘win’ an argument, but what’s the cost? Effective communication is about listening to understand, not to respond. It takes practice and patience but believe me, it’s worth it. Implementing this has not only resolved conflicts faster but has deepened our connection in ways I hadn’t imagined.

Each conflict now feels like an opportunity to learn and grow together, rather than a threat to our relationship. It’s a continuous journey, but with these principles in mind, it’s one that’s brought us closer than ever.

Cultivating Gratitude and Appreciation

In Amy Morin’s exploration of Relationship Dynamics, a standout chapter for me, Mike Piet, has always been about cultivating gratitude and appreciation. It’s a game-changer. Let me tell you, adopting this approach has transformed my connection with my partner in ways I never imagined.

Transform Your Relationship with a Simple “Thank You”

One thing’s crystal clear: saying “thank you” for the small things isn’t just polite; it’s foundational. I learned this firsthand when I started thanking my partner for routine tasks, like making coffee in the morning. It wasn’t a grand gesture, but the positive impact it had on our day was undeniable.

The Power of Noticing the Little Things

Amy Morin emphasizes the significance of noticing and appreciating the little things. It’s about acknowledging the effort, not just the outcome. I once surprised my partner by acknowledging the effort they put into organizing our bookshelf – a small task, sure, but it made them feel seen and appreciated.

Gratitude Redefines Challenges

Remember the point about turning challenges into opportunities? Gratitude plays a huge role here. Facing financial stress, we sat down and listed things we were grateful for. This simple act transformed our perspective, turning stress into a moment of connection.

A Daily Dose of Appreciation

Incorporating a daily routine where we share three things we appreciate about each other has been a revelation. Not only does it end our day on a high note, but it’s also brought us closer together, embedding a deep sense of mutual respect and admiration.

Gratitude Translates into Action

Here’s an interesting statistic: Couples who practice daily gratitude are 20% more satisfied in their relationships. This isn’t just about feeling thankful; it’s about showing it through actions. Small gestures of kindness become the norm, not the exception.

In all, the journey of integrating gratitude into my relationship has been nothing short of transformative. It’s one of those pearls of wisdom from Morin’s work that I’ll carry with me always.

Avoiding Manipulative Behaviors: Building Trust and Honesty

In my journey through the wisdom of Amy Morin’s “13 Things Mentally Strong Couples Don’t Do”, one chapter that really hit home was about Avoiding Manipulative Behaviors. Let me tell you, diving into this was like opening a window to a fresh breeze in my relationship. It’s about creating a foundation of trust and honesty that’s unshakeable.

The crux of this guidance lies in the stark difference between persuasion and manipulation. I’ve learned that while persuasion is about laying down the cards honestly and letting the other person make their choice, manipulation twists facts and emotions, often leaving scars. Morin emphasizes that mentally strong couples steer clear of such toxicity.

Incorporating this into my life meant a serious overhaul. There were habits I didn’t even realize could be seen as manipulative. Things like guilt-tripping for getting my way or not being entirely transparent about my feelings. I had to learn to communicate my needs and concerns openly without expecting my partner to read between the lines.

Morin offers compelling examples, like one where a couple, John and Sarah, transformed their relationship by simply being straightforward about their expectations and disappointments. They ditched the passive-aggressive notes and embraced direct, kind communication. It was a game-changer.

One piece of data that Morin shares is both shocking and affirming. In a study mentioned, couples who practiced honest communication were 35% more likely to report happiness in their relationship. It’s a clear indicator that duplicity has no place in a healthy partnership.

It’s not just about avoiding lies or deceit; it’s about enriching the relationship with transparent intentions. This approach has made conversations with my partner not only easier but also more meaningful.

Experts say that trust is like a mirror; once broken, it’s hard to repair. This chapter made me see that avoiding manipulative behaviors isn’t just good advice; it’s crucial for building a relationship where trust and honesty are valued above all else.

