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.
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.