Investing in your relationship

If you want to make a withdrawal you have to make a deposit. If you have heard that once, you have heard it a million times.
In a recent article, I stated that there is a direct correlation between what we are willing to put into our marriages or relationships and what we get out of it. Don’t expect a million dollar return on a dollar investment.
Bruce Gilson said “A happy, healthy marriage is not the result of luck, but rather that of both spouses being willing to make an investment of time and energy. Couples who work regularly to support each other and their marriage can build and nurture a life-long relationship – those that get better with time.”
Hilary Rich and Helaina Kravitz M.D. concluded in their book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Perfect Marriage that all marriages, no matter how good, can be made better. A good marriage has some basic qualities. Both partners are totally committed to the relationship and are willing to invest time and energy. They communicate effectively with each other and know how to resolve their differences. And they have learned to be flexible. There is no right way to be married; many kinds of partnerships can work out great. However, there is a wrong way to be married—by not investing in the relationship.
Are you investing in your marriage/relationship? This requires an honest assessment of your personal efforts. What have you invested? How much time and effort? How much intentional attention? Just as financial investors do a personal financial check up, couples should do a marriage investment checkup. Planning for the future requires an accurate understanding of your financial situation.  You need to understand where you are and where you want to go. A personal financial checkup will help you identify: 1) Your current financial health, 2) Your short and long term financial goals, 3) The risks and obstacles along the way, and 4)The most pressing areas to be addressed. Observing these principles is a wise course of action for couples concerned about their marriage/relationship investments.
A marriage investment checkup will help couples become aware of 1) the current state of their relationship, 2) goals and the progress being made, 3) threats or potential threats to the harmony and unity within the relationship and 4) any areas that require immediate attention.
Just as a good financial planner will advise you to invest money regularly, it is also true in marriage. Both partners must invest regularly in the relationship to make it flourish. The more that you invest in marriage, the more valuable it becomes.
To learn more about ways to invest in your marriage and promote a healthy marriage contact Ethen Gillespie at the Building Strong Families office at 662-615-0033 or 662-769-1723. Building Strong Families is a federally funded grant awarded to the Starkville School District’s Department of Family Centered Programs.