Real Family Connections Blog - Building Closer Relationships

Time Heals All Wounds-And Other Lies We Would Like to Believe

You’ve heard the phrase “Time heals all wounds” before, am I right? What a bunch of BS! From my experience, it can go either way...but time in my opinion isn’t the key ingredient of relationship healing.

Take this scenario: Someone close to you hurts you in a very evil way when you are younger. Now, you’re older...and time has passed. How are you fealing about things now? You might not think about it every second of every day anymore, but if you were to encounter this person again, would you be neutral to happy to see the person? Or would all those feelings of rage, anger, and betrayal come flooding back? That’s not healing.

The Most Important Relationship Habit In The World

The Most Important Relationship Habit In The World

It has been said that for a behavior to become a habit, it must be done anywhere from 7 to 21 days in a row. While this theory sounds good, I think it complicates the central issue, especially when it comes to relationships.

What I mean is this. In my experience, a habit is formed immediately once a true commitment has been made; not after 7-21 days. It's in the precise moment that one decides to make a change, that change is made. Note, I didn't say when one states a hope or desire to change...but when an actual decision has been made.

Let's talk about this in terms of something really simple, and then let's extend this new concept to our relationships.

Focus on the ONE Thing That Matters Most

Focus on the ONE Thing That Matters Most

I started reading a book called "The ONE Thing" by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. It references the movie from 1991 called City Slickers, where the old gruff character named Curly suggests the key to life is to find the ONE thing.

But, it got me thinking about what's MY one thing...and maybe what should YOUR one thing be. This is incredibly important, because life is short and there are seemingly endless things we could be focused on. The book (and our personal lives) makes it pretty clear that we all struggle in this area. Instead of gaining traction in the most important areas of our lives, we end up running on a treadmill like a rat in a cage. Can you relate?

Why You Should DEFINITELY Keep Score in a Relationship!

Why You Should DEFINITELY Keep Score in a Relationship!

I think we have all heard the wisdom that we should NOT keep score in a relationship. When you are in a tit-for-tat relationship and counting each other's "contribution" to the marriage or relationship, it's easy to get discouraged, frustrated, bitter, angry, resentful, etc. That's because it's impossible to always have a balance of give and take. Now, my contrarian suggestion it to absolutely keep score. Here is what I mean...

One Simple Question to Improve Relationships

One Simple Question to Improve Relationships
There are a ton of great questions you can ask in a relationship to get someone talking, sharing, and connecting with you. In fact, we've compiled a list of great relationship questions. However, let's say you were limited on time and only had a chance to ask one question. What's the one question you could ask to guarantee you improve your relationship? This is going to sound simple (maybe too simple?), but it works. Simply ask...

The Strangest Relationship Tip You've Never Heard Of

The Strangest Relationship Tip You've Never Heard Of

This relationship tip is going to come out of left field...hope you enjoy it. So, I wear a Garmin sports watch on my left wrist...and I wear it every second of every day. It counts steps, miles run, bike rides, swims, etc. About once a week I am forced to take it off to charge. I know...I'm a nut. I take my fitness as seriously as I take my relationships. My wife would say I spend a little too much time focused on fitness. Guilty! Anyway, on with the story...

To Connect-Ask What's on Their Agenda

To Connect-Ask What's on Their Agenda
To connect, ask what's on THEIR agenda. It's a great tip on how to connect in your relationship, by getting out of your own skin and engaging in the world of another person.

From Kids: What Can Parents Do To Connect? Part 3 of 3

From Kids: What Can Parents Do To Connect? Part 3 of 3

I asked my kids the other day, "What can parents do to connect with kids?" I have three kids, so I got three pretty different answers. This is part 3 of 3. One of my daughters said, "Show your child that you trust them, give them responsibility, and loosen the reigns, and they will feel more connected to you and start to open up more."

Ok, now obviously this is from my 15 year old daughter that is eager to grow into a young adult and is desperately seeking to answer the question "Am I an adult yet?" I think we can take some of that advice at face value...and just accept that reality and realistic desire. But I also think this advice needs some unpacking and exploring. [Read More]

From Kids: What Can Parents Do To Connect? Part 2 of 3

From Kids: What Can Parents Do To Connect? Part 2 of 3
I asked my kids the other day, "What can parents do to connect with kids?" I have three kids, so I got three pretty different answers. This is part 2 of 3.

One of my daughters said, "How about playing games that are about the person...to see how well you know them and learn more about them?" I think that is a pretty awesome idea! You combine a fun game with learning more about folks in your family? What could be better?

Now, this blog is all about practical, actionable relationship advice. So...[Read More]

From Kids: What Can Parents Do To Connect? Part 1 of 3

From Kids: What Can Parents Do To Connect? Part 1 of 3

I asked my kids the other day, "What can parents do to connect with kids?" I have three kids, so I got three pretty different answers. Now, before I get to their answers I want to share one big concept that might not be completely obvious. One technique I use to connect with my family is to simply ask my kids relevant, thought-provoking questions, such as "What can parents do to connect with kids?" In other words, show a sincere interest in them and their opinions. Why is that important? Well...[Read More]

Building Closer Relationships Starts Now

happy connected family building closer relationships

Is there anything more important than our relationships? Nope! So, why do we neglect them or allow them to die on the vine? I can tell you for me it's just laziness. I take them for granted because I think, hope, and believe they'll just always be there. The problem is that isn't true. Just look around at the broken homes and families and it's plain to see that relationships die if we don't work on them. So, NOW is the time to start building closer relationships. Here are the 5 steps to building closer relationships...[Read More]