Tag Archives: change model

Balance: continued refinement and attention to all of the following four areas in our lives

Often we find we live our lives narrowly focusing on work or home. Think about your life and the balance you maintain. Change is possible and often easier than you think.

The late Stephen Covey suggests consistent and continued refinement and attention to all of the following four areas in our lives:

  1. Physical;
  2. Intellectual;
  3. Social and
  4. Spiritual.

Attempting to balance exercise, nutrition and stress management (physical); by reading, visualising, planning and writing (Intellectual); focusing on clarifying values and our commitment, dedicating time to study, our faith and/or meditation (Spiritual); and through our service, being empathic, being synergistic and ensuring security (Social), ensures success.

Don’t get caught up in the demands of life and forget ourselves and our partner. Be proactive and do this for your relationship. “We are the instruments of our own performance, and to be effective, we need to recognize the importance of taking time to regularly sharpen the saw in all four ways”.

You don’t have to get it right the first time. This is part of life’s journey of learning and developing. You will get there if you are willing to invest the time and effort to developing new habits.

Reference:

  • Covey, S, 1989: Principle Centred Leadership

Tune in for more tips and tricks next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.au

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Take the Couple Checkup

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Simply click on the Register button below relevant to your relationship – it couldn’t be easier. Once you have finished the questions you should receive your comprehensive personalised report in about 30 seconds.

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The Couple Checkup generates deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations restore insight and understanding about one another. The Couple Checkup can help to revive a relationship and increase intimacy.

The Couple Checkup is an online couple assessment based on the PREPARE/ENRICH couple inventories. The Checkup assessment and Checkup report are designed to go directly to couples at any stage of their relationship (dating, engaged or married). The online system allows for dynamic customization of the assessment to each couple based on how the couple answers background questions. The goal is for the Couple Checkup to reach a more diverse group of couples, to empower couples to deal with issues on their own and to emphasize prevention over remediation.

For more information on the use and analysis of the Couple Checkup or to simply use the tool, please contact: www.couplecheckup.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #couplecheckup #relationship

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Practical skills that focus on commitment, communication and good conflict

Clear commitment, good communication and good conflict resolution are the foundations of a successful relationship (Fincham et al 2007; Rhoades & Stanley 2014), the good news is that all of these factors can be translated into practical skills that can be easily taught (Markman & Rhoades 2012).

It is increasingly accepted that commitment comes in two main forms: “dedication” – the inner bond that makes a couple want to be with each other – and “constraints” – the added layers of a relationship that make it harder to leave, should either partner choose to do so (Stanley et al 2006).

  • “Dedication” is the key to a successful relationship, centring on the mutual decision to be a couple with a future.
  • “Constraints” increase in a relationship every time couples pass through a transition, such as moving in together, having a baby, or getting married.

In practice:

If we take a long-term perspective of our relationship, we can see above and beyond our day-to-day activities. By being intentional and making an effort to start with a clear understanding of our destination and where we are going, we create a sense of hope and purpose and we never stop growing – and we demonstrate our commitment.

Through careful planning and constant assessment and re-evaluation of our plans, we know where we are going, we can plan where we are heading and we can take time to see the bigger picture. This leads to a clear understanding of goals, dreams and your vision as a couple.

Just as the stagnant pond breeds disease, the flowing stream is always fresh and cool. Take a long-term perspective, determine a plan and assess/reassess your plan regularly.

Do you need help with an issue or problem? Our approach helps to generate deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations can restore insight and understanding about one another.

Tune in for more tips next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.au

Children with step parents are more at risk

Experts have previously suggested it was better for children from broken homes to have a step-parent, because it offers greater financial stability and another authority figure. However, children also face the stress of a ‘new family structure’, according to Norwegian researchers.

Children of divorced couples who live with a step-parent are at increased risk of mental health problems, a study has found.

Teenagers living with a stepfather or stepmother were more troubled than those who split their time between parents.

They reported more symptoms of mental health problems, such as depression and dishonesty, and more bullying at school.

