I sometimes look at the wreckage of my brown, decaying house plants- flopped over and wilting like melting chocolate statues in the sun, and wonder how I’ve managed to keep my relationship alive this long.
Because partnerships also need attention, effort, some nourishment to keep them alive. We can go into them feeling easy and breezy, but as time goes on and the initial fuzzy feeling fades away, it’s important to tend to your relationship just as you should your cheap Tesco potted fern.
One way I discovered in doing this is by using a wellness wheel.
They can help you understand more about yourself and how you feel (for the emotionally stunted among us, like me, it’s great to have a visual guide to what’s working/not working). It’s super geeky but I often do these for my life in general!
They can be a mega helpful tool to check how things are going in your relationship and what areas (if any) you feel might need some extra attention.
So, (after you’ve grabbed yourself a cup of tea), using a Blank Coaching Wheel , AKA the wheel of life, list out the 8 most important qualities you want to focus on within your relationship and write them within the spokes of the wheel. Some ideas include…
- Shared responsibilities
- Physical affection
- Roles and responsibilities
- Spontaneous fun
Then give each category a number out of ten on how satisfied you feel, and mark it on the wheel. 1 is the lowest (the center of the circle) and 10 is the highest (the outside of the circle). Then you draw a line to connect each of the marks together to create a rough circle.
The idea is that if every part of your relationship is fabulous, you’ll have a full circle (who are these people?!). Most people will have a blob shape, with some parts that they feel more or less satisfied on.
I really love it presented visually in front of me like this and hope you find it helpful too. How does your relationship look?
For me, conflict was the complete disaster, along with lots of needs around fun and sex/intimacy- as I thought would be the case! You can use this wheel to guide where you need to go next with repairing your relationship.
I found it helpful to ask myself a series of quite difficult questions about our relationship, some of which were really scary to consider. And many of the answers were quite negative despite knowing that I did want to be with my partner, which I found worrying at the time but I believe point you towards where you need to go.
So, try honestly asking yourself:
- Do I feel close to my partner?
- Do I have warm feelings towards them?
- Do I FEEL in love?
- Has our interaction changed since the beginning of our relationship?
- Am I happy? If not, what needs to change?
- If past me, the newly in love one, saw how you interacted now, would she be happy with how we are? What would she suggest as to how we get back on track?
- Do I recognise any of these signs of being taken for granted?
This exercise left me with a much clearer idea about what else I needed in my relationship. How about you?