If you want to improve your relationship, get onto it early…….
“Imagine if you found a lump, would you get it checked out quickly or let it go? Imagine how it would be if you let it go untreated for 6 years, you may be in some serious trouble…. The same as couples having difficulties in their relationship, many who suffer an average of six years of unhappiness in their relationship before getting help,” says John Gottman, emeritus professor of psychology and renowned relationship expert.
The answers themselves are sometimes more challenging than “10 Tips To Save Your Marriage’ might imply, but they exist and your answers are unique to you making it not only worthwhile but exciting to discover them for yourself.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
It is also very difficult to come up with a one size fits all answer to relationship issues, but is more accurate to accept that everyone has them in relationship, in fact they’re unavoidable and perfectly normal.
At Oztantra, we see the challenge as not about problem’s themselves,but how each individual takes responsibility in owning and resolving them. Relationship problems are a universal fact of life with every couple, each with particular issues unique to their relationship.
Their relationship dynamics are driven by each, with unique personality quirks brought into relationship, such as feelings of inadequacy, inability to manage anger or identify and express their needs.
If You Desire a Successful Relationship, Then Make an Effort..
Successful Relationships are determined by the degree of effort each individual brings towards resolving their own personal emotional issues and how they bring this into their relationship. Yet many couples remain stuck in suffering or fear, instead choosing to wait on average, about 6 years before seeking help.
Recent research findings on the effectiveness of couples counseling reconfirms the last two decades of research showing that seeking outside help is effective for many couples, with approximately 70% showing positive change. However for 25-30% of couples, counseling is not effective because there is just ‘too much water under the bridge’.
Seek help Early…
All the more reason to seek help earlier as not only do couples succeed, they also achieve happier and healthier life styles. When choosing assistance, it is important to choose a specialist who can manage sessions with more than 1 person in the room.
Couples dynamics are complex and it takes skill to hold, manage and move through their intensity. Unfortunately, un skilled counseling will not help and can actually make things worse, leaving a struggling couple even more reluctant to seek help.
Relationship distress is found to be strongly associated with individual depression, addiction, anxiety, social impairment, poor health and depressed immune function. And if relationship distress involves parenting, their children are much more highly disposed to these problems as well.
So, why is it so hard to seek help ?
In the not too distant past, the quality and expectancy of life didn’t allow the luxury of time and space in developing personal depth and connection with another.
With the dramatic increase in life expectancy and the potential to spend 60 – 70 years or even longer with one person then obviously relationship skills require a totally new approach. Especially when considering the ease and freedom of new opportunities, possibilities and distractions that are now common place for most people.
Originally marriage was all about ownership of property, money and lineage, and monogamy had little to do with desiring to be with just one person for the rest of your life. Modern relationship is now much more about personal desire and individual freedom of choice, but is the skill level required to have this relationship freedom adequate?
I believe we have physically succeeded in creating better and healthier lifestyles, but our evolution of skills in how to integrate these changes into the emotional quality of relationship hasn’t kept up with advances in life expectancy.
But is it fair to place responsibility for relationship apathy on marriage, monogamy or any other model?
Longer Life Means Longer Relationships
The common denominator through these changes is that people have more choice, are living longer, enjoying better health and yet why is this not showing up in happier and longer lasting relationships? Why do so many struggle to the point of giving up or choosing to put up with something that is less rewarding and fulfilling?
At Oztantra and working daily in this field of relationships we come across a huge range of issues, complexities and success’s.
Consistently when relationship “issues” are broken down and delved into there exists a single and common thread of disempowerment or reluctance to delve deeper, to the point of fear or apathy.
This reluctance or fear of delving deeper into, and taking responsibility for owning individual emotional baggage is I believe, the single most significant limitation for any person in relationship in moving forward. They will, for what ever reason, refuse or delay seeking outside support.
There is Always a Way Forward
When any couple approaches us for support or guidance, the first thing we look for is whether they’re on the same page in why they’re seeking assistance. Sometimes their answers are mind bogglingly different in how they see their relationship problems.
It takes skill during these sessions to bring them together in this intensity and into a space where they can each see what is happening and how their patterns are disempowering each of them and their relationship.
With out support, seeing things differently can create an environment in their relationship which is based on their individual fear and shame patterns. Instead of owning their stuff, they project onto or blame their partner and their loving intimate relationship dynamic very quickly becomes a battleground.
Even those couples who have left it too long can, if they choose, reclaim their relationship. If they choose not to, then they will most likely be dealing with these same issues in their next relationship.
It takes determination in relationship to see it through these challenges, particularly relationship apathy, and front up and do your personal development with your partner. If your choice is to be in relationship, it is essential to have a culture of vigilance towards personal growth and essentially, avoid relationship apathy.
Any individual choosing to remain either ignorant or apathetic towards their own learning about themselves will have a challenging time being in relationship.
On The Job Training…
People will always desire to be in relationship with genuine enthusiasm, for emotional connection remains a basic human need, but unfortunately their understanding and skill level in relationship repeatedly will let them down. On the job training is how most of us learn our relationship skills and choosing the right people in supporting your experience is the difference between a life time of happiness and satisfaction and just existing.
Possessing a genuine and enthusiastic desire to learn and experience relationship is what we believe is the main distinguishing skill required to develop the skills required for your relationship success.
So don’t blame yourself, your partner or your relationship for your hurts, instead see this as a lack of decent training and set about getting some!
NB; If your one of the 25 – 30%, don’t give up, as we have the skills and experience to guide you through this and support you in claiming your relationship back.