The study compared more than 7,700 teenagers, who lived with either single parents, step-parents, between their parents in joint custody or with both parents in a traditional family. The results showed children living with a stepfather had the worst mental health, although living with a single parent was not significantly better for the child.

Stepfathers faring worse than stepmothers may be explained by evidence that men monitor children less and have a generally more uninvolved parenting style. The study results suggested the best arrangements for children if parents did separate was shared custody. Children in a family with a step-parent had significantly more adjustment problems than those in nuclear families and those who spent time living with both parents.

The authors from the Regional Centre for Child and Youth Mental Health and Child Welfare in Bergen, Norway, wrote: ‘An interpretation of these findings is that possible benefits of introducing a step-parent to the family (eg. increased economical and parental resources) might be counteracted by the stress related to establishing a new family structure.’

The researchers established 16 to 19 year-olds’ mental health with questions including how worried they were, if they were often downhearted or tearful, were bad-tempered, restless or often lied or cheated. A score from this Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire was compared to their living arrangements.

The resulting poor scores for children with step-families suggested remarriage did not alleviate the negative effects of growing up with a single parent.

Around one in ten families in Australia (13.3%) are step-families with at least one child living in the house, but little research has been done on how this set-up affects children. The study, in the Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, showed children with step-parents felt better off financially than those with single parents, but this did not appear to be reflected in their mental health.

Lead author Sondre Nilsen wrote: ‘It could be that certain factors associated with better child adjustment and with living in joint physical custody (such as better family economy, less conflict between parents etc.) lead them to report lower levels of mental health problems.’

Source:

  • Australia Bureau of Statistics, Family Characteristics and Transitions 2006-07, 2008: Australia Bureau of Statistics (4442.0)
  • Moon, M, 2011: The Effects of Divorce on Children: Married and Divorced Parents’ Perspectives, Journal of Divorce & Remarriage. Vol. 52, Iss. 5

Do you need help with an issue or problem? Our approach helps to generate deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations can restore insight and understanding about one another.

Tune in for more tips next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.au

Cohabitation in Middle and Later Life is becoming more popular

Cohabitation is gaining popularity across the life course. In the US, the 2014 American Community Survey found that the number of older men and women (defined as those aged 50 and older) in a cohabiting relationship was about 1.2 million (or 1.6% of older adults). Since then, the number of cohabiting older adults has nearly tripled to 3.2 million in 2014 (Brown, Bulanda, & Lee, 2005).

The study also found that for the population of cohabitors aged 50 or older, they were younger, on average, than their married and single counterparts; the average age of cohabitors was 60 compared to 67 and 63 for single and married individuals, respectively.

In Australia, marriage has fallen progressively from 58% in 1986 to 49% in 2011. The proportion of marriages has fallen in all age groups up to and including 65–69 years. The decrease among Australians aged 50–54 years and 55–59 years has been greatest — more than 3% since 2006, and 7% since 2001.

In 1975, just 16% of marriages were preceded by cohabitation however by 2016, 81% of marriages took place after the couple had lived together.

According to the latest census data – Marriage and divorces, Australia 2016 – Marriages where both partners were marrying for the first time accounted for 72.3% of all marriage in 2016. The number of marriages where one partner was marrying for the first time decreased by 0.3 percentage points to 16.0% in 2016, while the proportion of remarriages for both partners increased from 11.7% in 2015 to 11.8% in 2016.

The proportion of adults living with a partner has declined during the last two decades, from 65% in 1986, to 61% in 2006. Factors such as the trend towards partnering at a later age, and the increased financial and social independence of women, may be associated with this decline, as well as legal changes in recent decades which have improved access to divorce (ABS, 2009).

While cohabitation is most prevalent among young people, the US experience and census data suggests that cohabitation is becoming an increasingly common experience among older Australians also.

Source:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016: Marriage and divorces, Australia
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2009: 4102.0 – Australian Social Trends, March
  • Brown, Bulanda, & Lee, 2005: National Center for Family & Marriage Research, Bowling Green State University.

Do you need help with an issue or problem? Our approach helps to generate deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations can restore insight and understanding about one another.

