Monthly Archives: June 2018

We Can Learn About Relationships

It is regrettable we do not have a chance to study about relationships when we are in school. Relationships are something all of us will have to cope with in our lives. We are educated in reading, writing and arithmetic but the one thing that affects us the most emotionally is left to us to work out on our own.

It is mostly hit and miss for us when we take care of relationship issues, not really sure what to do. Many times when it gets rough, we will give up and break up. If we knew more about what we were doing or had more patience we could salvage these relationships. The only relationships we should not save are those that are abusive or really bad.

What can take place is we just give up too early. We might be angry and hurt and feel like the easiest way out is to leave. We tend to think about what is happening currently and forget the good times we have had with our partners. If things had been doing great in the relationship at one time, why can it not be good again?

No relationship is perfect so you should not expect perfection. When you and your partner get into an disagreement, it should not be viewed as the end of the world. Now, if the issue is cheating then you have a different situation to deal with. With cheating you will have to overcome lost of trust, but it can be done. Many relationships have survived someone cheating and still gone on to long lives together.

When things get tough do not give up hope, you can work out your differences and avoid a break up or divorce. Even if just one of you make an attempt at fixing things, you still have a good chance of getting your relationship back on track.

Everything I Know About Relationship Success

It happened again!

I was enjoying an evening with my little 2-yr. old son at the playground when, BAM, it happened. You ever have one of those moments in life when you know you are being taught an important lesson?

Picture in your mind a chaotic atmosphere of over fifty little children battling for their turn to play on a handful of playground rides and objects.

Recipe for disaster, huh? That’s what I thought, too, until my observations quickly picked up something else.

Sure, they were running into one another, crying and trying to get ahead of each other for the rides. They were walking across other children who had fallen down in front of them and were pushing one another to get their turn. They were running to their parents for comfort after getting their feelings hurt.

As I stood there taking in the scenery before me, those little blessings of life showed me some important lessons about relationship success. If you will indulge me a moment, I will share with you what I found out.

Relationship Success Lesson #1 – The Principle of Fun:

Not much to say here! It’s simple; these kids loved to have fun.

In adult relationships, life throws curves at us constantly. Responsibilities come at us from every angle. It takes conscious effort to remember to have fun together in life. I emphasize the word, “together”. I’m not talking about the type of fun where the husband plays golf and the wife shops.

The “heavy” takes it toll on relationships, and we do well when we give our relationship a time-out from the heavy and lighten up. Couples who play together, stay together.

Relationship Success Lesson #2 – The Principle of Fascination:

As I stood there watching, it was interesting to see how the younger children reacted to the older kids. It didn’t take much observance to see that they were taken by and fascinated with them.

Fascination! While it is not a word often associated with relationship success, if you want thriving relationships, you may just want to give it some precedence.

I was blessed earlier in life to have a couple who had been married over twenty-six years model this for me. Whenever anyone saw them together, they were holding hands and playfully giddy as if they had just started dating. When I asked what caused her to be this much in love with a man after so many years of marriage, she responded, “He fascinates me.”

Let that sink in a moment.

Are you an interesting person? Would you consider yourself intriguing? Do you have interests in life that cause other people to want to be around you, or are you often bored?

A few things to note:

* Bored people are boring people.

* Having interests will help make us more fascinating in life.

* In the world of relationship enrichment, “Couch Potatoes Need Not Apply”.

Relationship Success Lesson #3 – The Principle of Forgiveness:

As I stood and watched, two children were running on the playground in opposite directions, and I saw it coming before they did. They each circled the same object until they literally met in the middle. Two more kids came around and did the same thing.

Tempers flared, emotions ran high, tears ran down their cheeks and feelings were hurt. Less than two minutes later, they were off running and playing together, and all was forgotten.

What would happen in adult relationships if we learned how to do that? Instead of internalizing everything, we learn not to take it all so personally. Instead of holding grudges, we learn to hold hands.

A Kernel of Truth about Relationships

It’s all about relationships! proclaimed my father during our recent holiday visit with my parents. Santa Claus coffee cup in one hand and a wagging finger toward my wife, Elizabeth, with the other. When you retire, thats what you realize is most important in life (okay, so thats not him in the photo).

Dad recently retired from 30+ years as an orthopedic surgeon and the major shift in lifestyle seems to have brought about a significant shift in his outlook on life. For me, his statement about relationships became much broader and more profound than I thought such a simple and reasonable statement could ever become.

At first look, it makes sense that relationships are vital to our lives. Whether it is friendship, dating, marriage, family or community, relationships with others are a part of our everyday life. They give us belonging, meaning, companionship, intimacy and love. But, pulling back from this view and taking a broad gander at the subject I realized that relationships are more than just meaningful interactions with people. When we relate or interact with something we are, in fact, in relationship with it. For instance, our relationship with work, our relationship with ourselves, our relationship with our health and our relationship with our spirituality. By defining relationships from this broader perspective, our relationship list becomes almost endless.

You see, when we look at our relationships, we look at our interaction with every part of our lives; people, places, things, and events. So, what is our relationship to our work, ourselves, our environment, our health, our spirituality? How do we relate to these things? Or, better yet, if it is all about relationships how are our most important relationships?

Coming from the psychotherapy world, I often helped couples, families and individuals improve personal relationships by working through a series of 4 questions. Once I broadened my definition of relationships, I found that these questions are applicable to all types of relationships. The questions go something like this:

1. What relationships do you value most?

Be clear about what you value and which relationships are truly priorities to you.

2. Why do you value them?

Understanding the value these relationships have for you underscores the importance of the relationship and clarifies why a relationship feels important.

3. How do you nourish each relationship?

Now that youve identified how and why a relationship is important, you must define what it is that you do to keep that relationship alive and growing.

4. How do you maintain your commitment through the tough times?

Are the divorce stats really any different from the number of other relationships that end in our own lives (i.e., dropping the diet, forgetting exercise, leaving job after job, putting personal goals and dreams on hold, getting around to the God/spiritual thing when you have more time, etc)? These relationships may not necessarily be a marriage but like a marriage these relationships have their challenging times. Similar to a marital relationship, we must work through the difficult times in our other relationships rather than set them aside until a better time or just plain hope the struggles go away. This is often the point at which my coaching clients seek my assistance.

You will inevitably find that nurturing these relationships is often like a juggling act. Though, once we identify the key relationships in our lives and begin relating with them rather than leaving them on our To Do list, we will soon find that balance in life is an attainable goal and that, in fact, life truly is all about relationships.