Saturday, February 24, 2007

Returning the Magic into the Relationship

If you have been in a committed relationship for any length of time, you have probably faced the loss of enchantment most relationships experience as time marches on. How to return the magic is a common question presented in marital therapy. What can be done?

Whenever I go to the circus I am always impressed with the work of the trapeze artists. Their grace and timing is impeccable. Their beauty mesmerizing. A group of people dancing in mid air with only a safety net to protect them from total disaster.

I see the beauty of the trapeze as a striking metaphor for couples who are willing to perfect their relationship. The ease and grace witnessed by the audience does not tell the complete story. The dedication to their work, and the amount of time they practice goes unnoticed once the circus begins. But we all can guess how hard they have worked.

Truth is they have practiced, practiced and then practiced some more. So with a good relationship, time is spent acquiring skills that gives them the beauty we all enjoy to behold. Practice is required to create a magical relationship. It never happens effortlessly, it just looks like it is without exertion. It happens out of dedication and resolution.

Magical relationships have the timing and grace of the trapeze artist. The timing comes from practice, learning new skills, and putting yourselves in the position where you can be couched. People ask me all the time, does therapy work for couples? The answer is yes, but it takes commitment, dedication and practice. I have seen many couples transform dysfunction systems into graceful works of art, but only with hard work, practice and good communication skills.

Couples therapy is only one of the tools available. I have seen spectacular results from marriage encounter weekends. Check with your local minister to find such weekend retreats for couples. I have seen seminars and workshops produce transformation. I have watched couples grow just by going to group sessions for couples. Any arena where you get to practice and learn new skills will improve your relationship.

The main point I want to make is that if you want to have a powerful relationship, you will have to work at it. Not just when you are in trouble. But before the magic wears thin. While you are still able to hold the special feelings of appreciation and love that create the magic in the first place.

Maybe having a great relationship is not important to you. Maybe the trapeze artist is a totally pointless craft. Maybe you prefer to just have an exchange of services in your marriage. If so, do nothing. But if you yearn for more, and if you long for the magic to return or increase, you will have to be committed, you will have to learn new skills and you will have to practice these skills within your relationship.

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