Relationships – The Magic Formula?
“The strongest relationships are between two people who can live without each other but don’t want to” ~ Harriett Lerner
This morning I woke up (or should I say I was woken up by Marmalade jumping all over me!), I got out of bed and before heading into the living room to start my Sun Salutation Challenge (more on that to come in next week’s blog), I spoke softly to my Hubby (who was still half asleep) to let him know what I was doing and if he wanted to join in an hour, I’d still be there.
I was nearing 20 rounds of Sun Salutations when Hubby appeared, and we proceeded to do another 15 rounds together. During this time, and whilst trying to remember which foot / round I was on, I got to thinking about relationships. I felt connected, motivated and supported in just 20 minutes of time spent together as a team, and then the question popped into my head – is this the magic formula to a successful relationship?
This is the second marriage for both of us. We both married in our early 20’s. He had three daughters. I had two cats. My first marriage lasted a few years. His much longer. Now we have added a new cat, one niece, two nephews and two grandchildren – all under 10 years old! It’s certainly not your standard relationship.
Both of our parents’ marriages have stood the test of time – my parents’ only ending due to Mum’s untimely death; his parents celebrate their Diamond Wedding Anniversary next month – that’s 60 years!
We live in a different era, where distraction is everywhere. So how can we keep our relationships from becoming a statistic? Here are 5 small ways that can help:
- Communication – this is key to any relationship, but even more so with the person that you have chosen to share your life with. It can start with one simple question every night and build from there – “how was your day?” – so simple, yet so powerful as this creates space for a couple to share their experience of the day – big or small. Another part of communication is showing an interest in what the other partner is doing/planning – “What does your day look like?” – which in turn leads in to other helpful behaviours.
- Connection – one of the many ways my first marriage didn’t last was that we ended up living completely separate lives and couldn’t find a way back to each other. Doing something together every day, brings shared experiences. It could be anything from meditating and doing yoga to having dinner together. It could even be binge-watching a TV series together!
- Chemistry – our lives can be filled to the brim with family, work, social life and maintaining a healthy mind, body and soul. So much so that we can sometimes put our sex lives to the back of the queue. One way to maintain the chemistry in a relationship is by an affectionate touch – this could be anything from a soft brush of the arm to cuddling up on the sofa. Touch helps to communicate emotions and shows our loved one how we feel about them. It also helps produce oxytocin, also known as the love hormone.
- Support – as human beings we are supposed to grow – physically, mentally and spiritually – but we are all unique, so we won’t always grow at the same pace or even in the same ways. When one in a relationship is on a different path to the other, this can sometimes be tricky to navigate. Especially if one isn’t quite ready to go along that path (or not at all!). When I stopped drinking alcohol, Hubby was incredibly supportive and even stopped drinking for a while himself. This definitely helped keep me motivated and also our relationship on track, as it avoided the potential fall out that can come when one partner is not feeling supported. When I decided to become vegan a few months later, that was a different story altogether! Hubby found it very difficult to join this journey, but slowly we have managed to find a way through it where we are both happy.
- Laughter – is the best medicine! It releases endorphins that alleviates stress and when laughing as a couple (together rather than at each other) it can help to build connection and chemistry – improving the overall bond.
As a Change Coach and Meditation Facilitator, I work with couples in a number of different ways such as:
- Couples Meditation – picking a specific topic to build connection and set intentions.
- Embodiment Practices – using postures to help embody how you want to be with yourself, each other and your family. These can be quick tools used for shifting states or for longer term they can help to change into a certain way of being.
- Talking – discussing current issues, future goals and values.
- Guiding – for creating new habits to help improve the day to day.
- Relaxation & Connection Techniques.