Prioritizing Self-Care: Individual Well-being for Relationship Success

As someone who’s been through the wringer in relationships, I’ve learned that self-care isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a lifeline. I remember reading a study from the University of Zurich that found individuals who practice self-care report higher levels of relationship satisfaction. That hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s like, to be the best for someone else, you’ve gotta start with being the best for yourself.

The Balancing Act: You, Me, and Us

Here’s the lowdown: balancing individual needs with the needs of your relationship is like walking a tightrope. Too much on one side, and things start to get wobbly. I’ve found that setting boundaries around my personal time has made all the difference. It’s not just about saying “I need me-time”; it’s about showing why that time makes us stronger together. My partner and I have this understanding that sometimes, taking a step back is what gets us three steps forward.

Integrating Self-Care into Everyday Life

For me, it’s the little things that count. Starting with a morning routine focused on gratitude, a quick jog, or even just a cup of coffee in silence. These moments, trivial as they may seem, recharge my batteries and get me in the right headspace to tackle whatever the day throws at me – and that includes any curveballs in my relationship.

Awhile back, I stumbled upon a quote from Audre Lorde that perfectly captures this sentiment, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Honestly, if that doesn’t underscore the importance of self-care, I don’t know what will.

The Ripple Effect of a Content You

Here’s something I’ve noticed: when I’m in a good place mentally, it’s like I’m a better version of myself for everyone around me, especially my partner. It’s astounding how a positive shift in one person can trigger a wave of positivity in the relationship. Suddenly, conversations are deeper, laughter comes easier, and the bond? Stronger than ever.

Managing Finances Harmoniously: Money Matters in Love

In the world of love and partnership, diving into the topic of finances can often feel like stepping onto a battleground. But it needn’t be that way. In 13 Things Mentally Strong Couples Don’t Do, Amy Morin shines a light on how mentally strong couples navigate this tricky terrain. They know that when it comes to money, communication and transparency are non-negotiable.

Let me share a personal anecdote. My partner and I once faced a financial hiccup. We realized that avoiding the conversation only made things worse. By sitting down, laying all our cards on the table, and respecting each other’s financial boundaries, we turned a potentially explosive situation into a growth opportunity. It was all about finding a balance between individual financial goals and our vision as a couple.

Mentally strong couples don’t keep financial secrets. They understand that hiding purchases or debts can erode trust. According to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, financial infidelity has the same impact on relationship satisfaction as emotional/sexual infidelity. Astonishing, right?

Key to managing finances harmoniously is setting common goals. Whether it’s saving for a dream vacation, buying a home, or planning for retirement, having shared objectives keeps couples aligned. Mentally strong couples use their financial discussions as a way to reinforce their bond, rather than letting it become a wedge between them.

Experts often highlight the importance of regular financial date nights – a concept I’ve found incredibly useful. It’s a dedicated time to check in on financial goals, discuss any concerns, and celebrate wins, no matter how small. It transforms money talks from a source of stress to a source of connection.

It’s also crucial to acknowledge and respect each other’s money personalities. Some of us are savers; others are spenders. Identifying where you and your partner fall on this spectrum can illuminate many of the underlying dynamics in your financial relationship. The key is not to change each other but to understand and complement each other.

Incorporating these practices into your relationship not only strengthens your financial foundation but also enhances your emotional connection. Remember, it’s not about the amount in your bank account, but how you navigate these financial journeys together.

Supporting Each Other’s Goals and Dreams

In Amy Morin’s insightful guide, “13 Things Mentally Strong Couples Don’t Do,” a significant chapter that resonated with me focuses on the power of supporting each other’s goals and dreams. It’s a vital component that often gets overshadowed by the day-to-day dealings of a relationship. But let me tell you, it’s a game-changer.

Nurturing Ambitions Together is critical. It’s fascinating how Morin emphasizes that mentally strong couples don’t just coexist; they thrive by actively pushing each other towards individual and shared aspirations. I’ve observed this in my relationship too. When my partner and I began aligning our personal goals with our collective vision, our bond deepened in unexpected ways.

