Brian and I met when we were sophomores in high school. We didn’t start dating until we were freshmen in college - he dated a lot of my girlfriends and he was one of my best friends during those years. I tell him he finally got smart and chose me - but that is another story for another day… It’s strange to say that we have known each other longer than not having known each other. It’s strange to say that my last name has been Peterson one and a half times longer than I used my maiden name - almost 34 years now.
What’s my point here?
Brian and I have been talking to each other a long time! Yet… we have really learned more about our communication in the last 3-4 years than we did before that.
In all of the ups and downs of a relationship, the good times and the sad times, you learn how someone behaves, little personality quirks, what pushes their buttons (and when NOT to push their buttons) and the words and phrases they like. In the last several years, we’ve gone deeper in our relationship with ourselves and each other. Now we have conversations about our values, what success means to us, and what makes our lives significant. Our personal development/growth has actually helped us grow together.
Understanding our wiring makes a difference too.
We use an assessment called the Maxwell Method of DISC - you’ve more than likely heard us mention it before. It helped each of us raise our awareness of why we respond the way we do. It totally explained why Brian loves task lists and planning, and I will drop everything to chat with a family member or friend. Those behaviors are in our wiring. It has also helped us understand how to not go overboard. Brian has made people a “task” and I have learned boundaries and how to be more focused on what I need to get accomplished. Interestingly enough, it has also helped us understand how to talk to each other better.
Don’t get me wrong…. The assessment hasn’t “fixed” anything. The assessment simply gave each of us the knowledge we needed to be better communicators with each other. When you couple better communication with better leadership of ourselves, you get an even deeper relationship with each other. Tell me what significant relationship that doesn’t help with?!
You must learn to lead yourself before you can lead others - John C Maxwell
If any of this resonates with you and you are interested in deepening your relationship with your significant other, reach out and let’s talk.
PS - Did I mention this works with your kids too? (ages 8 and up)