Happy 2018 from us here at Relationship Practice Academy! 

So, the year is a few days old. I’ve already made several little relationship mistakes, have you? It doesn’t take long to mess up a perfectly good year.

How do you want your relationship to change this year? Have you set any “relationship resolutions?”

Take a moment and imagine this: It is January, 2019. You have worked hard this year to make your marriage better. You have taken responsibility for your contribution to the problem. Your humility has softened your spouse’s walls . Your marriage is more loving. Your life is better.  You are reminded why you fell in love and got married. You remember love each time you are tempted to be petty. You have done your work. You are on the path to the marriage you’ve always wanted.

It’s a lovely vision, isn’t it?

What needs to happen to make that vision a reality? There may be several steps to take. Perhaps it can never be fully realized. There are harsh realities in all of our lives and the choices we’ve made have consequences. But whatever relationship work needs to be done, it starts with one basic step. Repair.

Like a shiny new car eventually breaks down and needs repair, so does every relationship. How long since you’ve had a tune-up? What needs to be repaired?

Functional couples in healthy marriages repair quickly and repair often. They don’t let the dirt pile up. They deal with unpleasant things as they happen. They have created some kind of mechanism for repair.

Less healthy couples get into some version of ineffective fighting or walled off avoidance. Massive energy is required for either style. These couples are trying very hard to reach each other. All the same, one clear, clean, effective repair eludes them.

Where do you see yourself? Are you part of a healthy couple that knows how to repair? Or, do you need some help with this? If this area could use some attention, stick with us.

Relationship repair is not locking into a harsh demand for apology, which helps nobody. And neither is it groveling apologetically.

A favorite movie moment of mine is at the end of Hannah And Her Sisters. Woody Allen’s character lovingly whispers in the ear of Dianne Wiest, the mother of his unborn child after a long, exhausting series of unfortunate, painful male-female events.

“The heart is a very resilient little muscle.”

I remember smiling, crying, and feeling this incredible warmth, as I contemplated all the things these two people had gone through. And now they found a tender love.

And quite honestly, this happens all the time. When two people step out of the toxic fight and into effective repair, the pain and disappointment dissipates. But first, they need the know-how.  And they need the willingness to begin.