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Maintaining Relationships by Adam Hollioake by Adam Hollioake

I never thought I would ever write a piece on how to improve your marriage. I always thought that topic belonged to middle aged women who had nothing better to do than write about the only thing in their life, their man. So here I am, Mr Macho, Mr I never show my emotions, Mr Putting the bin out is a man’s job! Writing an article on how to maintain your marriage. Of course most self help and counseling topics can be adapted to cover a number of subjects and my reasoning has come from managing fragile relationships and personalities within a changing room. This doesn't just have to be only for married couples but can be for any type of relationship.
Firstly why am I (Adam Hollioake)writing this? Well truth be known, me and my wife had a rare argument the other night. That is actually very unusual for us as we normally only have them about once a year I would say. When we first met we would have them far more often. So why the one the other night? Was it the subject? No, same subject as always! Was it the fact that either of us had done something so terrible that it warranted a slanging match? No, wasn’t a massive problem. So why?
Well the truth be known I didn’t work it out til the next day.
I was actually away in a hotel room by myself (I hadn’t been kicked out! I was away on business before any smart comments come in!  ;-)) and had time to analyze all the big arguments I had been involved in throughout my life, after thinking about it for several hours I came to a couple of conclusions.
1.     You argue about the way you are arguing
2.     There are rules that need to be put in place to govern the way you argue, these cant be worked on whilst you are arguing, they ned to be in place before hand.
3.     You are on the same team, you should be working together to sort the problem, not trying to win mini battles against one another which only take you further away from the goal of the argument.
4.     Escalating
I firmly believe that although this article was inspired from trying to resolve the argument with my wife, I seriously feel that the same principal can be applied to any relationship, be it friendship, business or team.  I also think that if you take the short time it takes to invest in your relationship, you will be repaid 1000 times in your life.
I look at relationships as long term investments, I try not to get involved in short term, in and out deals. Therefore I value these relationships. If you truly value these relationships then you need to do the ground work. You wouldn’t try and make a career in architecture without first investing in a university degree. You wouldn’t try and carve out a career in farming without investing time and knowledge in how to be a farmer. So why when relationships play a part in every aspect of our life do we not invest anything into our relationships?
Come on please take time to sit down with your partner and make your fighting rules. If you don’t do it you are not being realistic, of course you will fight! So what are the rules of the fight? You can watch 2 guys punch one another in a fight and the only time they get angry is if they think the other person has broken the laws of the fight. For example disrespecting one another leading up to the fight, or low blows etc.
I know our argument was so heated because I felt my wife was not playing by the rules, she started making sarcastic comments, a thing that I consider unfair! That in turn led me to start breaking laws to counter act her breaking of the laws, before we knew it we had spiralled to a different level and we needed to remind one another what the original argument was about!
It may be your rules include things such as not bringing up past mistakes that were supposed to have been forgiven. It may be that sarcasm is a banned tone. Or possibly it is simply a respect thing, by butting in and not letting the other person have their turn to speak. All arguments can be resolved so much better if you allow one another a turn to speak, there is nothing more frustrating than feeling like you are not being listened to.
One thing that really helps is to admit mistakes as you go along. If I am accused of being stubborn and rude. I may something like, yes I agree I am stubborn, but I am curious to hear that you find me rude. By conceding something that you know to be true you are saying I am not arguing without being prepared to admit my faults.
Remember you are a team, you are arguing cos you both care. We don’t argue with people we don’t care about, whats the point in arguing if you have no interest in a future with that person. It is important to remind the person throughout the argument that you do care (that’s why you are arguing) You are listening (acknowledge that you are listening throughout the disagreement)

Out of interest Adam Hollioake rules are:-

1.     Allow one another to speak, by not butting in
2.     Don’t raise your voice. The words are the same if you say them loud or at normal volume.
3.     Acknowledge we are listening to one another
4.     Don’t bring up past arguments to try to win the present argument. That argument is resolved (or should have been)
5.     If it isn't the correct time or place to have that argument, I acknowledge that I understand that the matter needs to be resolved and specify a time to talk thru the problem.
6.     Always remind one another that we are working together to solve these problems
It helps obviously that I have a very level headed and intelligent wife, however I don’t think these rules if put in place before hand are very difficult and anyone if they are prepared to make the effort can abide by them, after all you are the law makers, lawyers and judge of your own relationships.
Good luck and remember life is for fun and arguing will happen, just try to keep it to a minimum

Love you all

Adam Hollioake xx       



Adam Hollioake with the 1999 County Championship Trophy


[caption id="attachment_142" align="alignleft" width="160" caption="Adam Hollioake"][/caption]



Adam Hollioake with the 1999 County Championship Trophy

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