Tiger Eye Solution

HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS

 

 

We all know the value of exercising and staying fit. It’s practically recommended by every Dr. and expert. Does that mean we all do it? Not exactly!

MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIPS

It’s the same in your marriage and other relationships. Unlike our physical health, we often have the unfounded expectation that our relationships are going to stay fit and in good health with little to no effort. The renowned relationship researcher Dr. John Gottman, found in one study that couples wait an average of 6 years before they seek out help for their marital issues. Can you imagine having a twisted ankle or a serious stomach ache, but not consulting a Dr. about it for 6 years? We often get very nervous when it comes to talking about our relationship “stuff.” It’s no surprise, really, many of us were raised to keep our feelings and personal relationships close and private.

As with physical fitness, there are many ways to keep our relationships fit and in great shape. Even if you’ve fallen out of shape, there’s still plenty of hope. You just start small. Remember when you were newlyweds, how many nice things you’d say to each other? Turns, out appreciations, spoken out loud are the pushups of relationships fittness, an absolute staple of personal and relational well being. My husband and I have a simple fitness practice in place before we got to sleep, we both share at least 3 appreciations to each other.

INCREASE APPRECIATION

Alongside increased appreciations, there is often a decrease in complaints, blame, and criticism. We all know how easy it is to develop routine bickering with our partner, but we might not know that it’s proven to be fateful to marriages. Dr. Gottman, found by studying several thousand couples over many years that we need at least a 5:1 ratio of positive-to-negative interactions per day in order to avoid a marital breakdown or divorce. That means for every critical or blaming remark, it takes a full 5 positive remarks to counter the negative effects. And if we want a thriving, healthy relationship, we should aim for a 10-1 or 20-1 ratio.

There have been clients in the past, for whom the absence of the relationship fitness basics has taken a toll. A young couple with 3 kids, both parents working full time, found themselves feeling so drained and stressed by the responsibilities of work, kids, house, and family, that any advances from their partner seem like just another shore, and they inadvertently end up pushing each other further apart. When the general stress level is elevated is when we’re more prone to activate our own as well as our partners’ “hot buttons” and go down a rabbit hole of triggered reactions. And then we forget all about our relationship fitness basics.

For a single Mom, this shows up a bit differently, although it’s the same dynamic at work. She’s also feeling scared and pressed by the never-ending responsibilities of making life work, being the only adult to handle everything. Just like couples end up complaining to each other and rejecting each other’s advances, this single finds herself complaining to other people, to herself and completely forgetting the relationship fitness basic of appreciating herself and finding space to recharge her batteries, and other absolute to remain sane, calm, and functional.

 

REMEDY

For both the couple and single mom, the immediate remedy is to return to relationship fitness basics. Sure, there could be a bigger process about how to set up the life to function better, how to communicate better, and how to create structures that support deeper connections, even with a gazillion chores. But with some guidance, to relax, connect, and express appreciations, they both were holding hands, relieved to be “back to basics.” They even said, that when they regularly engage in activities, just for the 2 of them setting up a time for fun, dance, music, and exercise, everything works out better. As is true for our physical fitness, it’s no use if we just do it once or twice. We have to make appreciations and quality time, for ourselves and /or with our partners, and ongoing practice. It has become a staple in our daily lives. We need to keep learning more effective ways to communicate, and resolve our problems so that connection is the rule that break down the exceptions. And when breakdowns do occur, as they will, we have the skills to deal with them in short.

Along with your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual fitness, your relationship fitness will hopefully become part of your regular routine. Keeping your relationships fit will pay dividends for the rest of your life.