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a rriage has its challenges, which
is obviou s to anyone who look s
at our divorce rates . But recent
research released by Deakin
University sugge sts it may well be worth
hanging in there and trying to make it work.
The rese arch, c a rried out for the
Australian Unity Wellbeing Index, involved
a study by the university’s Austra lian Centre
on Quality of Life, which measured the
happiness of 2000 people on a scale of 0-100 .
The discussion in media reports about
the study focused on the finding that the least
happy time of people’s married lives was the
first year. The findings also suggested married
people were happier than people who were
single, de fa cto, divorc ed, separated or widowed .
Father of six and life and
business coach Brett Jones
shares his views on how
to succeed in our primary
What most interested me was that one
of the peak times of happiness in marriage,
acc ording to the respondents, wa s when
their marriages hit the 40 year mark. Sadly,
a lot of us don’t last long enough to find that
out. My wife and I are almost half way there.
This is not the first piece of research that
has linked marriage and happiness – there
have even been links bet ween being married
and living longer. But despite the stat s
seemingly coming out in support of marriage,
so many people do not put in the effort
required to truly sust ain their relationship.
Most people do not spend the time
mastering their rel ationship that they might
spend trying to stay fit, paying attention
to their health, training for profe ssiona l
gain, bala ncing the budget or keeping the
Why do we place so little value on
something that has the capacity to bring us
so much joy?
I have worked with hundreds of c ouples
over more than a decade and what I see time
and time again is that most people are stuck
in behavioural pattern s that undermine their
I believe that even the most damaged
relationship can be re vived by simply
u nderstanding and transforming these
patterns, many of them inherited from our
parents, role models and our culture.
Whether your pattern is that of a needy
bottomless pit, a fi ling cabinet who ne ver
forgives or forgets anything, a pa s sive
ostrich who lacks the courage to fac e
the truth, or simply someone stuck in their
c omfort zone, it’s important to clearly see,
u nderstand and grasp what is holding
you back from being the best you can be in
your relation ship.
Success in any relationship is like success
in any other a spect of your life. You must
understand the rules of the game and the
principles for winning.
Then, you need to implement both of
these things correctly and with commitment.
After all, you don’t get buff by going to the
gym just once – it takes training and so does
a happy, l a sting relationship.
My wife of 19 years, Marie, is equally
as committed as I am to making our
relationship be at its peak and we are very
happy to say that despite things not coming
e a sily, we a re absolutely committed to each
other. We have been through much together,
spending three years together on a boat,
being a blended family, running a business
together and enduring 14 IVF attempts
before having our two children together.
Too many people experience relationships
at 50% of the joy and happiness that they
can bring us. It’s time for that to change and
for more c ouples to really experience the true
joy of being open hearted, transparent and
honest with each other.
In my experienc e, in my work with
c ouples and in inter vie ws with people
who’ve be en in long-term relation ships of
30, 40 and 50 or more years, I’ve come to
understand that rea l commitment is the
number one rea son why relationships l a st –
not keeping the back door open and hoping
that things work the way we want them to. If
they don’t, then you are out of there.
I’m not talking about ha nging in there
where there is abu se – obviously some
behaviours are completely unacceptable.
I’m ta lking about a c ommitment to
making your relationship work, to forgive
and move on, to find the best in your partner
instead of looking at the negatives.
The number one re a son people are not
succ es sf ul in their relation ships is their
inability to control their emotiona l states.
This is something we should all be learning
at school bec aus e understa nding and mastery
of our emotions is absolutely the de cider of
succ es s, particularly in a relation ship.
A lot of this is also tied to the differences
between masculine and feminine states a nd
the communication problems that arise
when that dyna mic is not right. When a
man is in his feminine and a woman is in
her ma sculine, the reversa ls don’t work. To
have pa ssion is like a battery – you must have
polarity to have c urrent flow.
A happy marriage comes as much from
making a decision as it does from making
a vow. If we can succeed in our primary
relationship, then e verything el se follows .
That is surely worth the effort.
10 © noVa FEbruary 2013
‘So many people do not put
in the effort required to truly
sustain their relationship.’
‘The number one reason
people are not successful
in their relationships is their
inability to control their
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