4 Key Principles of a Successful Relationship (Part 2)

Like I said in Part 1 of this blog, successful relationships begin on the inside, so I’ll start this blog, and the next one, talking about the two principles of successful relationships that directly relate to ourselves.

CJ-PRINT-1416Key Principle No 1

The Body and its Actions

Physical health is a precursor to a successful relationship. Period!

Now I know you might be saying “what does my physical health have to do with my intimate relationship” but just hear me out.

Consider that:

  • If you are low on energy and feel exhausted, because you are not getting enough sleep, then very often your mood will be low.
  • If you are overweight because you make poor food choices, and don’t exercise, then very often your self-esteem will be low.
  • If you are not strong, then you might not feel particularly masculine.
  • If your blood sugar is low because you are eating too much sugar and / or refined carbohydrates, then very often you will be angry and irritable.
  • Certain foods, and food intolerances (gluten in particular), can cause depression and anxiety.
  • If you are infertile and / or suffer from erectile dysfunction because your estrogen levels are too high, then very often you’ll be feeling ashamed.
  • If you are unhealthy, and don’t take care and pride in your physical appearance, then maybe your partner won’t find you attractive.

All of these symptoms of poor physical health will have a negative impact on your relationship.

All of the 4 Principles of a Successful Relationship are so tightly interrelated that there is no separating them, and if you try ignoring one, then the rest will eventually hemorrhage.

As a men’s relationship coach I see this all the time. Men focusing all of their attention on 1, or at best, 2 principles of the 4, whilst completely ignoring the others.

Men often spend most their waking hours trying to create financial wealth. The cultural pressure to be the provider / protector is strong, and can create an enormous imbalance in how, and where a man spends his time, energy, and resources. Very often a man totally neglects all of the other principles / aspects of his life, as he chases success in just one.

Marriage counsellors are also prone to making this mistake. They focus all of their attention on relational skills like: listening, communication, and an understanding of the opposite sex, but forget (or aren’t trained) to address the other 3 major principles / aspects of a successful marriage / relationship.

And yes, sometimes relational skills are to blame for a relational breakdown, but not always, and certainly not in isolation.

Consider that:

  • Poor communication can be driven by low blood sugar, which is a result of a sub-optimal diet.
  • Poor listening can be driven by a lack of attention, which can be a result of a lack of sleep.
  • Angry outbursts and aggressive behaviour can be driven by feeling a lot of shame in your life which might be the result of being overweight, and unhappy with your physical appearance.

So what are we dealing with here? What is the root cause of the relationship issues? Are they physical, or purely relational?

In my experience, we have to make adjustments to all of the 4 Principles of Relationship Success. The problems come when we take on a fragmented approach to mending our relationship, and we wonder why we end up with fragmented results i.e. contempt, bitterness, shut down, withdrawal, and a messy divorce.

So how do you improve your physical health?

Physical health is usually the first port of call for lots of my clients. Men can relate to this principle easily, and the results come thick and fast.

Here are the key areas of a client’s life we address:

  • Breathing
  • Hydration
  • Nutrition
  • Movement
  • Sleep and Rest

Once men make improvements to their nutrition and lifestyle, they immediately begin to see the benefits in their mind, and emotions. Physical health really is at the foundation of mental and emotional health, which in turn is the foundation for a loving, dynamic, and sustainable relationship.

Part 3 of this blog is coming soon where we look at the second principle of relational success – The Mind and Emotions

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