Work on relationship
How to Work on a Relationship
For some, the idea of "working on" their relationship
may seem strange or unusual. After all, don't you just "do what comes
The fact is that most relationship experts believe that
"work" is just as important in relationships as is love. Love is never
enough. Successful relationships also need intelligence, information, skills,
courage, commitment, tolerance and persistence. Developing these skills and
abilities requires "work."
There are three phases in what we mean by "working on"
a relationship: an Understanding Phase, a Skill Building Phase and a Practicing
Understanding Phase - or Consciousness Raising Phase
The Understanding Phase of How to Work on a Relationship consists
of learning about the wonders and complexities of romantic love. There is an
incredible amount of important and essential information that couples must
understand about intimate, committed relationships. Brain physiology, the
unconscious mate-selection process, the real sources of conflict, the role of
emotional "scabs", etc. are not commonly understood by most couples.
Yet these are vitally important concepts to understand.
This "understanding" happens in different ways for
different couples. Some will get started by reading a book, by attending a
workshop or seminar for couples (See bookstore and Workshops) or by a series of
therapy sessions with a couples’ therapist. In the membership section of this
WEB, the Understanding Phase consists of a series of Educational Modules
designed to explain the dynamics and complexities of intimate, committed
relationships. Check out the Tour for a fuller view of the educational modules
that are available. Also be sure to read additional articles in the article
Skill Building Phase
In the Skill Building Phase couples will need to learn a series
of dialog, communication, sharing and enhancing skills and processes.
Understanding by itself is rarely if ever enough. Understanding or awareness can
give you clarity as to what needs to be done, but it is action not understanding
and the wise use of relationship skills that will ultimately make the
difference. Of course, skill without understanding is also not helpful. But the
combination is a winning team in virtually every area of life--especially in
that thing we call love and marriage. Learn these skills, practice them, master
Again theses skills are taught in books, workshops, seminars, and
therapy – and in the Couple's Workstation area of this web.
We use the "term" practicing in the same way a
physician "practices" or a psychologist "practices". This is
not the practicing to learn the skills. Once you have learned and somewhat
mastered the skills and the understanding, the next task is to do them, live
them, exercise them, practice them. We believe these are skills and processes
you will use throughout your life, and so the practicing phase section of this
WEB site gives you a variety of ways to apply all you will learn. In the early
years you will want to "practice" more frequently and more often, but
later you might consider the Marriage Month approach (taking one month out of
each year to renew, focus, fine-tune, practice your marriage skills). From the
tool kit of options and suggestions you can create your own short-term and
long-term plan for practice.
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