And just like that we are over half way through the year. With that we have found ourselves looking at last financial years impact reporting. The TIACS team delivered some incredible stats in their FY21/22 wrap up but one thing that stuck out to me was that the majority of the 9,000 individuals that accessed the TIACS support service last year, accessed it due to RELATIONSHIPS.
Now I am no expert on relationships, that's for damn sure. However, one thing I have really been working on over the last few years is my relationships. Be it with my two marriages, one with my beautiful wife Allana and one with my fair skinned, 6 foot 4, best mate and business partner Daniel, as well as the relationships with my close mates, employees and the TradeMutt community.
The one relationship I am going to talk to you about today is my actual marriage. I have been married now for over 3 and a half years. It’s been the best years of my life no doubt about it but as we all know relationships are no set and forget.
From when Larns and I got hitched to now we have both been through a lot, we moved out of a share house into our first home, got a dog, she moved jobs, had 6 months off, I buried my head into TradeMutt and TIACS and much more. But one thing I am so glad we have always done is see someone about our relationship, be it a counsellor or as we are currently, a Psychologist. It’s basically like having a referee or a coach to help figure out things that may be stopping the relationship growing.
We have been and gone to a few different professionals but the one we are seeing at the moment seems to talk our language. He calls it how it is. Very refreshing. Now not to go into too much detail or this blog may be raised in our next couples session (jokes babe) but I wanted to outline a few things he explained to Allana and I when we had our first meeting with him.
He jumped up on the whiteboard and explained to us about a study (of which the name escapes me) that took place with a range of married couples over many years that compiled information about what the key traits were for what were deemed the best relationships. They went a little bit like this. (Now remember I'm no pro and I am literally recalling this from my own notes from this session).
1. They Manage Conflict Well
The best couples from this study manage conflict really well. Basically, whenever they have a conflict, the communication will include at least five positives to one negative. For example, Babe I love you very much, you really mean the world to me and that dinner you cooked last night was just amazing. It made me feel loved and cared for but can you please scrape the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher? Have an awesome day and I look forward to seeing you after work.
2. They are Great Friends
These couples are just that, great mates. They also prioritise each other and ensure that they have fun with one another!
3. Remain Intimate
This one is super important, the daily check in. After work and before work they keep each other up to date with what is going on. Not just what's happening but the way it is happening so there is more depth and context to the conversation. Being each other’s biggest fan and again prioritising each other!
Being physically intimate is an obvious one here, but they’re happy to be awkward and have things not go to plan when trying to be physical.
4. They Share
The best couples in the world share the same or similar vision for their futures. Be it wealth, family, lifestyle etc. They also plan and talk about these things together to ensure it is collaborative. They also support each other’s individual goals, which is very important.
5. They avoid these 4 things (‘The Four Horsemen’)
- Being Critical
- Being Defensive
- Hold Each Other in Contempt
After sitting through that explainer, the first thing we realised was that we were not having fun with each other anywhere near as much. So we prioritised that. We went down to Rebel sport, bought a basketball for $29.99 (bargain much!) and the next afternoon went down to the local park to shoot hoops. Well attempted to, we were fucking awful but we had a lot of fun.
Now I hope the above made sense, if you read through those 5 points and noticed areas that you could improve on then I suggest you have a sit down with your partner and chat about how you feel and discuss some of the points. No better time than right now!
Have a cracking day and if you would like to speak to a professional mental health counsellor please give the team at TIACS a call on 0488 846 988 - Free and on going!