“Working on the relationship is too much work”
“It takes too much time!”
We often hear that from couples and singles as a reason (or excuse) not to work on the relationship. They’ll say they really want to come to our relationship workshop, but they just “can’t find the time”. Or maybe one of them recognizes the need to work on some relationship problems and is eager to do the work required, but the other person is not, and keeps saying, “It’s just too much work; it shouldn’t be this difficult!”
Let me first acknowledge the obvious: It DOES take time. It does take an hour of your time to do an hour’s worth of relationship coaching. It does take a weekend’s worth of your time to go to a weekend relationship workshop. It does take time to read a relationship book.
But that is almost irrelevant.
What IS relevant is …
- What’s the RESULT of the time spent?
- What will happen if you DON’T spend that time?
Consider this …
We have a 14-year-old son. He hates wasting time. He ONLY wants the fun and the result. When he plays basketball he doesn’t want to waste time practicing dribbling or passes. He just wants to make baskets.
Do you think he’s a very good basketball player? Nope. Do you think he’ll ever have a great basketball experience, full of success and accomplishment, if he keeps not practicing dribbling and passes? No, he won’t. He’ll give up entirely, and tell himself, “I’m no good at basketball” or “I’ll never make the team” … because he never took the time to improve.
Whereas it’s not a very big problem for his overall life and wellbeing if he doesn’t make the basketball team, it IS a HUGE problem for you if you don’t make your relationship work. There is now abundant scientific evidence to show that being in a supportive, loving relationship is a major factor in how much money you make, how healthy you are, how well your kids do in life, and how happy you are. As a pointed example of this, I attended a lecture by Dr. Emmett Miller in which he said that for men, it’s a bigger health risk to NOT be in a good relationship than it is smoking a pack of cigarettes a day!
So.…what will happen if you don’t devote the time to work on your relationship?
Let me tell you …
- It will get worse.
- You’ll get less and less of what you want (love, admiration, respect, sex, connection).
- You’ll tell yourself it shouldn’t be this hard
- You’ll get annoyed with your partner
- You’ll wonder if this relationship can work
- You’ll keep settling and suffering …. OR
- You’ll leave and look for another relationship
Now, think about this: How many hours do you devote every week to your work and career? 40? 50? 80? And how many weekends in a year do you end up working or doing trips for work or business? 1? 3? 10? 20?
If you devoted zero hours a week, how long do you think you’d still have a job? Or a business?
If you devote zero hours to your relationship, how long do you think you’ll still have a great relationship?
And NO, just BEING IN RELATIONSHIP does not equal devoting time to your relationship. Merely living together and sleeping in the same bed does not mean you devote any significant time to your relationship. If that were the case, all the couples who shared a bed should have wonderful relationships, and you don’t need to look too hard to know that’s not the case.
You devote time to that which matters to you.
Making money and paying bills and advancing in life matters to you, so you devote a lot of time to making money and working. If you didn’t, what do you think your boss would think about you? He’d obviously think you didn’t care about your job very much, and probably replace you rather quickly.
Having happy, healthy kids matter to you, so you devote a lot of time driving them around, feeding the, playing with them, and so forth.
Living in a nice house matters to you, so you devote time to clean up, make improvements, do remodels.
How much time do you devote to your relationship? Based on that number, how much does the relationship matter to you? Based on that number, how much do you think YOUR PARTNER feels that you care about him or her and your relationship?
You can of course chose to do what most people do….which is devoting no time to your relationship, and then once it gets really bad and you bicker and argue at each other, be sad and pissed and depressed. At which point it will be too late.
Or you can take a wiser path: Consistently devote time to your relationship and have it be a well-oiled machine that hums down the freeway of life, with you reaping all the benefits of fun, companionship, adventure, sex, connection, intimacy and friendship. Which is it? You get to choose.
Being relationship coaches, we’re obviously partial to taking the time to work on your relationship. Not just because that’s our calling in life and our trade, but because that’s how WE create our relationship to be amazing. That’s how we manage to spend almost zero time arguing and dealing with relationship problems. That’s how we’re able to have a partner who is filled up with love and joy, and wants to give back in spades. And that’s how we both have all the love, sex and fun we can dream of. It’s because we take the time!
For starters, go watch the video we made here.