Issue #7 |Sept 2008


Today’s Topic: Invest In Your Relationship - Couples AND Singles

Things seldom improve from neglect.
~ Eve Eschner Hogan

An inspiring weekend

My husband and I recently attended a weekend workshop for couples called The Art of Cherishment, led by Hedy and Yumi Schleifer. Hedy is an Imago Therapist, married to her husband Yumi for over 40 years. They have devoted this stage of their life and marriage to facilitating experiences of deep connection for couples all over the world. (For those who’d like to know more about their work see www.hedyyumi.org.)

It was a profoundly moving weekend for us. It was inspiring to be in a room full of couples who were there with the unified purpose of strengthening and enhancing their relationship – and who were committed to investing their time and resources to that end.

With all of the turbulence in the financial world these days, it strikes me that investing in your relationship is one of the best investments you can make. Through the ups and downs of life, work, raising families, health challenges and so on, our primary relationship can be a source of support, love, joy and shared difference-making.

A solid partnership has economic benefits too. There is a synergy that is created when two people align their goals and dreams and support each other in achieving them. This synergy can produce wealth --- emotionally AND financially.

When we invest in our relationship, love and intimacy continues to deepen and grow.

In her book How To Love Your Marriage, Eve Eschner Hogan asks: “How would our marriages be different if we entered them with the intention of continuously growing the love we share with our spouse – rather than just honoring a love that already exists or once existed?”

We all know that if we expect our bodies to be healthy and vibrant we need to feed them well, get enough sleep and give ourselves nurturing exercise. Many of us devote hours each week to ensure that our bodies are fit and well. And if we don’t, we know we ought to. It’s not enough to reminisce about how fit we used to be!

Our relationship needs caring for too. As anyone with a good relationship can tell you -- a satisfying partnership doesn’t just “happen”. It may seem so, in the beginning of a relationship when the love hormones are flowing freely. However, once the “romantic stage” passes into a more stable and less exhilarating form of love, we need to learn how to feed and renew our love on an ongoing basis.

How you choose to care for and protect your relationship is a personal matter – as is how you choose to care for your body. Workshops such as the one my husband and I attended may not be everyone’s cup of tea. However the options are infinite!

It’s up to YOU to decide what investments will pay off for you and your partner.

Relationships provide us with the opportunity (and necessity!) to stretch and grow in new ways of being – with ourselves and with our partner. When our relationship feels boring or unsatisfying, perhaps we are being called to new growth and discovery. We may need to be creative and willing to experiment.

If you’re short on ideas for investing in your relationship, you can always canvas those individuals whose relationships you admire, to find out what has worked for them. What is important is to make the conscious commitment to invest in your relationship – and then follow through with actions – both big and small.

Investing in your relationship isn’t just for couples.

For my single readers who long to be in a relationship, you too can make an investment. You can invest by clarifying your values, your vision for your life and your “relationship requirements” – those non-negotiable deal-breakers that you must have for a relationship to work for you. Once you are clear about your vision for your life and your requirements, you’ll be better able to make wise choices about how and with whom you invest your dating energy.

If you are single or divorced, you can also invest in your future relationship by clearing the way for it. This might involve healing past hurts, learning more effective relationship skills or learning how to love and respect YOURSELF in new ways. You can lay the foundation today for the relationship you hope for tomorrow.

Invitation to action

If you’re in a couple, ask yourself: How could I invest in my relationship today?

• With a warm hug?
• With a surprise gift?
• With a word of appreciation?
• With my undivided attention and interest?
• With an act of service?
Contemplate how your partner likes to receive love. Then take action!

If you’re single or divorced, ask yourself: How can I invest in my future relationship today?

• By getting clear on my requirements?
• By improving my communication skills?
• By taking care of my health?
• By getting my finances in order?
• If you’re unsure what you can do, reply to this email and I will send you a complimentary Relationship Readiness Review. This will help you pinpoint the areas that need work, in preparation for your next relationship.

Shirley’s Update

I was recently interviewed by Nick Krewen, a writer for Lavalife, on the topic of loving yourself after a break-up. His article “Self-love for the Soul” can be found at: http://click.lavalife.com/dating/feature/article/Self-Love-for-the-Soul/rHSA/69839/p1 Enjoy!

Shirley Vollett, Life and Relationship Coach, delights in working with pro-active individuals who want to make positive changes in their lives, their work/business or their relationships. Her clients appreciate her ability to listen deeply, her compassionate wisdom and her support in moving forward. Shirley offers a complimentary intro session for those who want to explore how coaching works and how it can help. Click on a link below to contact Shirley or visit her website at http://shirley.vollett.com
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Copyright © 2008 by Shirley Vollett. All rights reserved.