“Communication is to relationships what breath is to life” – Virginia Satir

A business plan for your marriage/relationship

Employee happiness matters more than you think. At least 66% of all first marriages end in divorce. More than 50% of couples in South Africa experience sexual problems some time or another and it remains one of the prominent reasons for marital and relationship problems. People that are happy at home are 80% more productive in the work environment (ICAS). It thus serves corporate companies well to ensure that their employees are able to sustain successful relationships. Happy workers will produce more and do their jobs better. Research has shown time and time again that people are more productive and creative when they have more positive emotions and a stable relationship.

Benefits of being happy at home

• Happy people work better with others
• Happy people are more creative
• Happy people fix problems instead of complaining about them
• Happy people have more energy.
• Happy people are more optimistic
• Happy people are way more motivated
• Happy people get sick less often
• Happy people learn faster
• Happy people worry less about making mistakes – and consequently make fewer mistakes
• Happy people make better decisions

The question remains then: How do we maintain a healthy, stable relationship balanced with the demands of business and a career?

Go back to the basics
Talk, talk and talk some more. Spend quality time together. Have fun and laugh together. Relax and enjoy being together in the moment.

Check in daily
Marriage experts recommend couples do something that big business has employed for decades to keep workers happy, productive, and in the loop: hold regular team meetings. One version of the daily check-in helps couples keep communication flowing freely with an agenda.

• Start by appreciating something about each other.
• Offer up some new information from your day.
• Ask your spouse about something that has bothered or puzzled you (or something about yourself).
• Make a nonjudgmental, complaint-free request (“Please fold the towels when you do the laundry. I couldn’t find any this morning after my shower.”).
• And end with a hope that could be small (“I hope we can go see that new movie Friday night”) or lavish (“I’d love to retire at age 50 and sail the Mediterranean with you.”).
• Look for the positive in each other
• Develop a sense of humor;
• Give honest, specific praise—describe what you appreciate about your spouse

Cheer each other on
Encouraging your partner is one of the most important things you can do for your relationship. If we don’t, who will? Our partners need our encouragement.

Schedule time for your marriage/relationship first
Don’t relegate your relationship to scraps of leftover time. In mapping out your schedule for the next several weeks, why not start with writing in date times for you and your partner? Then add discretionary things like golf, shopping, and community volunteer activities. No time? Wonder why? Do a calendar review. You’re overcommitted if friends, visits with your parents and extended family, hobbies, clocking overtime hours on the job, or volunteer and community commitments have crowded out the three kinds of time you need with your beloved: casual catching-up, scheduled dates, and intimate encounters. Same goes if your evenings are TV marathons or Internet extravaganzas. Unless you’re willing to make your relationship a higher priority than other relationships and activities, you won’t have a growing marriage.

Disconnect from the 24/7 office
Heavy use of cell phones and devices can mute your happiness and dial up stress in your home. Technology is really blurring the lines between home and work. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It may give you more flexibility. But your boss doesn’t tend to call you with the good news—you don’t hear that you’ve done a great job on the project; you do hear that suddenly there’s a deadline crisis. Setting limits could lift on-call stress: Check e-mail once in the evening. If a call’s not urgent, muster the courage to say, “I’ll look into it first thing in the morning.” And simply turn off your cell phone or laptop at a certain time in the evening. It is all about boundaries.

Have sex regularly and connect emotionally and physically
Again have fun and enjoy each other. Be creative. At the very beginning of a relationship, when love-making is new and exciting, most couples can’t have too much sex. As time goes by, however, it can become mechanical and so routine that it verges on becoming boring. Here are some simple things which might ease the problem. First of all, is sex something that is confined to the bedroom and only performed at night? If so, try making love at different times of the day and in different places. This might be in another room, or while you’re having a shower, for instance. Equally you might find an appropriate place outside – perhaps the garden or a secluded beach. Try different positions from time to time, take your time, sometimes a quickie and even some role play. Remember your brain is your most important sexual organ: fantasize!

Sexual dysfunction and stress go hand in hand. If you struggle with lack of desire disorder, just not enjoying sex or vaginal dryness have your hormones tested. A low testosterone level could cause this. Similarly men should have their testosterone level tested if they have a lack of sex drive or difficulty in maintaining an erection. Don’t keep quiet about sexual problems. Ask your doctor or see a sexologist. There is help.

If you find it difficult to reconnect with your partner emotionally or experience relationship difficulties consider counseling. It has been proven successful if both parties are motivated and willing. Don’t wait until it is too late, the earlier you go for counseling the better your chances are to resolve things.

Remember being a happy contented human being is not only good for you and the people you lovey, but also for your career and company. Happiness breeds happiness.

Elmari specialises in the following:
  • Sexology
  • Individual Psychotherapy
  • Clinical Hypnotherapy
  • Sex therapy
  • Couples Therapy
  • Relationship/Marital Enrichment
  • Pre-marital Counselling
  • Conflict Resolution and Effective Communication Skills
  • Divorce Counselling
  • Trauma Counselling

The diagnoses and treatment of male and female sexual dysfunction, eg
  • Loss of sexual desire
  • Libido differences
  • Sexual Pain Disorders:
    Vulvadinia ext
  • Inability to reach orgasm
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Ejaculation control and timing
  • Sexual behaviour disorders
  • General Sexual Problems
  • Sexual Enrichment