What does your memory have to do with a thriving and dynamic relationship? I’m not talking about mistakenly calling your girlfriend by your ex’s name or getting in trouble for forgetting your anniversary.
This is about keeping your relationship in your explicit memory versus your implicit memory. Your implicit memory knows how to ride a bike and you don’t consciously think about it. This might be where you’ve allowed your relationship to be chugging along right there in the background. You know the spokes are rotating day in day out without effort and it’s getting rusty. The squeaky whining is becoming louder and it’s seizing up. Even worse, it might be rattling out of control down a deep dark mountain toward the valley of Splitsville and you’ve got no idea how to catch it?
This compares to explicit memory of which matters are intentionally recalled on a daily basis. Your bike is lovingly maintained with attention to keeping those fine curves and strong frame polished and well lubricated. It is one that others admire and wish they had one like it. Even your children watch how you lovingly maintain it and they then learn how to care for their bikes too.
So what to do with a rusty, creaky bike? You take a good look at what it needs. You might head to the bike shop for some advice, maybe a new pump, extra tools and some free strategies from the friendly bike store person who expertly recognises the importance of maintaining your bike to save you money so you don’t have to look for a new one and eventually end up in the same position.
Thank goodness we have Marriage Week each year to remind us to do exactly this to our relationships? That’s it – pop it back into the forefront of your mind! How do you do that? Make it intentional and not just this week!
Head to my website for some free resources and use this as your kickstart to success. You too can turn around a substandard and conflicted relationship that’s hurtled out of control.
You’ll also find information to some of the wonderful well researched online analysis such as Prepare-Enrich which is scientifically proven to improve your dynamics and relationship skills. Couples who take this time have the potential to reduce their chances of divorce by 30%. It’s actually quite novel to to examine your dynamic, your personality style and find new constructive dialogues to set you up for success.
I use this tool for pre-marriage couples, post marriage one year check-ups to highly conflicted couples on the brink of entering the dreaded and expensive Splitsville. You each complete a tailored set of questions online that takes about 30 minutes and we then go through the report of which the blokes especially appreciate the charts and graphs! There’s even a simpler couple check-up version you can do yourself today.
Another wonderful clinician tool I use is the Gottman Relationship Check-up. It’s another level of depth of 480 questions about friendship, intimacy. You rate yourself on how well you know your spouse, how you manage emotions and conflict, share your values and goals, and what gives meaning to your lives. There’s not much it doesn’t cover about parenting, housework, finances and trust and you then learn new healthy conflict cycles others can mentor from!
It is never too late to begin and worth your investment in time on these tools versus the angst in investing in your lawyer! Here’s cheers to Marriage Week and alluring cycling lycra. In the meantime, if you need a date idea, sign up together for the Sunshine Coast Big Beach bike ride on 20 October.
Joanne Wilson is a neuropsychotherapist, relationship specialist, radio co-host, workshop facilitator, guest speaker and weekly columnist for the Sunshine Coast Daily.
Contact Jo at www.theconfidantecounselling.com or via email. Listen in to her podcast discussing these articles and more, "Is This Love?"
Joanne will be your Confidante, enabling you to speak freely in complete confidence and serenity. An integrated approach tailored to your specific needs will be utilised.
Relationship Specialist for Individuals and Couples servicing areas including Caloundra, Noosa, Noosaville, Buderim, Mountain Creek, Gympie.