Wow Honey That Was Amazing!

happy coupleWe usually end it off with a kiss…

My partner and I look over at each other and say that almost weekly.

What we’ve just finished is our weekly meeting – we call “state of the union’

It’s not that much different than a business meeting, to be honest; it brings our relationship front and centre, we connect and we create a deeper understanding of how we can love and appreciate each other more deeply.

We’ve laughed at times that we have 42 years of combined marital experience – which sounds funny, but the heart break of a long relationship ending was by far the most devastating experience of my life.

I don’t want it to happen again and given the second chance to love someone is truly one of the greatest gifts and I’m giving it all I have.

I invest A LOT of time and energy into intentionally building my businesses and I help others do the same. To be bold – I want it all: a healthy life, thriving businesses and a vibrant life with a long relationship with my love.

People define success in many ways but I’ve always thought if one could build an empire and their personal lives fell apart in the mean time something was really wrong. Don’t get me wrong – things happen outside of our control but if you’re not balanced in your investments of time and energy in your health, your relationships and your work -there’s bound to be some problems.

Are you being as intentional with your primary relationships as you are with your business or with your career?

I often see people get into a relationship and at first its very exciting and the investment becomes easy – its like loving a bite of a chocolate bar – its yummy and delicious and how can you help but to swoon over it and by the end – its chocolate and its ok, but the nuts just don’t crunch the way they used to. So what do you do then?

You’ve settled in and you go out on ‘dates’ and the most recent Facebook post seems to have more sparkle than your love life. You talk about the kids, work, the neighbours…Donald Trump; now there’s a distraction

I work with dynamic business leaders and in the course of a year they have meetings with their accountants, their staff and other strategic allies to assess how things are going with their companies and see if they need to switch things up to make things sing in their businesses and yet we rarely evaluate and put a lot of energy into our relationships. We have reviews with our staff to make sure things are going well and provide feedback for growth, but yet we don’t invest the same amount of energy into our primary relationships.

What’s holding us back?

I can hear you saying “I’m going to have a meeting with my partner and see where things are at?”

Yes I’m saying that – exactly, but unlike at work you can have candles, wine and hold hands if you’d like – this is about maintaining a love relationships and the little things DO COUNT.

When’s the last time you asked your partner or even your kids what they need from you to make the relationship even stronger and you had a chance to sincerely give feedback as to what would make you thrive?

40 years of research on relationships, based on the work of Dr. John Gottman, shows that 5.5 hours of time investment is required a week to have a thriving relationship. (Don’t panic – I know you think you don’t have the time).

Even take one of the tools and try them out and then you can add to it ☺

He refers to them as the Magic Hours:

Weekly ‘State of the Union’ using the following format
(This is scheduled in like a meeting)

  1. Start with telling each other what’s going well in the relationship
  2. Tell each other 5 things you appreciate about each other
  3. Select an issue that may not have been resolved that you’d like to talk about
    • Start gently, with ‘I feel’, in what situations, and ‘I need’… more info in his book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work
  4. Ask one another what you can do to make the other feel loved that week

We also look at our calendars so we know what the week is like for one another and set a time for a date or two.

More Magic Hours goodness:

Partings

  • Don’t part in the morning without knowing one interesting thing that will happen in your partners’ day. Part with a six second kiss.

Reunions

  • Start with 6 second kiss.
  • Stress reducing conversation – each take 10 min to ‘unpack’ your day. Offer support and no advice. Understanding must always proceed advice.

Admiration and Appreciation

  • Find some way everyday to genuinely communicate affection and appreciation towards your partner

Affection

  • Show each other lots of affection – be playful and have fun everyday

Date

  • Weekly and in addition to doing the ‘State of the Union’ ask open ended questions, show genuine interest, and enjoy each other

Pick one and invest in your relationship, it’s so worth it and without it you’re risking it deteriorating.

Think this is over the top?

I get that, but Dr. Gottman can predict a couple’s likelihood of divorce by watching them interact for 15 minutes with 91% accuracy (youch!) and these tools have been developed and scientifically tested in order to avoid becoming one of his statistics.

Love is one of the greatest gifts we share and like all good and delicious things, savour it and do what you can to help it grow.

Leona deVinne