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Unsupportiveness is something Morin elaborates on with precision. She shares that neglecting your partner’s dreams can lead to resentment, which is a slow poison for any relationship. A statistic that caught my eye in her book highlighted that couples who regularly discuss and support each other’s goals report a 33% higher relationship satisfaction rate.

From my experience, creating a shared vision board was a transformative exercise. It’s a visual representation of your dreams and an everyday reminder of what you’re both striving for. This aligns beautifully with Morin’s advice on making goal support a tangible part of the relationship.

“Empathy in Action” plays a colossal role here. Understanding and empathizing with your partner’s aspirations means putting yourself in their shoes and feeling their passion as if it were your own. Morin quotes an expert saying, “Empathy is the secret ingredient that makes mutual support possible,” and I couldn’t agree more.

In essence, nurturing each other’s dreams is not just about being a cheerleader from the sidelines; it’s about getting into the game together, strategizing, and tackling the challenges hand-in-hand. And if there’s one thing I’ve taken to heart from Morin’s guide, it’s that the strongest couples are those who see their partner’s success as their success and their struggles, as theirs to share and overcome together.

Respecting Privacy and Autonomy

In Amy Morin’s insightful list, “Respecting Privacy and Autonomy” emerges as a pivotal theme, underscoring the lifeblood of a robust relationship. One thing I’ve learned, both from Morin and my own share of heart-to-hearts, is that trust and space are non-negotiable. Let me share a personal anecdote: my partner and I have this ritual of “me time,” which essentially means uninterrupted hours we dedicate to ourselves, no questions asked. It might seem small, but it’s our way of honoring each other’s independence.

Empowering Each Other to Grow

But it’s not just about time apart. It’s about encouraging each other’s passions, even if they don’t always involve us. A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that individuals who perceive their partner as supportive of their autonomy report higher relationship satisfaction. True story. And when my partner decided to take up painting—an activity where I’m as skilled as a toddler with crayons—I saw her eyes light up with every stroke she made. That joy? Worth every moment of fostering her autonomy.

Autonomy Isn’t Anarchy

However, and this is crucial, autonomy doesn’t mean neglect. It’s a delicate balance, one that requires mutual respect and understanding. Amy Morin puts it beautifully when she speaks about the dance of being emotionally available while giving space for personal development. In my life, this translated to learning the art of asking, “How can I support you?” rather than “Why do you need to do this without me?” This simple shift in dialogue can make a world of difference.

The Power of Trust

In the end, it all boils down to trust. A piece I once read highlighted a remarkable statistic: couples who trust each other exhibit a 50% higher likelihood of reporting happiness in their relationship. That’s no small figure. It’s a testament to the importance of building a foundation where privacy and autonomy aren’t just respected—they’re celebrated. So here I am, telling you that creating space for personal growth isn’t just beneficial; it’s essential for a mentally strong partnership.

Dealing with External Influences: Strengthening Your Relationship Against Outside Challenges

As a self-help enthusiast, I’ve seen my fair share of moments when the world seemed to conspire against my relationship. Amy Morin taught me that mentally strong couples don’t let external pressures dictate the health of their partnership. Let me dive into how we can shield our bonds from these inevitable challenges.

Keep Your Eyes on The Prize: Unity

Remember, it’s us against the problem, not you against me. When my partner and I faced financial strain, a wise piece of advice from a friend reminded us to tackle issues together. Suddenly, the tension eased as we focused on solutions rather than blame.

Boundaries Are Your Best Friend

Setting clear boundaries with friends and family is crucial. There was a time when our dinner dates became group hangouts without our consent. We learned to say no, reinforcing to those around us that our relationship was a priority. Boundaries protect your partnership’s sanctity.

Social Media: Handle with Care

Did you know that 50% of couples argue about the effects of social media on their relationship? Stats aside, I’ve seen it first-hand. The solution? My partner and I established ‘social media-free zones,’ focusing on creating memories just for us, not for likes or shares.

Tackling External Stressors Head-On

From job pressures to societal expectations, external stressors are inevitable. Amy Morin suggests empowering each other to face these together. A shared struggle is half the burden, and there’s an incredible bond formed when you overcome obstacles hand in hand.

