Relationship Help Quick Tip
Couples today are more aware of the importance of working on their relationship than ever before. The message that healthy relationships are co-created by both partners and that one’s unwavering commitment (while important) isn’t enough to build a fulfilling and meaningful relationship is now recognized by many—couples are purchasing relationship help books and attending workshops in record numbers.
This level of awareness was captured during a recent couples workshop when one wife shared that her husband, who historically had the tendency to coast and believe that things would somehow work themselves out, stated to his wife recently:
“According to what I read, we should probably talk about how we each feel about this… You know that buried feelings can be a problem down the road.”
As she recounted, she almost passed out when these words came out of her husband’s mouth. She described, “I loved what he was saying, but I didn’t recognize him as the same person I married in that moment.” It became apparent throughout the workshop that this heightened awareness of what their relationship needed was really helping them feeling closer to each other.
Relationship Help: Analyzing Rather Than Experiencing Your Relationship
But then another couple shared the following dilemma. One wife, let’s call her Kathy, made the important point that it’s possible to “over-work” a marriage or relationship. She stated, “At one point we were discussing every little thing. We kept asking each other: ‘What do you want?’ ‘What do you feel about it?’ ‘What do you think?’ It was like we became frozen in place, caught in some self-help prison… We both started to feel a heaviness about the relationship because of this.”
Kathy’s point is well-taken and her phrase “self-help prison” powerfully captures the following issue:
- Is it possible to go overboard and over-analyze your relationship (and your life) to such a degree that your relationship stops feeling like a relationship?
- Can you become too vigilant by always placing the relationship under a microscope and therefore fail to experience the natural flow and the gifts of your relationship?
- Is it extreme and unhelpful to process every issue and never let certain things go without discourse?
These aren’t easy questions to answer, but what is important is that you and your partner reflect on the issue of how much is enough for your marriage or relationship and whether there is such a thing as too much in some cases.
But here’s one caveat to think about as you reflect on this important issue: Is it likely that the person who prefers to avoid uncomfortable relationship issues will most likely say that the relationship is being over-examined, while the person who worries more may automatically vote for an increase in relationship attention and analysis?
Relationship And Communication Resources
A healthy marriage and relationship is built on a foundation of effective communication.
For more information on couples communication strategies, check out my communication workbook (Communication Breakthrough: A Communication Guide for Couples)
Until next time
Dr. Rich Nicastro