Have you ever fallen?
Not in love. I mean literally… fallen.
A little while ago I became well acquainted with the floor of the hotel I was staying in. I wasn’t paying attention and ended up taking a bit of a fall while attempting to lift a heavy suitcase. I felt my knee wobble and I panicked.
Being prone to theatrics, I worried: will I ever be able to walk normally again?
I was talked into trying physical therapy but by the time I finally went, I was symptom-free and quite annoyed at what felt like a waste of time. My perky physical therapist was friendly and empathetic as I told him that was going to be our only time meeting because I would not need to return.
The exercises were simple. I brushed the whole experience off, thinking I’ll cancel the next sessions and be on my way. As I walked out after that first appointment I noticed how tall I felt. For the rest of the day, my body felt more in alignment than it had in years.
Begrudgingly, I came to terms with the fact that I felt this way because of the physical therapy session. I decided to go back… a few more times. I noticed how much stronger and grounded I felt. The time and energy I put into physical therapy ended up being an excellent investment.
Relationship Training works the same way. Many couples only go to counseling when there is a huge relationship crisis. What many of them don’t know is that the most meaningful work is done when the sun is shining and the birds are singing.
Long-term, committed relationships are sustained through hard work and conscious effort. A level of introspection, emotional awareness, and communication skills enable partners to foster a fulfilling relationship.
When we aren’t paying attention, it’s easy to find ourselves in a vulnerable moment when we least expected it. Here’s the thing: Mistakes and failures provide our best opportunities. My fall gave me the opportunity to discover weaknesses in form. I didn’t know they were there making me vulnerable to stress.
It can be incredibly difficult to achieve a fulfilling relationship when both partners are being pulled in different directions due to work, family, friends, and children. We’ve chosen our significant others because we love them and want to share our lives, but we also have to make a conscious choice to check in with our partners and grow together.
Recently, a friend shared that her husband has been working much longer hours at work. She said she barely sees him during the week and when he finally does get home, he’s exhausted and doesn’t have the energy to talk or spend time with her. I asked her if she’d talked to him about it. She hadn’t. She said it frustrated her after the first week and now 6 months later she’s at her wit’s end.
At first, she tried to ignore it. She’d get dinner with a friend or watch a movie, but after months of not saying anything, her resentment deepened. The thing about resentment is that similar to a boiling pot of water, it will eventually bubble over.
One may start to respond in a way that’s cold or passive-aggressive and their partner might return the behavior. The cycle continues as the feeling of disconnection increases. Finally, everything comes out in a way that proves to be more damaging and difficult to repair than if it had been addressed in the first place.
Not all relationship issues are the same. For some, it may be that their partner never takes out the trash or they haven’t gotten up with the baby in the middle of the night. For others, it may be that they haven’t spent quality time together in a long time or they have forgotten how to speak kindly and empathetically together.
Regardless of what’s going on in one’s relationship, making an effort to become relationally skilled equips them with the ability to handle anything that comes up. A marriage is a living thing that needs regular care and maintenance. It’s fragile and delicate as a flower. The expert gardener doesn’t wait until all the leaves on their rose bush are brown and falling off to water it. She prunes the dead leaves as she goes. She waters and fertilizes the bush regularly.
The same maintenance is required to sustain a healthy and fulfilling relationship; however, most people don’t possess the tools and knowledge to do so. This is where relationship training comes in. Months-long courses, textbooks, and years of therapy aren’t necessary. An incredible amount can be accomplished in just a few relationship training sessions. Every couple should take time to pause and discuss what is and is not working.
If your problems are small, we can work on form, subtlety, and make tiny shifts in thinking and behavior. Learn relationship skills before you have a devastating personal crisis. By using a proactive approach, you nurture and protect your marriage. Developing a few simple skills can equip both partners with the ability to interrupt toxic communication patterns and focus on what truly matters.
Give us a call and we’ll talk about what you need to get back on track. (310) 265-6644. www.DrBonniesRelationshipTraining.com