Tune in for more tips next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.au

Cohabitation is gaining popularity across the life course

According to the latest census data – Marriage and divorces, Australia 2016 – couples who lived together prior to marriage accounted for 80.8% of all marriages registered in 2016, an increase from the 76.1% recorded in 1996. In 1975, just 16% of married couples had lived together first, and by 1981 cohabitation had doubled with 31% of married couples recording their pre-marriage cohabitation.

Whilst cohabitation has become popular, these relationships tend to be of short duration and this changing landscape raises complex and competing factors for cohabiting parents.

According to the Australian Family Formation Project, 25% of de facto relationships lasted 12 months, around half ended after two years, and three quarters ended by four years. Many also end in marriage.

According to recent research by Smyth, Hunter, Macvean, Walter & Higgins (2017), the research reveals:

  • For Children, a significant proportion (34%) are born out of wedlock
  • 1/5 of all children have a parent living elsewhere.

Such growth suggests that cohabitation is becoming an increasingly common experience among people today.

Source:

  • National Center for Family & Marriage Research, Bowling Green State University
  • Smyth, B., & Higgins, D. (2017, 23 Nov). Education for Family Life in Australia: A recent snapshot. Presentation at Marriage and Relationship Educators Association of Australia Conference 2017. Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre: 22-23 November

Read more: https://magic.piktochart.com/output/16793753-hemez-brown-cohabitation-middle-later-life-2014-fp-16-20_w

Do you need help with an issue or problem? Our approach helps to generate deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations can restore insight and understanding about one another.

Tune in for more tips next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.au

Parents are less likely to be married than in the past

According to the latest census data – Marriage and divorces, Australia 2016, couples who lived together prior to marriage accounted for 80.8% of all marriages registered in 2016, an increase from the 76.1% recorded in 1996. In 1975, just 16% of married couples had lived together first, and by 1981 cohabitation had doubled with 31% of married couples recording their pre-marriage cohabitation.

Whilst cohabitation has become popular, the complex and changing landscape for cohabiting parents raises many competing factors to consider. According to the Australian Family Formation Project, 25% of de facto relationships lasted 12 months, around half ended after two years, and three quarters ended by four years. Many ended in marriage.

Such growth suggests that cohabitation is becoming an increasingly common experience among people today.

According to recent research by Smyth, Hunter, Macvean, Walter & Higgins (2017), the challenges for families and the complex and changing landscape for parents, there are many competing factors to consider. The research reveals:

  • Parents are less likely to be married than in the past;
  • Parents are older before parenting children;
  • More are having fewer children in individual relationships;
  • More are having children in more than one relationship.

Download the full presentation here >

Source:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics – Marriage and divorces, Australia 2016
  • National Center for Family & Marriage Research, Bowling Green State University

Read more: https://magic.piktochart.com/output/16793753-hemez-brown-cohabitation-middle-later-life-2014-fp-16-20_w

Do you need help with an issue or problem? Our approach helps to generate deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations can restore insight and understanding about one another.

Tune in for more tips next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.au

The inertia of cohabitation: a couple who is cohabiting will have a harder time breaking up than a couple who is only dating

Cohabiting relationships break up all the time, and increasingly so, but the relative difference is the point. All other things being the same, a couple who is cohabiting will have a harder time breaking up than a couple who is only dating.

Because many people cohabit before even having mutual clarity about commitment, such as through engagement or marriage, some people end up staying in relationships, including on into marriage, that they otherwise would have left behind.

Many people slide into situations that make it harder to end a relationship before they have made a clear decision about what is best. The situation looks quite a bit different for those who have strongly clarified mutual commitment to the future before moving in together, such as by being engaged or even—gasp—being married.

Reference: Testing a Relationship Is Probably the Worst Reason to Cohabit by Scott Stanley.

Scott M. Stanley is a research professor at the University of Denver and fellow of the Institute for Family Studies (@DecideOrSlide). Galena K. Rhoades is a research associate professor at the University of Denver.

Do you need help with an issue or problem? Our approach helps to generate deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations can restore insight and understanding about one another.

Tune in for more tips next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.au