To fully comprehend this concept, imagine a 3-legged stool – All three legs are needed to support the stool in order for it to function as intended – to stay upright and be operational. If one of the legs is not supported and supportive, the stool will topple over.
What does each leg represent?
Leg 1 – First leg is YOU. When you are single you have formed all your values and your goals and you have a particular lifestyle that you lead. You have dreams and ideas and requirements and needs and opinions and desires. You want to be happy.
Leg 2 – Second leg is YOUR PARTNER. Your partner, too, showed up for you with all their own values and goals and a lifestyle they have been leading. They have dreams and ideas and have their requirements and needs, opinions and desires. They want to be happy.
Leg 3 – THE RELATIONSHIP. This UNION is the third LEG! The very joining of the relationship has now created a new entity called the “Relationship”. It is part of you and it is part of your partner, it is something that has a life of its own with values and goals and dreams.
To give you an idea of what I am talking about, when your friends spend time with you, it is just you. But when your friends spend time with you and your partner, they get all of it. You and your partner and how you show up as a couple. It is not that being with your partner changes you, it is just different.
A successful relationship is supported by partners who realize the relationship is a separate entity and who understand both parties need to contribute equally to:
• increasing their own level of self-awareness, awareness of their partner, and awareness of the relationship
• prioritizing the relationship in attitude, behavior and action especially when making decisions.
• their level of commitment to the success of their relationship.
• developing and honoring the shared vision of their ideal relationship.
• improving their level of proficiency with Relationship Skills.
Therefore, an IDEAL RELATIONSHIP is a relationship where both partners share similar values, have a shared life vision and goals, and have their relationship criteria, in the form of requirements and needs, met. They are committed to the success of their partnership, and understand a great relationship requires continuous attention and work.
As the creators of the relationship, both you and your partner have a responsibility to enrich and deepen that relationship, enabling you to achieve your life vision and the happiness you both deserve. You are jointly accountable for your relationship success, health, and longevity.
If you are struggling in these individually, then the relationship is struggling too. This is the time to get the support you need from a relationship expert such as a relationship coach, faith leader or counselor.
When I work with couples, the first thing we prioritize is their commitment to that third leg. If that is not there, then the coaching is futile.
By having all three legs strong, you are then able to support whatever pressures of life might sit down on top of you!
Here is a #TogetherTuesday Video I did on this same topic!