How to Have the Best Relationship in 2012

BY AMY & MICHAEL SHERMAN
It’s the New Year and everyone is making their resolutions. Most of us set goals about losing weight and making more money. However, if we look at our relationships, there are goals we should be making there, too.
Most couples are functioning on a day-to-day basis in survival mode. Get the kids off to school, pick up the dry-cleaning, what are we having for dinner tonight?, oh, no, Sally has a sore throat…sound familiar? Even couples who still manage to fit in having fun together here and there are not typically engaged in a conscious, deliberate process of living up to a Relationship Vision designed to create a great partnership.
To create your own Relationship Vision, find some quiet time alone with your partner and each of you write down some statements that capture the essence of what you really want. Statements must be made in the positive, present tense, as if they were already true and happening (one of ours is, “We speak to each other in a kind and loving tone.”)
Compare notes and discuss respectfully until you both agree on a set of declarations that feel like a victory for you and your partner. We suggest no more than 10 items – force rank!
This simple but profound tool keeps us focused and anchored in our relationship. It clearly spells out when either one of us has strayed from the path of creating the relationship of our vision. When both partners are willing to be accountable to the vision, it serves as a powerful guide to having a truly remarkable relationship.
We encourage you to have fun creating a Relationship Vision with your partner, to display it proudly (the fridge is a popular place, or framed on your dresser), and to read it together and alone regularly, allowing its message to be absorbed.  You know better than anyone when you have and have not lived up to it, and let that be your teacher.
Amy and Michael Sherman run the Courageous Loving Counseling Center in Chestnut Ridge.  Learn more about their work at www.CourageousLoving.com or join them at their montly public talk, “The Relationship Miracle,” every 2nd Monday of the month at Nyack Yoga @ 42 Main (next talk is Monday, January 9, 2012 at 7:15 p.m.).