The Relationship Ferris Wheel: Part 4

This is the first part of a five-part series designed to help you build the intimate relationship you’ve always wanted. Though the process is primarily used in-person by a graphic facilitator, you can use the series and the accompanying handout to do it yourself, following along with the posts. It was developed by Martin Haussmann, one of the founding members of the Kommunikationslotsen consultancy, a German firm that created the bikablo technique.

That’s quite a story you’ve concocted for those people in that image at the center of your diagram. Think of how much work they did! Can you believe they made it through all the external forces that life threw at them? Recession, family, job, personal health…not to mention all the ways we self-sabotage relationships.

They overcame miscommunication. They managed their expectations. They took the leaps of faith – and yes, there’s always more than one – that were necessary to trust enough to reach that state of intimacy.

And you can see the work they did.

You’ve documented their journey with all the steps that form the spokes of this Ferris wheel. You’ve seen everything they did, every step of the way. Journaling. Counseling. Date night. Personal time. Check-ins. Supportive friendships. Whatever it took, as you look at the spokes of the ferris wheel, the steps get more and more clear…until really, they don’t seem very difficult at all.

Sure, “Develop a daily journaling habit can seem complicated at first. But really, it breaks down into three simple steps:

  1. Get a journal & pen.
  2. Prioritize a time during the day where they are accessible.
  3. Write something.

In fact, most of the tasks are harder mentally than physically. “Go to couples counseling can seem as simple as “Find a counselor, make the time, go to the session” but in reality there may be some more difficult steps involved:

  1. Internalize that counseling is not fixing what’s wrong, it’s more getting coaching so we can be even better.
  2. Run the risk of telling your partner you want this and perhaps having them feel that something’s wrong (see step 1)
  3. Trust the counselor when they say this is a safe space to express your feelings.
  4. Trust your partner that the things said in counseling will not be used against you in any way back at home…

Suddenly this whole counseling thing is a much bigger battle mentally than physically. And that’s fair! Grab some more sticky notes or write these things down on the diagram. Those people in the center did not get there easily; they did the work.

And Now It’s Your Turn.

We’ve been talking about “those people” in the center, who have reached the pinnacle of their intimate, trusting relationship, in the third person, because it’s always much easier to talk about and solve other people’s problems than your own.

Time to face reality: those people are you.

That relationship they have is the one you want. It’s also, now, one that you can have, because you know exactly how to get there.

The furthest parts of the ferris wheel are like a To-Do list; the next steps towards the best intimate relationship you can imagine are right there, laid out, one by one.

Get to it!

Next week we’ll tell you the Big Secret about this diagram and your relationship. It’s a doozy. But meanwhile, you have plenty to keep you busy for a while.

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