Is there a secret to a life long relationship?
Yes, there is… and it is called continuous change.
We do not need to change, but sometimes we have to.
We Have to change….when we….
- Cannot bear the pain anymore!
- Realize that … NOT changing will only make things worse.
- Pro-actively know … that we could be happier if we made some necessary changes.
So the decision point is determined by pain or pleasure. Pain is the stick, and Pleasure is the carrot. Both work, depending on how we use them.
Lets look at pain first. If the pain is bearable, then work out a solution that will ease or remove the pain. Expecting that things may change on their own is an option. But, what if the pain gets worse?
Lets take an example here. A married couple has had differences of opinion for most of the 12 years they have been married, and the situation is NOT improving. In fact, it is deteriorating. Should the couple call a truce, and move on with their lives? Or should they think This is one of the challenges of life, and we should just get used to it. Or, should they just decide to call off the relationship? The answer is of course more complicated than it seems. However, there are some simple techniques that can be applied that will help to understand and resolve the issue:
- Have all the obvious solutions been tried?
- Has the couple made the effort to understand – what is right from one viewpoint, could be entirely wrong from the other viewpoint ?
- What would each consider a ‘viable solution’?
- Have they tried seeking advice from someone in the family, or a close friend – who could be trusted by both of them?
- Is there another alternative that says – It is neither your way, nor my way, but a better way, the Higher Way… that Stephen Covey Calls…. The 3rd Alternative.
- Has counselling been explored? Trivial reasons keep couples numbed to taking any action, So, they either suffer in silence, or they insult each other, or they fight behind closed doors. This marriage may look hunky dory on the outside, but it messes up things for the others in the family – specially the kids.
- A simple solution can be worked out by a counsellor who is more experienced and has a good track record. Unfortunately, most men (specially in conservative countries like India) think that they do not need another man telling them what to do. Most times, counsellors have to work magic, based only on the woman taking the counselling seriously, and making the necessary changes. Interestingly, this is an option that works, even though the solution is worked only by the lady of the house.
In closing, let me state that life is really too short to hold on to old, played out stereotypes and cause more Stress to the Relationship. The time has come to consider something new and innovative. The 3rd Alternative is a fabulous concept that ensures that the outcome is a Win-Win for both the parties.
Life moves on, and so should we. Lets live lighter, and do more for the world, starting from the world closest to us – the world we call Family.
Why wait till we HAVE TO change? Why not change when it is easy? Why not change because – it is easiest to change… when WE WANT to CHANGE?