HeadlinersMarriage & CouplehoodRelationship Challenges

No Pain, No Gain

Every morning around 5:30AM, I wake up to endure an intense cardio work-out. For 30 minutes, I push myself through several reps of strategic moves that target specific areas of my body. During the workout, I find myself wanting to quit—and quite frequently to be honest. Each set requires concentration, determination, and a spirit of perseverance. It’s not until I continue to motivate myself saying, “You can do it”, “it’s almost over!” that I begin to visualize the byproduct—the desired results. It’s strange, but I was quickly reminded of how our relationships need customized workouts, too.

Most people work-out to get “in-shape.” Ironically, the same approach should be taken with the “problem areas” in your relationship. It all begins with recognizing the dilemma. One goal that most couples struggle with is the financial crunches. Money challenges will cause great discomfort within any relationship. In my marriage, eliminating the excessive weight of debt was the goal of our work-out. After we discovered this, we immediately developed a plan of action. Our plan included trimming our personal bills—one at a time. We started by targeting the debt with the lesser balance (contrary to what some expert financial trainers believe) and doubling the monthly payment. In addition, we had weekly meetings to assess the progress that was made. We developed a strategy that would not only cut the fat from our finances, but create a leaner, more attractive budget. Through the weekly reps of meetings, we kept the end result in mind. When the spirit of defeat tried to enter, positive affirmations of “we can do this” encouraged us to endure the training and helped us to keep our eyes on the prize. Lastly, we stuck to our plan. We had to be dedicated to the work-out routine of shrinking the undesired debt. Before I knew it, our finances were more tone than ever before.

Although exhausting at times, we had to push through the unpleasant feeling of being stretched outside of our comfort zone. Stretching allowed us to grow and become more flexible. As far as the morning work-outs were concerned, my cool down or stretching period began to get easier, too. My muscles were no longer resisting, and my moaning became a sigh of relief instead of a cry from extreme soreness. Now when I finish my morning work-outs, I feel rejuvenated, refreshed and renewed. Likewise, by doing the necessary exercises in your relationship, you will be pushed to where want to be—a healthier and more balanced state.

Regardless if you’re dating or married, when relationships get strenuous, it’s easy to throw in the towel. But it’s those who sustain the painful and at times demanding regime that allow you to reap the benefits of a well-conditioned relationship. The more you work-out, the more fit you will be. If you approach the atrophy muscle in your relationship in the same manner, you will yield the desired results.

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Lakia Brandenburg

Lakia Brandenburg

Lakia is an accomplished writer and educator with a heart for love and relationships. She's written for Gospel Today and has freelanced for top national magazines such as Upscale. Creating a happily ever after story to be your reality.