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  • Writer's pictureShannon Johnson

Intentional Relationshipping in 2019

I don't know about you, but this year flew by for me. Seems like yesterday, my family was in McCall celebrating Christmas, and today I am scrambling to get ready for the the upcoming festivities. I am usually so organized, but this weekend I am choosing what to let go of, because I simply can't get it all done. What happened to 2018?

Many couples I work with describe spending years struggling with relationship distress. Time just slips by, and patterns stay the same. Then, one day, the distress becomes unbearable, and I get to meet them. The problem is, often times the damage done during those years is difficult to reverse. Why do couples wait so long?

Of course, part of the reason many couples wait so long is they can't imagine counseling will be helpful, and many think it will make their relationship worse. Some couples wait because they want to give things time to get better. However, I believe many couples throw their energy elsewhere as life keeps buzzing by, and relationship work gets put on the back burner. Many I work with tell me they wish they had gotten relationship help years ago.

I am certainly not suggesting that every couple run out and sign up for therapy in January; I am suggesting that you begin 2019 making your relationship a priority. Maybe that looks like a date night twice per month, or maybe that looks like device-free evenings. Maybe that looks like booking a retreat or attending a workshop, or maybe that looks like therapy. Whatever resonates with you -- that is your answer.

Why make your relationship a priority? I believe the health of your relationship dictates your individual health. If you are leaving work every day and entering a home where the relationship is full of resentment, this impacts the mind, body, and spirit of everyone living in the house. By establishing and maintaining a thriving core relationship, your home, your adventures, and your family time become restorative instead of depleting.

So...I want to give you a little assignment as we close out 2018 (my first job out of college was teaching biology, so I am fond of homework).

Take a moment to sit down with your significant other and chat about what you would like to see change or happen in 2019. I want you to talk about personal intentions: focus on being more positive, focus on self-care, or attend a training. Then, as a couple, I want you to set relationship intentions: express more gratitude, spend time together with the TV off, take a kid-free vacation.

Take the time to write down the intentions you wish to focus on for the year. There is power in both verbalizing your intentions and writing them down. Keep this paper, so you can periodically reference it and check on your progress.

We all have the power to make change as individuals and shift how we are interacting in our relationships. Change takes focus and attention, so please don't wait for the shift to just happen. Instead, let's make 2019 the year of Intentional Relationshipping!

If you are interested in more information and resources regarding relationships, check out our website at:

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