The Numbers tell it all!!!.
It takes only a glance at the divorce rates, which in North America are about 50% for first marriages and worse for second and third marriages, to realize that we humans are not particularly good at intimate relationships. In fact, most people could benefit by improving their relationships skills.
People tend to enter into relationships blindly. It’s as if there is an unconscious belief that says, “if my parents can do relationships, then I can too.”.) Unfortunately, most people fail to consider both statistics and the possibility that one or both parents have been married before. The good news is that you can improve your relationship skills!
Relationship Issues Can be Hard on Children
I find it even more concerning that far too many children come out of their childhood with emotional or even physical wounds that can be life-altering. Currently, estimates indicate that about 40% of children come out of their childhood with an insecure sense of Attachment. (Check out our post on Attachment HERE).
Poor parenting or a bad relationship between the parents, which results in an insecure attachment, can be a virtual life sentence. Its as if people believe that we are born with an inherent ability to do these two things. I don’t know if a 50% average anywhere except in professional sports is good.
And yet, for some reason, humanity as a whole seems to ignore these two massive statistics. These statistics should be eye-opening, demanding rapid actions. The problems would clearly indicate significant problems in any other field than relationships.
If there ever was anything that could help raise the quality of humanity, it’s improving our relationships and parenting skills.
There is More to Relationships Than We Understand
The statistics alone clearly indicate that creating a successful relationship with the “love of our life” and parenting healthy children is much harder to do than most people realize. The strange thing is that it’s easier to get married and have children than get a driver’s license.
Most people don’t even realize why there attracted to the person they are or that relationships have a series of naturally occurring steps. According to leading therapist Harville Hendrix, we are attracted to somebody who is our “Imago ” match. Hendrix states that the people we are attracted to have similar positive and negative traits as our parents.
Instead, most couples plod along blindly enjoying the good times yet lack understanding of what’s happening when there are disagreements. What can compound matters is that not many people have good skillsets when buried emotions are triggered and surface.
A great way to improve your life and your relationships is by adopting a Gratitude Mindset. Check out our great Gift of Gratitude Book Bundle currently on Sale HERE
Why Don’t More People Take Relationship Training (until its too late)
To make matters worse, far too many people believe that it is counterproductive to seek help. Couples can rationalize reasons to avoid getting help to improve their relationships. Instead of seeking counseling as a godsend, seeking professional help can be viewed as a last-ditch effort to rescue a sinking ship. Or possibly, they believe that relationships are something we humans are just supposed to manage independently.
Lastly, some people think it’s not very likely that someone can know more about relationships than they do.
The truth is that there is a lot to learn when it comes to relationships. Also, statistics indicate clearly that many people need (a lot) more information. Again, the only so-called training most people receive is the unconscious learning process of absorbing the interaction between the adults in our home and what we observe in the media.
Unfortunately, this strategy compounds ignorance as it’s unlikely that our parents had any training either. There’s a lot more to learn than just what our parents knew.
My Parents Were Also Part of the Statistics
My parents didn’t help a lot as they were also one of the statistics above. I learned about relationships from watching them that they didn’t know what they were doing as a couple or as parents.
Yes, there were many times that my parents were happy together. At the same time, they were ill-prepared to deal with sudden problems or issues that needed new skill sets that they lacked.
Unfortunately, disagreements are simply a natural by-product of relationships or as part of life. It would be naïve to think that we all believe the same and that two people will agree on everything. It would be statistically impossible for two people to create a life together without some part of their life being in conflict. Disagreements are not the issue!
The real issue is how to manage and resolve them amicably.
Couples can experience many challenges in their time together. Yes, there is the initial attraction or romance phase where not a lot seems to matter or, even worse, gets considered or addressed.
Few People Know Much about Relationships
Couples can have several areas of potential concern that require skills to avoid or manage. These can be overcome by increasing knowledge, having the right attitude, and realizing that anything is possible when you come together with someone else.
The first consideration is that we all have different likes and dislikes. It’s been naïve to think that we all like the same things. How you view that differences are one of the big problems. If the participants can go with the flow, then the relationship comes with this vast experience of newness. If you have a fixed mindset, you can get upset, wondering why isn’t my partner doing what I want or what I like.
Men and Women are Different (DUH)
Another consideration is that men and women don’t do things the same way or see the world the same -( which you likely have learned by now. :)) In simple terms, neither sex acts like the other. There are distinctions between the genders that drive and support different understandings of the world. Unfortunately, some of these differences don’t surface until there is a conflict. The vast majority of couples failed to learn about something as basic as the differences between the genders.
Unfortunately, defensiveness can raise its ugly head. When this happens, it’s easier to blame the other person for their “irrational” behavior.
What makes any of the defensiveness a real problem is not the defensiveness. The problem is that few people have any skills in managing conflict. This shortfall could be overcome simply with more information and training.
Most People Need Better Communication Skills
One thing that will help a great deal is managing communication. Unfortunately, people have a wide variety of capabilities when it comes down to simply communicating needs and desires to their partners.
Harville Hendrix and his wife mentioned above realize that communication was a significant cause of relationship problems. They developed an incredible program to overcome this called “safe Conversations,” which I highly recommend you embrace quickly. You can find “Safe Conversations” HERE.
The biggest thing is to make your relationship meaningful and a priority! You will always be open to new ways of being and new possibilities when you do this. You will take on a relaxed attitude, where problems are simply ways to learn something new. As It So (The It will This is Then you can look for ways to upgrade your skills and understandings and improve your communication skills simply as the relationships are vital to you.
There are so many great things to learn about creating and maintaining a terrific relationship with partners and how to raise great kids who become great adults.
An excellent strategy to adopt is to assume that your parents (no matter how good or bad they were) didn’t know any of this, and it’s open learning territory for you. Try to learn from the viewpoint of “wonderment,” or like it was when you were a child – without judging.
There is so much information available, and the database grows daily. Let’s suppose that you didn’t receive excellent training from your parents on relationships as children. It probably also lacked a proper understanding of how to raise healthy children. Now take charge of your life and your relationship and commit to continual learning. You’ll be surprised how much fun you’ll have and how much your life will improve.
The great news is that there are some fantastic programs out there.
A couple of great programs I believe have great value and can help you are:
A) Safe Conversations: Learn and master simple and very effective communication skills that you can use anywhere. Click here for more information about Safe Conversations.
b) Choose Again: Learn a simple and powerful process for everyone to take responsibility for their own “stuff. Being self-responsible stops blame and finger-pointing quickly. Choose Again is based in Vancouver, BC, and Costa Rica and can be found HERE.
Good Luck on your Journey