When I started writing for this blog, I did so with the idea that I would share with people the little bits of information I was picking up along the way of working with so many couples. Since I am not sure what people will find helpful, I simply share all of my thoughts and hope that most people will benefit.
So, here is a thought I hope will help many. For the lucky people that find themselves in wonderful relationships, there is a tendency to think of the strong relationship as an indestructible entity. Once we do this we do things like pile lots of stress onto the relationship because, “we can handle it”. We pursue huge goals and familial growth because “our relationship can take it”. This is a mistake that can have grave consequences. The temptation is to pile more and more onto our relationship until the once brilliant relationship dynamic has developed a slight blip that one day turns into a huge problem.
Instead, we should consider our relationship as something that is both priceless and fragile. We should protect it, just the same as we protect our other valuable objects. We cherish them; ensure that danger does don’t get near. This will help us to not put too much onto our relationship and stay our very very best.
I want to be completely honest; this is an error I have made in my own relationship. When my wife and I began our relationship we both thought it was the best relationship ever, not only that either of us had been in but ever, like in the global sense. As the years went on we seemed to get better and better and eventually this led to a wonderful marriage, then we started to put huge stressors on our relationship. We both went to graduate school, we bought a house and I started a business and currently run more than one. Before we knew it we had drifted apart in ways that did not fit with what either of us wanted for our marriage. Before the problem got worse we decided to do something about it and took steps to repair the years of damage. Though it has not always been easy, we have been able to restore the habits that once made us special and we both are dedicated to never again mistaking our special relationship for an indestructible one. Instead we will remember that even special relationships require effort, even beautiful partnerships require attention to stay beautiful.
One of the major ideas of The Solution Focused Marriage book and program is that couples need to focus on their relationship when things are going well and not just when problems arise. This is because most people wait until there is a problem before they make a change, often allowing a problem to fester for longer than it has to. Hopefully, once a couple examines what makes them special, they will learn that they are in fact more like a priceless automobile and not an indestructible tank. Then maybe the mistake my wife and I made will be avoided and your relationship will stay it’s very best!