March 9, 2018
The Relationship Castle
Audio version- https://chirb.it/DErq9J
I was recently working with a couple whose biggest problems were at home. They both had successful, well-paying jobs. Their problem was that neither could leave their office problems at the office. The frustration and sometimes outright anger spilled over to their home life. Additionally, they tended to handle arguments as they would with a coworker.
Regrettably, this is not an uncommon scenario. Also, regrettably, it is a relationship disaster just waiting to explode. For starters the person with whom you have a relationship should not be treated in the same manner as anyone else. Healthy relationships grow when both partners elevate each other to top priority.
I like to build what I call a “Relationship Castle.” Think of a castle with a moat around it and a draw bridge. Every workday morning each person puts on her/his armor. The draw bridge is lowered, and both go out to fight the “big bad dragons” that most of us face each day. At the end of the day they both return to the castle. The draw bridge is pulled back up, and the moat prevents intruders. The castle should be the place each partner feels the best – well-respected, loved, and appreciated. It should be where they are the most relaxed. The castle should insulate the partners from people and things that would harm the relationship. Yes, it’s only a make believe visual, but it’s not that far from what should take place.
If “invaders” have been allowed to infiltrate the castle, they need to be banished, and quickly. The longer the “invaders” are allowed to stay, the more damage they will do to the relationship. Both partners are extremely vulnerable in the castle because they have taken off their armor. Neither should have to put on armor to defend herself/himself from an attack within the walls of the castle. That should be left for the outside world.
As corny as this may sound, it really works. Home should feel like a fantasy world castle, not a prison. To help get your relationship on track build your own Relationship Castle. You’ll be very glad you did.
Until next time, this is Dr. Andrew telling you to “Be kind to yourself.”