ERP 031: How To Stay Motivated On The Path Of Relationship Growth
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How to Improve Your Relationship
These are my podcast show notes. Be sure to listen to the full episode to hear stories, examples, and more tips.
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This podcast episode is a response to a question asked by Ken, a listener:
“If you struggle with what the “folks” go through, what chance do we have? You are the bastion of knowledge and I would presume you have the skills to handle situations as they arise.”
Here’s my answer:
1. Having skill doesn’t take away the discomfort.
- Having skill and expertise doesn’t alleviate someone from having to go through the growth process in a romantic relationship.
- For example, a female OB/GYN physician has the skill, training, and expertise for delivering babies. However, if she gets pregnant, she is still going to have to go through the labor pain of giving birth just like any other mother.
- Being educated, trained, and experienced doesn’t take away the pain of growth in a relationship.
- Growth in a relationship often provides certain rites of passage. We have to learn and accomplish certain tasks before we can move to the next stage of love and relationship growth.
- Developmental Stages In Relationship (article).
- Stages Of Intimacy On Life Is A Marathon, with Bruce Van Horn (podcast).
2. Believe in the long-term result.
- Know that there is good to be gained on the other side of the current relationship challenge.
- Believe in the opportunity for relationship growth – more closeness, connection, and intimacy.
- Also, believe in personal growth, which allows for greater strength, wisdom, and character.
- Having a relationship model to believe in is helpful. Many of us do not have a good model for how to improve a relationship, in that we do not want to model our relationship after examples we see in the media or within our communities.
- Having a relationship model provides the opportunity and awareness that there is something greater beyond any current relationship challenge or circumstance.
- You are more prone for relationship success if you want the long-term result more than the immediate relief of discomfort.
3. Believe in the process. Trust the process.
- Often, what we resist persists.
- Trying to fight the challenge only causes more pain.
- We might have the impulse to doubt and give up, but if we trust the process, then we are much more willing to stay the course.
Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.-Alan Cohen
- Do you have enough evidence to know the old ways do not work?
- Commit to self. Not to partner.
- Practice. Over and over again.
- Commit to the path of learning how to improve your relationship.
3. Deal with the discomfort
- It is normal to feel uncomfortable.
- However, you can’t avoid the discomfort. You can try to ignore it, but it will not go away. You can try to fight it, but it will not go away.
- Befriend the process. The more comfortable you can be with being uncomfortable, the more comfortable you will be.
- Deal with the unknown.
- Gather resources.
We are all on the path of growth in life and relationship.
If you have a topic you would like me to discuss or a situation you would like me to speak to, please contact me by clicking on the “Ask Dr. Jessica Higgins” button here.
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If you are interested in developing new skills to meet relationship challenges, please consider taking the Empowered Relationship Course or doing relationship coaching with me.