It is interesting, who’s going to rescue
elevator operator if he gets stuck in an elevator?
It is necessary to know a person before
you marry him. However to know him well, you need to marry him first.
We have already investigated many aspects
of family relationships that you would have never studied at school, at the
institute or at work. This knowledge makes you one level higher than most of
the people who let their relationship drift and never think of the reasons of
the problems they face. Now you are a wise person who has much more resources
to rescue your relationship than your partner. But this knowledge is not
enough. This knowledge will help you to analyze your relationship and build
plans for getting closer with your partner but won't move you a single step
further towards your goal if your intentions don't turn into actions. Just real
actions with realistic deadlines can lead you to the goal you've set.
And even if you start enthusiastic activity
now, don't intend that your emotional mood will stay unchanged long. Enthusiasm
is a kind of emotional energy that is expended very quickly. It is enthusiasm
that makes us for a hundredth time put ourselves on a diet, become excited with
a new hobby, quit smoking or look for a new job. But when this emotional state
goes away people return to the way of life they used to have before. Probably
this is what has happened to your relationship. To make it never happen there
is a very effective way - a plan. Say, how often do you take a sheet of paper,
write down your goals, divide them into tasks and set deadlines for each task?
I bet you sometimes think about it but I doubt you put your plan into practice.
And if you do it chances that you include your love life into the plan are
really low. The main advantage of the plan is that it would be your action
factor even if the enthusiasm is over. And this is 100 percent fair for
relationship with your partner. Most of the people believe that family is the
part of our life that we don't need to work on consciously. This belief becomes
stronger with the help of both folklore and lack of education in this field.
But now you have a great opportunity to get out of this dump and build strong
and emotionally fulfilling family arousing envy of the others. For this purpose
you have to follow the plan that you will now define for yourself.
What to start with? How plans are usually
built? Many books devoted to achieving success both in business and in daily
life offer a scheme that looks something like this:
1. Define a goal, as precise and concrete
2. Write this goal down on a sheet of
3. Set a deadline for achieving this goal.
4. Divide this goal into sub-goals and
define actions to achieve each of them.
5. Built a schedule in which you set
deadlines for each sub-goal on your way to the major goal.
6. Find any person that you will regularly
report to on current results of your activity (friend, colleague, parents,
7. Chose criteria for result evaluation.
I hope that after reading this chapter you
will build the plan by yourself and start acting by it. But let's do a simple
exercise that will undoubtedly help you in creating the plan.
First we need to identify the dominating
needs of your partner. Look at the list of needs we’ve composed in the chapter
“Relationship crisis management”, then select the most actual wants of your
partner or think of your own.
After you've identified the top needs of
your partner, make up at least 3 actions that fulfill some of those needs from
Now we are moving forward to the most
expected part of the chapter - involving your partner in rescuing your
relationship. I've already told that you and you and only you bear the most
responsibility for your relationship since the behavior of your partner is
always a projection of your own behavior. People are much more alike each other
than it seems at first sight. And if you start to smartly put work into your
relationship I doubt that you partner will refuse to budge and will take your
efforts negatively or sarcastically for long period. In fact if we compare
relationship with tennis then we can say that the game will definitely start -
the question is "Who will serve first?" Now when you've got new
knowledge the initiative should go from you. However getting your partner
acquainted with the rules of the game will certainly improve the results. So
you should not always act alone - you should communicate and cooperate with
your partner. To achieve this here is the 12-step solution that I propose:
Step 1. Take no less than 3 actions,
aimed at improving relationship.
For this purpose you should use the results
of the exercise you've done some time ago. Choose any three actions that are
designed to fulfill the real needs of your partner (better to choose from
different categories) and/or will improve the atmosphere in your couple.
Mindblowers will suit the best. However these may be very small and easy
actions. For example, hugging him or her before work. Or to dress more bright
and sexy in the evening. Or to tell him/her that he/she is a wonderful
farther/mother and husband/wife.
Step 2. Start a constructive dialogue.
By this step I mean the most positive and
open start of communication. With no shade of critics or distrust. Chose the
most convenient time when there are no urgent tasks and no one bothers you and
invite your partner to a conversation. When the TV is off, kids are sleeping
and all the phones are covered with heavy pillows, tell him/her that it is
painful for you to see how something super-valuable has gone away from your
relationship, that this situation is unpleasant for you and it cannot be
pleasant for him/her. Tell your partner that you don't pursue a goal to be
right, that your goal is to be happy. That it is necessary for you to have
relationship built on trust, respect and joint efforts. Show that you took a
new road of saving your couple, on which you are willing to put a lot of work
into making it happier.
