One blog post is not going to be a cure all for any dilemma, however a few seeds well cultivated, it can be a great help.
There seems to be some common themes occurring within the relationships I have been coaching. These have inspired me to share some strategies to help make what seems complex, a little more simple.
For a relationship to prosper there needs to be 3 pillars underpinning the relationship, creating the foundation that you build upon. If you are experiencing challenges in your relationship, you can identify from these three pillars, where the challenges are coming from and, what aspect of your relationship requires tweaking or major help:
3 relationship pillars
this is where people fall over the most – we must learn what language we speak in and what language our partner speaks in so that we interpret and translate the right messages. People are complex processing machines and emotions often confuse the data or facts. Values are different for different people and understand how to articulate what is important to you, how you have perceived something and where your limits and boundaries are will all impact your outcomes. What says love to one person doesn’t necessarily translate to love for the next person. We speak in different love languages and value languages. Some of us have become accustomed to being defensive and blaming assuming everything else is to blame and others of us know how to accept responsibility for our actions and thoughts and words. Fighting is the most unsuccessful form of communicating. It is about caring only about being heard and making the other person wrong. As opposed to understanding exactly what each others perspective is acknowledging you understand it, feeling as though you have been fully understand and working toward getting onto the same page as a team. Emotion often flares up and blows the facts around into such a mess you both get lost in it all.
when trust is pervasive, meaning it is running strong through all areas of your relationship, it is like the binding glue of the relationship. Trust breaks down easily if communication isn’t honest and open and flowing and appreciated or encouraged and rewarded. We can earn trust and we can lose trust, it doesn’t come free. Once trust is broken, repairing it is close to impossible. Sometimes if you do repair a broken trust, it can move into an even stronger state then before it was broken. This takes commitment and communication.
Equal and unwavering commitment to the relationship and what you are both working toward. Have a vision for what your future together looks like. Share common goals so that what you are working on, is for a stimulating reason and not just clocking in and clocking out of a routine. This dull routine will become dull and predictable and very tested once kids arrive or other stresses arrive. Have exciting plans for how you want your life to look in 12 months, 3years and 10 years from now. Otherwise, you can get bored and start to resent each other and, start growing in 2 different directions. This is where we start looking for cliché ways to spice up our life because, we failed to stay involved in things that we are passionate about, stimulating our sense of passion. We energetically get flat and board so we start looking for easy fix things, external from ourselves, to give us that sense of zing or passion. Set passionate goals and write exciting vision statements with your partner and keep them alive and refreshed.
There are 4 stages in a relationship
A relationship will always be operating in one of these states
In the beginning stages we ignore signs and differences. It’s new and exciting and too early to tell.
Admit things you don’t like about the other person and you try to change them. This is the stage where most relationships end or go pear shaped
We realise and have peace with the fact that we can’t change people or some aspects of people and nor is our business to make people change as a condition of our love. Maybe if you need to change someone so much, it might just mean, you’re not well matched. You’re trying to shove a round peg into a square hole. Accepting someone is a loving peaceful feeling as is being accepted by some one. This does not mean we should accept bad behaviour. Remember the golden rule, we teach people how to treat us. If your partner’s behaviour is unacceptable to you, it is a sign that your limits and boundaries have been crossed or your value systems are not aligned. Values like respect, honour, integrity, honesty, loyalty, generosity etc.
Celebrate your differences
Respect that you are different. Laugh about it. Use the differences to your advantage. Work to your strengths and have a healthy understanding how your differences can make you interesting to each other.
What advice or tools and tips can you share when it comes to building a trusting and healthy relationship?