♥LOVE NOTE – Saturday December 3rd, 2011
Travelling to teach the Couples Workshop this morning we drove along Melbourne’s Yarra River at about 8am……what an amazing amount of people were out and about this early on a Saturday morning…….paths full of people jogging and walking, groups of fitness classes on the lawn, rowers on the river, bicyclists, parents running with their kids in prams or on scooters, groups of people having BBQ and picnic breakfasts…..such an active and alive place……..
I started thinking about how this same scene is repeated in Brisbane and Perth and Seattle and in fact any city or town we come into …..and thinking about how committed people are becoming to their physical fitness and how much time and energy and money they invest in it…… and how most of the people out and about would seriously schedule regular time in the day/week.
Then I started reflecting on how much time people invest in working on their relationships and being with their partners……. with one of the most common things we hear being –
‘we don’t have the time to spend just being together…’
We don’t have time to talk about things, or the time to go out on weekly dates, or the time to nurture and nourish our relationship or even the time to have sex!……
What we do know is all couples need to have regular time to totally focus on their partner and relationship without outside distractions.
We know that all relationships need regular time for enrichment, indulgence and time for renewal……
And that one of the biggest reasons marriages/committed relationships fail is that partners don’t spend enough time together – especially ♡LOVE-ing and ★FuN time.
Questions for you: Do you schedule and spend daily ♡LOVE-ing time with your partner if you are in a committed relationship, or time for your family and friends if you are not?
Ask your partner and the people who you care about if they think you are available enough?
Do you prioritize it in your daily schedule?
♥MIRROR their sharing.
There is a practice that we suggest and teach which is called the
♡TEN DAILY FOCUS MINUTES or
♡FOUR CRITICAL MOMENTS EXERCISE.
There are four important moments in each day that will set the tone of the relationship throughout the day. If you will attend carefully to these four special times each day (and this will only take a few minutes) you will discover that you are creating an atmosphere….. an ambiance….that will set a positive tone in your relationship throughout the day.
We use the phrase “critical moment” to mean an “important, crucial, key moment” in the day of every couple.
Professor John Gottman – (website link)- who is the Executive Director of the Gottman Relationship Research Institute in Seattle, Washington that was created to foster research on marriage, couples, parenting and families has gained international repute as a researcher who KNOWS what makes marriage last and what makes it fall apart.
He suggested that the two most important times of each day for couples are the first 4 minutes both partners are awake and the first 4 minutes they are both home in the evening.
Dr. Linda Duncan, Professor and Director of the Professional Counseling Program at Tarleton State University added the idea of the morning “goodbye” and the evening “goodnight”.
Dr Gary Brainerd, (website link) one of our valued Imago Relationship Therapy colleagues – created the following form for couples to fill in which involves couples interviewing each other to discover what are the WORDS, TOUCH and BEHAVIOURS they would like at the 4 critical moments in the day.
Essentially in this process couples are identifying the “♡LOVE Language” of each partner and creating a do-able relationship-strengthening process. It takes just a few minutes, it is something anyone can do and it will indeed pay big dividends in terms of your relationship. Gary has also developed a handout that goes through in detail the sort of options that one could fill in for The Four Critical Moments Exercise giving examples of WORDS, TOUCH and BEHAVIOURS.
I suggest you think of 10 minutes a day as a beginning and a minimal amount of time needed for ♡LOVE and intimacy to grow.
Think about the time you spend together like deposits in each others ♡EMOTIONAL BANK ACCOUNT. Obviously the more you deposit the richer your ♡LOVE and life will be.
Research proves that 90% of your HAPPINESS OR MISERY is dependent on your primary ♡LOVE relationship. It seems so strange to me then that people don’t invest in learning how to do this well.
Spending just a minimum of 10 minutes of each day of quality time nurturing & strengthening your ♡LOVE for your partner and your primary relationship is a must!!!!.
♡TEN DAILY FOCUS MINUTES: Making Relationships/Marriage Work
A. Four Minute ♡GOOD MORNING Time
B. One Minute ♡GOODBYE
C. Four Minute “♡RE-CONNECTING” Time
D. One Minute ♡GOOD NIGHT
For those of you doing the 30 Day Being-♥LOVE Campaign and focusing your ♡LOVE-ing on your partner this is a great way to make deposits in their Emotional Bank Accounts. You might also like to adopt the ♡FOUR CRITICAL MOMENTS as a structure for when you do your ♡LOVE-ing actions.
Enjoy exploring and discovering and indulging and growing,
♡LOVE and Gratitude, Susie.
PLEASE NOTE: if you would like a copy of Interview Handout leave a request in the Comments below.