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Why Bother?: 7 reasons to do the work in relationship

April 14, 2014
Posted By: Counseling Center of Cherry Creek

The work of committed relationships can feel overwhelming.

We are raised in a culture where we believe, deep down, that if a relationship is "meant to be" it won't be a ton of work. Most of us know enough to know that it will be work...but no a TON of work. Right?

Relationships are a ton of work. They just are.

But what in life that is worth doing isn’t a ton of work?

Higher education, careers, children, family relationships, remodeling a home, gardening, the list goes on and on…they are all a lot of work. Sometimes people ask me, “Jenny, why should I even bother?” Well, here are 7 reasons:

Reason #1: You become a better person

When you do the real work in relationships, it means doing your OWN work. That looks like taking stock of how and where you are accountable for the good aspects and the not so good aspects of your relationship. Your partner will mirror for you both your beauty and, well, your rough edges. Spend time with these rough edges, get to know them, and do your own healing work if needed. Learn to take feedback from your partner and practice how to hear feedback without taking it personally (and if you are not sure what this means, call me and I’ll tell you 720.457.3342).

Reason #2: Your partner becomes a better person

Similarly, your partner can do the same work on their own rough edges. It is an extraordinary thing to both be working on becoming better people in order to make a relationship that is that much stronger and secure. 

Reason #3: If you have children, they see what it is like to have a healthy relationship (that requires work)

I often say, “The way you do your primary relationship gives your child a template for how they will do their own relationships in the future.” Think about it like this. If you are teaching your child English as their first language, you would never expect them to speak Spanish magically when they get married.

If you want your kids to know how to: play nice, take turns, share their feelings, forgive, “let it go”, ask in an inside voice, be flexible, and not behave like the world revolves around their needs…well, model that in your marriage.

Reason #4: You get to feel seen and valued

Most people desperately want to be seen, heard, and valued. This is a normal part of being human. By doing the deeper work in relationship and learning how to be vulnerable and how to witness and value someone else’s vulnerability, you get to be a part of this uniquely human phenomenon.

Reason #5: You learn to DO love

Love is a verb. It is imperative to learn how to DO love rather than how to SAY that you love someone. I once heard a story about a holy person who said something to the effect of, “Don’t give sermons, let your life be a prayer.” In the same vain, I would say, “Don’t say that you love someone, let your thoughts, actions, and words be a vehicle for that love.”

Reason #6: You become more compassionate to others

Doing your own relationship work creates enormous compassion for others and reduces judgment. It can be easy to think that some couples should or should not have divorced. It can be easy to weigh in privately about how you think others should do their relationships. When you do your own relationship work, you understand that it is a very personal and private unfolding and even when you give it your all sometimes things do not turn out the way that you think they might.

Reason #7: You get to experience the sweetness on the other side

There is a sweetness that couples experience when you realize that the person that you have chosen is also choosing you consciously each and everyday. This sweetness is a feeling that can permeate you like stepping into a warm ray of sunshine…and it can be fleeting but it is very profound and real. The reason to do the work is to get to the other side…not where it is easy but where there is a beautiful trust and robustness in your relationship that it will weather the storms of life.

It may be surprising to know that often the couples that have an extraordinarily strong connection and foundation are the same ones who have walked through some of the toughest challenges: affairs, financial ruin, chronic illness, and deaths. 

If you are ready to create meaningful change in your relationships now, call today for a free 20 minute phone consultation 720.457.3342 or book online. We look forward to hearing from you!



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