The idea that relationships should be easy is a crazy idea that I am convinced was made up by some Hollywood producer to help the movies sell. The reality is that relationships are hard work and there’s no way to get around it. They can be the biggest joy in your life one day and a thorn in your side the next; and that’s normal!

All relationships have their ups and downs. What is important is how you manage these, not whether or not you have them. Couples have to learn to not only nourish their relationships when they are going well, but to heal them when they falter. To do one without the other is to miss half the recipe. Anything with only half the ingredients is doomed to failure.

Nourishing healthy relationships requires time, commitment, dedication and hard work. They do not just happen. Couples need to learn to make their relationship a priority, just as they do their job, their children or their taxes. Healthy relationships, just like children, require love, nurturing, guidance and limits and to have a relationship without one of these four necessary ingredients can wreak havoc not only in the life of a child, but in the life of your relationship as well.

Challenge: For the next week make a conscious effort to make your relationship a priority. Nurture it, pay attention to it and, if necessary, take special time to heal it (apologize, own your part, get help if needed).

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