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  • Matthew Frank
    Matthew Frank

    Unlock Your Strengths: Leaves of Change in Your Relationship Health

    Identifying and harnessing personal strengths have been proven to have a significant impact on the success of our relationships. This new insight can help us to understand how developing strengths that are specific to coping with difficult relationship situations can benefit individuals and couples alike. Through this understanding, we can come to appreciate how committing ourselves to increasing each partner's individual strengths can help strengthen a relationship in its entirety.

    The ever-growing research into relationship fulfillment has revealed that there are six key individual strengths needed for successful relationships. These six strengths are self-regulation, communication, empathy, confidence, flexibility, and resilience – each of which offer unique advantages when challenging situations arise. Having a strong grasp of these skills will lead to a greater ability to handle difficult differences and disagreements that all couples face at times.

    Those who advocate strength-based approaches to developing relationships typically advocate that couples should start by investing in themselves. This means focusing on identifying areas of individual strength in order to effectively build a sound foundation. Our individual strengths can then be used together by both partners to proactively meet the challenges ahead and ultimately create a healthier and more stable relationship. For instance, if a couple is having troubles in the area of communication, one partner can use their empathic nature to unlock the potential of the other partner's communication strengths in order to better work through the issues at hand.

    One way of implementing a strength-based approach is through a couples’ intervention. The primary purpose of couples’ intervention is to empower each partner, so that they can work together to identify and leverage their individual strengths. In a couples’ intervention session, one partner explores the negative patterns present in the relationship, while the other focuses on discovering the strengths present in both individuals in the relationship. Having a positive approach to relationship issues encourages both partners to contribute areas of strength, instead of faultfinding and blaming their partner.

    When done properly, a couples’ intervention can help reveal those areas where couples need to showcase more of their personal strengths to enhance a relationship. It may allow for heightened self-awareness and an improved understanding of how being open to growth, change and learning can influence the success of a relationship. Moreover, it allows for a space where each partner can learn from and support each other as individuals both within, and outside of the relationship — an important element for achieving longevity and satisfaction.

    Embracing and unlocking our individual strengths can help both individuals, and couples alike, develop a healthier relationship dynamic. Having an awareness of each partner’s personal strengths and actively applying them to the relationship can be the keystone for long-lasting success. Empowering individuals and couples to use the strength of collective understanding and appreciation has the potential to revitalize any relationship and open up the leaves of change needed for a fulfilling life together.

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