Even though I am a Leadership Coach, I often find myself helping clients with their personal relationships. As I always say, “You are who you are in your life and in your work.” The same struggles with communication and relationships usually exist in both areas and my client is the common denominator. We can learn from either arena and make a positive impact in both. As the person transforms, so do the relationships.
And, as I digest the last several years, these significant relationship transformation moments are among my favorites. Being divorced you might not expect that I’d be the best advocate for couples working to keep a marriage together. But, it is what I REALLY believe in! It’s what I am passionate about helping people achieve. It’s what I still long for in my own life. We are meant to live locked in relationship.
I am always inspired and filled with hope when I see a couple who has been together for years and is still in love; can still be silly and laugh; still look forward to seeing each other; hold hands, look into each others eyes. There is so much history there, so much knowing and understanding.
In contrast, my life is filled with punctuation. When you get divorced you don’t start a new chapter you start a new book. You close the cover on a section of your life. You no longer share that history. Pictures lose their meaning. A memory jar needs to be purged so that you can begin anew. People leave your life. Pieces of your family are no more. Some won’t understand.
I worked my way out of my marriage. I did everything I knew to do to try to make it work. And in the toughest moments that knowledge is important to me. There is no regret. Life is not what I thought it would be but is what it has to be under the circumstances and I am making it great! I don’t believe we can be who we were meant to be if our significant relationship is abusive. I have important work to do with my boys and in the world.
If your significant relationship is abusive, please get help now. This is not how you are meant to live. But, if you are in a relationship that is struggling, has become a bore, or you have the grass is greener syndrome, put in the effort. There is great stuff on the other side if you can do the work. It’s worth a try!
My vision for a significant relationship is SHLRP
And I think the key to SHRLP is to first respect each other and then:
- Know the weaknesses and treat them with tenderness and
- Know the desires and passions and honor them and
- Make a commitment to do this for each other and
- Make a commitment to continue growing and learning as individuals and
- Make a commitment to always be open and honest and
- Make a commitment to own your own junk
- Together you work to negotiate around the other stuff – the logistics of life.
These are the keys to SHLRP
My hope is for all of us to experience the joy of sharing a life with that significant someone who knows us through and through and loves us anyway. Who pushes us to be our best, supports us through our worst and stays committed to turning those next pages together.