Painters and Hikers are Better at Relationships

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Painters and hikers are better able to handle challenges in relationships than cleaners and day-trippers, claims Julia Sullivan in her book 'Let’s Get This Straight, 7 Staggeringly Simple Questions That Create Happiness In Relationships' (Rethink Press).

Author and Relationship Expert, Julia Sullivan (photo by Yvette Wolterinck)

Many couples are facing increasing pressures, including financial worries, job uncertainty, the conflicting demands of work and family. The tragedy is that these are exactly the times when all of us could do with a bit more tender loving care.

Drawing on her 13 years as a personal development trainer and relationship therapist, Sullivan's message is straightforward: stop trying to understand the cause of your relationships difficulties, change how you mentally engage with your relationship, and many of your problems will disappear.

“Many of us get so caught up trying to understand and solve our problems that we forget to get on with the business of living,” she explains. “We are like painters who spend so much time cleaning our canvases that we forget to start painting.” There is a strong culture of wanting to understand why things don’t work,” she adds, “but with relationship problems it can be destructive because it reinforces existing stories.”

“We could do well to learn from hiking,” Julia continues. “What hikers love about walking trips is the way they challenge you to engage. Beautiful countryside becomes more beautiful when you walk through it, barren landscapes become interesting. Landscapes we would consider ugly if we visited them as a day tripper take on meaning because they are part of our walk, and steep climbs challenge us to tap into our strength and resourcefulness.”

The problem with many relationships is day-tripper mentality, she argues. As long as we like how the relationship is going all is well, but when it ceases to please we get disappointed and give up. If we started engaging with relationships like hikers, we would find that challenges in our relationships are great opportunities to discover qualities we didn’t know we had.

Sullivan points to signs that increasing marriages are under strain. “Many couples are facing increasing pressures, including financial worries, job uncertainty, the conflicting demands of work and family. The challenges people face are very real, and emotions can start to run high. The tragedy is that these are exactly the times when all of us could do with a bit more tender loving care. Most of us haven’t ever been taught how to master our thinking in challenging circumstances so that we nurture our relationships rather than destroy them. If people aren’t equipped to weather the strains and stresses families are subject to, it doesn’t bode well for the future. “

Let’s Get This Straight promotes the human capacity to create and work with a sense of purpose as “the most powerful and life-changing faculty we forgot we have.” It gives readers easy-to-follow instructions on how to work with their thinking and a daily, 7 question workout which supports readers to keep their thinking fit and capable of reacting effectively to daily life. The result? More adaptability, effectiveness and self-respect: better, happier and longer-lasting relationships.

Let’s Get This Straight (ISBN 1781330581) is available on Amazon in paperback and kindle format.

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NOTES
UK

  • Domestic violence has increased by 17% over the period of the recession.
  • In 2011, 2,174 assaults were reported each day in England and Wales - or three every two minutes.

(Source: National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV))

  • More than one in four women (28%) and around one in six men (16%) have experienced domestic abuse since the age of 16

(Source: Home Office and British Crime Survey 2008-9)

US

  • 41% of first marriages end in divorce.
  • 73% of third marriages end in divorce.
  • Half of all American children will witness the breakup of a parent’s marriage.

(Source: US Census Bureau, 2012)

Rethink Press Ltd, http://www.rethinkpress.com, is an independent publisher based in Norfolk, which started publishing unique fiction and niche titles in 2012. The Managing Editor is Lucy McCarraher, herself a published author of fiction and non-fiction books. Her self-help book, The Real Secret, written with social psychologist Annabel Shaw, was published by Bookshaker.

To receive a review copy of Let’s Get This Straight or to speak to Julia Sullivan, please contact Lucy McCarraher or contact Julia direct.

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