Are Your Business Strengths Your Relationship Weaknesses?

Before I get into today’s guest post I wanted to let you know that ‘How Do I Set Goals That Stick?’ is now available in the Kindle format.

I am indebted to Ola Rinta-Koski from Tavaton for converting the book for me and if you’re needing something similar doing check him out.

The book will be going on sale on Amazon, but you’re so lovely and cute so I couldn’t possibly charge you.

So if you want to know how to set brilliant, life defining goals that work, sign up for my newsletter on the left and you’ll also receive ‘The 50 Greatest Motivational Quotes’.

But enough of me, Ashley Arn has very kindly sent me a great guest post, so it’s over to her.

Are Your Business Strengths Your Relationship Weaknesses?

The other day, a friend of a friend told me, “I think my marriage is in trouble because I spend too much time working”.   She said that as a successful professional, she works long hours and believes it’s the main reason her marriage is falling apart.  “Maybe I just need more work/life balance” she suggested.

The first thought that went through my mind was Bullshit!

My second thought was here we go again, why do I ever tell people I’m a therapist specializing in relationships on my off time.  I didn’t say it out loud, but I don’t have a very good poker face so she probably knew what I was thinking.

She went on to tell me that she is very ambitious, hard working, goal oriented and one of her friends told her she read that often your business strengths are your relationship weaknesses.  She needed more work/life balance!

Bullshit!  There it was again.  My inner voice was screaming at me and I’m pretty sure it’s all Tim’s fault.  I read Tim’s work/life bullshit post about a year ago and I guess I unconsciously associated work/life balance with bullshit.

Since  1) I think most relationship advice from friends is worthless and 2) I believe the source of your information is important, (I mean I read that minimum wage was going up to $22 an hour in the Onion) I tried to find out more about this very vague and generic sounding advice.

I asked her “Let’s assume for a minute it’s true, that your business strengths are you relationship weaknesses, what do you plan to do about this?”

“Are you planning to start sucking at your job?”

“Maybe you could suppress your ambition, drive and do less of something you’re passionate about and love to do?”

As we talked, she didn’t seem to like any of her options.  She also seemed stuck in this story about how she needed more work/life balance.

I began to ask her about the time she did spend with her husband, and that’s when it got interesting!

Quantity vs. Quality of Time

When this woman first started talking to me, she thought she had a quantity of time issue.  The more we talked, the more it was apparent to me that she actually had a quality of time issue.

I asked her what she did during her time with her husband.

Most of the time they argued, were indifferent toward each other or were trying to do nice things for each other but it would just end  in disaster.

I asked her “and you want more of that kind of time together?

The phrase “be careful what you wish for” came to mind.

I started asking if she knew what she could do to make her husband feel important, loved, attractive, and passionate about their relationship.

Her answers were all clichéd generalizations of what makes people feel these things.

I told her that we all have very specific triggers for having these feelings and they are different for each person.

Next, she began telling me what specifically made her feel important, loved, attractive and passionate about their relationship.

I said no what makes your husband feel these things, because they may be very different from yours.

Silence…………………………..

She had no clue what specific things she could do to fulfill some of her husband’s basic needs in a relationship.

If you’re thinking she’s stupid at this point, the majority of people in relationships have no clue about these things.  Most of us only know our own triggers for these feelings and not our partners.

The sad part was she was trying to do nice things for her husband, but she was using her triggers to try and make him feel good.

I asked her “Tell me about one of your clients or someone who works under you?

“What specifically do you have to do to make them feel taken care of?  Important?  What motivates them? How do they know to stay with your company?”

She went into an extremely detailed story about one of her clients.  She knew what they wanted, what made them feel important and exactly what psychological buttons she needed to push to almost guarantee they’re lifelong customers.

I was impressed to say the least.

I said to her “I think your business strengths could be your relationship strengths as well, if you used them in the right way.”

“All you have to do to improve your marriage is to spend more quality time with your husband, and to do that, you need to get inside your husbands head like you do your customers.”

I said, “Imagine if you could trigger your husband to feel attractive as a man, to feel more love from you than anyone else, and to feel like he’s the most important person or thing in your life.  What crazy guy wouldn’t respond positively to that?”

Improving Your  Relationship Doesn’t Take More Time

Suddenly she was getting excited.  She could see that improving her relationship wouldn’t take extra effort or more hours, but simply a little more knowledge about how to fulfill her husband’s relationship needs.

How this can help you?

If you are a hard working professional, you probably have wondered about how you can succeed in your career and in your personal life.  Sometimes, it seems like there just isn’t enough time in the day for both.

Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth and the last thing you need is work/life balance.  Besides, have you ever tried to balance something for a sustained period of time?  Try balancing your weight on a Bosu ball sometime and you’ll feel exactly how hard it is.

I hope you don’t want to have to do that for the rest of your life with your career and personal life.  Do yourself a favor and leave the balancing act for circus performers

If you’ve been reading Tim’s blog at all, you are probably already getting good at setting goals and letting go of the stress of the day.  Both are important for achieving career success and having fulfilling personal relationships.

Three Steps To A Better Relationship

I’m going to suggest you take three more simple steps to create more happiness and passion in your relationships or marriage.

Focus on improving the quality of your time together more than anything else.

Get to know what triggers your partner to feel happy, loved, attractive, important and passionate about your relationship.  Ask your partner questions to discover what you could be saying or doing to help them feel good.  Make sure you get your partner to give you very specific, sensory based answers.  Things that your partner can see, hear and feel you doing.

Ask your partner “What has to happen for you to feel important?  Is it something I say? Do?
“How do you know when to feel important in our relationship?
“What can I specifically say or do to help you feel important?

“What has to happen for you to feel loved by me?
“How do you know when to feel loved by me?
“What can I specifically say or do to help you feel loved?

“What has to happen for you to feel attractive?  Is it something I say? Do?
“How do you know when to feel attractive?
“What can I specifically say or do to help you feel attractive?

And so on…..

Try to keep an open mind about these things.  Some people feel loved when their partner cleans out the cat box or gives them a certain look, or touch.  It really could be anything.

Experiment and persist by doing!

Create a habit of doing small things each day that trigger your partner’s pleasurable emotions.  The key is to be persistent and not get too attached to their reactions.

Be persistent and do these things even on the days when your partner doesn’t seem to appreciate them, because that will help you get through all of the ups and downs of relationships

Ashley Arn is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and provides Relationship Advice and Counseling to Professionals at Crucial Habits.   Check out her Free Relationship Advice and Tips and get access to 25 Shocking Habits that could be Sabotaging Your Relationships. A Special Report for Professionals.