Embrace the Differences, Celebrate the Growth

Lastly, embracing the fact that you and your partner might react differently to external influences is key. I’ve learned to celebrate this diversity because it brings unique perspectives and solutions to our relationship, strengthening our unity even more.

Keeping a relationship strong amidst external challenges isn’t easy, but with the right mindset and techniques, it’s undoubtedly possible. Each challenge overcome is a testament to the strength and resilience of your partnership.

Nurturing Emotional Intimacy: Connecting on a Deeper Level

Ever noticed how some couples just seem to get each other on an almost telepathic level? Well, that’s emotional intimacy at its finest. Emotional intimacy isn’t something that magically happens because you spend a lot of time together. It’s like a garden; it needs consistent nurturing, understanding, and care to flourish.

One key takeaway from Amy Morin’s insights is that mentally strong couples avoid assuming they know everything about each other. It’s a trap! I’ve fallen into it myself, thinking I knew exactly what my partner needed without asking. Spoiler alert: I was wrong. This assumption can lead to misunderstandings and feelings of neglect.

Instead, asking open-ended questions plays a huge role. Picture this: Instead of asking “Did you have a good day?” I now ask “What was something interesting that happened to you today?” This minor tweak opens up room for deeper conversations, making us feel more connected.

Let’s talk stats for a sec. According to recent studies, couples who engage in deep, meaningful conversations are 10% happier than those who stick to surface-level chatter. This data drove home the point that emotional intimacy isn’t just about feeling close, but actively participating in each other’s emotional experiences.

Sharing vulnerabilities is another cornerstone. I remember the first time I shared a deep fear of mine with my partner. It was about losing loved ones and not being able to say goodbye. That conversation brought us closer than any date night ever could.

Experts agree: Dr. John Gottman, a relationship guru, emphasizes the significance of “bids for connection.” These are moments when your partner reaches out for emotional support or engagement. Responding to these bids consistently strengthens the emotional bond, creating a robust layer of trust.

In essence, building emotional intimacy involves an ongoing effort to understand, engage, and support each other at the deepest levels. Mentally strong couples recognize and embrace the challenge, knowing that the reward is a connection that can weather any storm.

Conclusion: Embracing Mental Strength for Lasting Relationship Bliss

Diving into the insights from Amy Morin’s “13 Things Mentally Strong Couples Don’t Do” has been an eye-opener for me. It’s clear that the secret sauce to a lasting and fulfilling relationship isn’t just about love. It’s about the mental gymnastics—understanding, engaging, and supporting each other at a level that goes beyond the superficial. I’ve learned that asking the right questions and being open to vulnerability can transform the way we connect with our partners. It’s not just about avoiding the pitfalls; it’s about actively building something beautiful and enduring together. So let’s take these lessons to heart and strive to be mentally strong partners. After all, it’s the deep connections that make the journey worthwhile.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is emotional intimacy in a relationship?

Emotional intimacy involves a deep connection between partners, characterized by mutual care, understanding, and the sharing of personal feelings and vulnerabilities. It’s foundational for a strong, healthy relationship.

How can couples increase emotional intimacy?

Couples can increase emotional intimacy by consistently engaging in deep and meaningful conversations, sharing their vulnerabilities, responding to each other’s emotional needs, and actively working to understand and support each other.

Why is avoiding assumptions important in building emotional intimacy?

Avoiding assumptions is crucial because it encourages partners to ask open-ended questions and listen actively. This practice leads to better understanding and prevents misunderstandings that can distance partners.

How do deep conversations impact a relationship?

Studies show that engaging in deep conversations is associated with increased happiness among couples. These conversations allow partners to share their thoughts, feelings, and vulnerabilities, thereby strengthening their emotional connection.

What role does responding to emotional bids play in a relationship?

Responding to emotional bids is vital for building emotional intimacy. It involves recognizing and reacting positively to a partner’s attempt at seeking connection, showing that their needs and emotions are valued and understood.

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