Relationships are like investments. They need consistent deposits and time to compound and yield a great return.
The quality of our relationships has a big influence on the quality of our lives.
We probably know more about romantic relationships and marriage today than ever before.
So much research has gone into the field of attraction, dating, healthy relationships, marital conflict, infidelity, divorce, sexual intimacy etc., that we have a pretty good picture of why certain couples struggle while others "live happily ever after."
There is little guesswork left to be done.
Yes, of course each couple and situation are unique in their character, but not essence.
People are people, and experts tell us that we typically do things for the same reasons as others. Which means, we can (and should) learn from others.
One of the big questions I'm obsessively curious about, and try to address on this site and in my coaching work, is a question: "how does a couple go from frustrated and stuck to creating a healthier and happier relationship and life?"
When a couple's relationship is happy and healthy, their family life tends to be the same. You rarely find happy children in a home with the parents are unhappy. Or at least, it's fairly difficult for the kids.
Also on a broader scale, if society primarily exists of healthy and happy family units, that community tends to reflect much of the same. The opposite is equally true.
So, how do you improve your marriage or romantic relationship?
I've read a lot of research and it seems that a lot of it can be summarised in one very helpful analogy.
Every relationship is like a "Love Investment."
And in order to grow that asset, couples have make "emotional deposits" consistently and over time in order for that asset to grow.
Every "emotional deposit," no matter the size, all compounds over time.
But, again, conversely making "emotional withdrawals" from this investment also has an impact long-term. No matter the size of those withdrawals.
Essentially, when it comes to relationships, there is a constant process of depositing and withdrawing happening which impacts the growth of the investment over time.
Understanding this analogy can go a long way in self-assessing the growth curve of your "love investment" or relationship.
Now, experts tell us that certain actions constitute as effective and worthwhile "emotional deposits" whereas others will literally kill your "love investment" or relationship over time.
Creating a marriage or relationship that grows over time ultimately comes down to making the right "deposits" while avoiding making silly and constant "withdrawals."
What this also means is that if you knew which deposits to make and which withdrawals to avoid, you can truly serve your marriage or relationship best.
Now, just because you are in a relationship does not make you a relationship expert.
So much of what we believe is based on folklore or old wives tales which doesn't help you at all.
We must rely on data and what sound research are telling us about human connection, attraction, needs, healthy relationship dynamics.
Let me ask you this:
- What basic human need drives your partner's decision-making and actions? What about your own?
- What are the top five things your husband needs of you as a woman?
- What are the top five things your wife needs of you as a man?
- Why do people typically cheat in relationships?
- What impact does a baby (children) have on a marriage/, and what can you do about?
- What is gridlock over an issue really about?
- Can you "fight" in a constructive way? And if so, how?
- How do you balance being a parent and a lover?
- What is sex really about?
- What is important to your partner?
- What do they value?
- What are their biggest fears?
- What makes them feel small and insignificant?
- What makes them feel unimportant?
These are only a few questions and issues to consider.
Each of them as important as the previous
What can you do now if you want to learn more?
There are a few things you can do to get started.
Firstly, enter your best details below in order for me to send you relevant content, new blog posts, advice and tips, and access to courses/workshops on how to make your "love investment" grow.
If you do that now, I will also send you two FREE reports called,
- "Enhance the Emotional Intimacy in Your Relationship and See It Thrive" and
- "How to Build and Maintain Meaningful Relationships."
If, however, you are local and want to connect with me one-on-one, simply get in touch with me here and we'll set something up.
Does Relationship Coaching / Therapy actually work?
According to some research, for up to 80% of couples who try marriage or relationship counseling, it not only doesn't help but it actually makes things worse than they were before they tried the counseling!
This is especially true if one of the couple is reluctant to be involved which, in my experience, is almost always the case here in the North in New Zealand.
So marriage counseling does not have a great track record unfortunately.
In fact, marriage counseling has one of the lowest success rates of any type of therapy.
Why is this?
One reason is because of the problem-focused nature of most therapies.
Another reason is resistance to the process on the part of at least one of the partners in the marriage.
There is good news however.
The first bit of good news is that according to the research by the Gottman-Institute, prevention is 3x more effective than intervention.
This means getting help early is the key to staying ahead of gridlocked marital conflict.
Waiting too long is a mistake because as couple you can reach a point of no-return in your relationship struggles.
But, should you understand the principles and dynamics of healthy relationships and marriages, you can start right away to make a huge difference in your situation.
On this website you will find plenty to start with.
The second bit of good news is that the more solution-focused counselling or coaching strategies CAN make a huge difference in supporting couples to create healthier, happier and more intimate marriages.
Because we tend to get more of what we focus on.
If you focus on problems, or the absence of problems, you will primarily get more of that: problems!
If you focus on solutions, especially in the form of behavioural changes, you will more likely get more of that as you start enacting what you've explored in the sessions in reality.
I work primarily with these type of modalities as I've found open-ended therapy modalities (like PCT) tedious, time-consuming and therefore too costly on many levels.
So, this is an option if you feel the need for one-on-one work.
What if we just want to go at this on our own first?
That's totally fine.
Even if you did do some therapeutic or coaching work, it would still be YOU doing all the work.
It will always come down to you and what you do OUTSIDE of counselling.
To help you on your journey, however, you can also skim through the list of e-books I have available in my store right now, and get one or two specific to your situation to get started.
Also, if you have any specific questions just send me a question here and I will personally reply within a couple of days.
Whatever you choose, hopefully we can start a journey together, and help you create the marriage or relationship that you desire and deserve.
Remember, live and love fully!
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Gideon is not just a celebrant he’s a marriage councellor he’s everything all in one. Don’t look no further this guy is the man for you ... GIDEON YOU ARE AMAZING AND THANK YOU!Emilene B.
Gideon is a great listener and easy to talk to. He guided me through a very unsettled time of my life and inspired me to make positive changes. I highly recommend Gideon!Nicolette M.