It’s often said that ‘the quality of our relationship determines the quality of our life’, and when a relationship runs into trouble it affects everything – our work or business, our health and other relationships such as with our children. We invest heavily in our relationships, whether it’s property, holidays, children, shared memories… and we often fear the consequences of calling it a day, as we know the road ahead could include family separation, issues with friends, splitting of assets, lawyer fees, or even just loneliness and wondering whether we’ll ever meet the right person!
So how do we start to assess such a complex question of whether a relationship can be saved, and what can we start doing to re-find the connection and love?
- Taking responsibility for your s**t – while one party may be more motivated to resolve the relationship challenges than the other, it’s crucial that if there is going to be a joint solution, there has to be some joint ownership of your s**t (what we call owners**t)! However, even if your partner isn’t motivated to resolve things, you can still reach out for help alone, which may help you to get to a point of clarity for yourself!
- Are you able to do things for your partner without ‘keeping score’? When we do things for our partner, or they do things for us, through love or appreciation it generates a positive feeling that comes back to you naturally. When this is present, things flow much better and we avoid the ‘keeping score’ phenomenon where the relationship feels more like a contract or ‘I’m only willing to do x if you’re willing to do y’.
- Do you still treasure shared memories together? One of the saddest consequences of relationship challenges is that we end up re-writing the history of the relationship so that even the best of times (maybe in the early times of the relationship) are ‘re-written’ and you focus on the challenges at that time, while overlooking the best moments. Once attitudes harden and we struggle to recall and share the good times, it’s a long way back to recovering the relationship – take action before it gets to that point!
- Do you allow yourself to be influenced by your partner? When one partner isn’t willing to meet the other half way, it’s much harder to reconnect. Even the most aligned couples will have their differences, and on their own that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The key is how we handle the differences, as if we’re overly attached to a position or identity then it’s much harder to mesh or flow with our partner.
- Do you have a shared vision that excites both of you? It’s so easy to let our focus of attention flow to the things that aren’t working or our daily frustrations. To avoid this, we always encourage couples to developed a shared vision or goal that excites you and makes all the daily issues worthwhile! Think about that goal together every day, whether it’s a few minutes in the morning or evening and remember how good that’s going to feel, whether it’s getting fit, a charity project, or a holiday that’s going to blow your minds!
Also, it is strongly recommend reaching out to experts, such as Aligned With Love, to get professional guidance before taking the plunge! They have exercises that help you get leverage and clarity on all the points above. Remember, the cost of ‘resetting’ a relationship that is salvageable is likely to be a lot less than the costs of separation!
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