The dialogue itself will probably span for
several days and possibly weeks - it is a good sign. Much worse if your partner
will resist spending time in such conversations. This type of standoff is quite
clear and you have to show maximum friendliness and persistence to start this
dialogue with him/her. It is extremely hard for a human to resist forever,
considering the fact that you approach him/her with no aggression, and on the
contrary offer to "smoke a pipe of peace".
* Here are some brief recommendations to follow
before you start becoming closer to your partner:
* No disputes and scandals. Do not agree to keep
a conversation at a raised tone of voice. It's better to put the discussion off
for a more suitable moment.
* When you discuss the achievements and failures
of your couple talk about the relationship itself and the lines of action. Try
your best to touch both of you as little as you can. This extremely important
in the beginning of the dialogue.
* Leave love aside. Don’t be captivated by
speculating with this term. In fact at this very moment it is not that
important who loves who and to what extent. The important thing is what to do
and how in order to get closer to each other.
* Don't allow blaming in the conversation.
Thoroughly formulate the problems that worry you. Remember that you both are responsible
for the current state of the relationship.
* Don't let your partner convince you in
stupidity of this talk or turn all your communication into joke.
Step 3. Describe the activity you have
Here you need to tell your partner about 3
actions you have undertook prior to this talk. Tell what you are planning to do
in the nearest future, what kind of help you might need from him/her to realize
Step 4. Describe your concept of
building healthy relationship.
Explain your partner that your opinion of
what makes relationships blossom and fade has changed. Describe the insights
you had while reading this book. Ask your partner what he/she thinks about it.
And once again don't allow any critics - every once in a while ask yourself if
the talk is evolving the way you expected. If not don't hesitate to ask your
partner to stop and get back to it later.
Step 5. Come to an agreement to hold
daily 30-minute conversations in comfortable conditions.
This is an important closing stage of your
long dialogue - a proposal to make such talks regular in order to further
deepen emotional connection and understanding between you two. The best idea is
to arrange such conversations no less than 10 days in a row and stipulate the
exact dates and time.
Step 6. Each morning think of 2-3 topics
to discuss in the evening, and one action for you to undertake within a day to
strengthen the relationship.
Within the scheduled period (10-14 days)
you need to make up 2-3 topics to discuss that are connected with your
relationship and each of you separately. Some possible topics are given below:
1. I chose you for building close
2. I'm afraid to open up to you because...
3. What I hope to acquire by opening up to
4. I believe that our relationship has a
good future because...
5. I like to treat you honestly and
6. I need you to treat me honestly and
7. I think that the main barriers in our
8. I think that the main resources in our
9. My cherished dreams of our relationship
10. I want to thank you for...
And what's more within a preset period
every morning you should think of one action that will meet one of the
* focused at fulfilling true needs of your
* decreases the level of tension between you;
* affects your relationship in a positive way.
Step 7. Every day perform the chosen
action and discuss 2-3 topics in the evening at the "negotiating
Now it's time to switch to the final and
most important step, which definitively turns intention into action. Those
small deeds that you plan in the morning you should realize within the day
before you and your partner start a regular conversation.
Now this one is very important. In the
evening right prior to the talk you have to play with your partner a mini-game:
you need to look at each other silently within 2 minutes. No more and no less
than 2 minutes. With no talking at all. This will allow you to look at each
other by totally different eyes. This simple exercise will lower the level of
egocentrism and tension during the communication. Later you may switch to
discussion of made up topics much easier.
Meet your partner half-way if he/she offers
his/her own topic to discuss. The main point is not to let the talk come to a
discussion of shortcomings of each of you. Stop the dialogue if this happens.
Hold the conversations for about half an
hour - this period is quite enough. Try to thank your partner for his/her
opinion as often as you can - it will help to reduce tension in your talk and
make it easier for your partner to open up to you.
In the end of the dialogue you need to
perform one more simple ritual - a hug within 30 seconds. Probably long time
ago hugs were a usual thing for your couple and now the time has come to revive
those precious moments and add a spark of warmth to your communication, which
you both miss so much.
If you've done the 7 abovementioned steps
you have almost finished an important work of pulling your relationship out of
a deep hole, which most of the people happen to fall down. It's not a surprise
since the attention that is paid in society to studying and teaching the basics
of relationships building is very little. Now you possess the knowledge that
sharply distinguish you from other people, however if you think that by
following the proposed program you will swim in a still waters, I suggest that
you should read this book again after a while. Your love life, just like
professional one, requires constant efforts, thoughts and investments. And if
your investments in relationship haven't been enough or you chose unconsidered
direction for your efforts, then now you've got a great chance to change the
situation once and forever. Your relationship with your partner is your
responsibility, your choice and the result of your own growth. In love success
is achieved by the one who doesn't save any strength for a way back.