One question clients are always asking: “Will my Relationship work out?”
It is a good question. Generally people are asking because they are worried. They are seeing some red flags in their relationship. Those red flags are incredibly important to address early on in the relationship to find a solution they can both be happy with. Happy in making a better relationship, or breaking up and finding peace with it. Either way, if you do it right, you should find happiness in the end.
At Chicago Therapy Solutions we re-frame the conversation from “Good / Bad” to “Sustainable / Unsustainable” relationships. There is a big difference between the two. Good / bad is about the here and now. Sustainable / Unsustainable is about the lifespan (30+ years down the line).
When we only look at the here and now, relationships all kind of look the same. We all have fun, fight, make-up, make love and live. But it does not tell us anything about the true quality of the relationship.
Sustainability looks at how we have fun, fight, make-up, make love and live; and are those patterns healthy and sustainable over the lifespan. Can we avoid building resentments, anger, stress, strife, and build supportive, caring and dedicated patterns to withstand the difficulties of life? If we can, great your relationship will work out with happiness and contentment. If not, it is only a matter of time until the pattern breaks and the relationship will emotionally end.
Open any conversation with your partner with: How are we doing at (Whatever is good or bad in your relationship) and how does this look in 30+ years from now? If your response is “no way can I live like this in 1 year let alone 30 years” it is time to find a solution. If you are having trouble starting the conversation or finding he solution, contact a counselor in your area. Take the step to find happiness and do not worry about the outcome but the process.
Each couple will have a unique set of needs and patterns, so we can give a general outline of how to have this conversation, but contacting a counselor will be the more productive use of your time.
The hallmark of sustainable relationships is not about where we match up, but where we don’t. Where and how we build a bridge to meet in the middle is a cornerstone skill in maintaining a fulfilling relationship.
Wow great post Dr Nick. Really makes sense and I’m going to use all these skills in my relationship.