With a name like Relationship Insurance, it is easy for people to wonder what exactly we are about. Do we provide insurance to secure people against the pain and financial loss of failed relationships? Sort of. Are we an investment firm that can take something highly valuable that you already have and help you grow it into something more? Absolutely. Big difference here is what is the value that we are protecting and increasing? It is something even more important than your money; it is your relationship. It is love. It is what the vast majority of people from every corner of the world want more of, dream of, and on their deathbeds hold onto until the last breath. It is what gives a deeper meaning to life.
Over and over again there have been incredibly wealthy people who continue to suffer from depression, anxiety and stress over not having the one thing most important to happiness; true loving human connection. As the Beatles song reminds us “(money) can’t buy me love”. Yet, love is often something that many people expect to just “have”, while they are willing to work extremely hard and devote the majority of their waking hours in pursuit of money or status instead.
Odd decision makers, we humans. It is easy to lose sight of what matters most and spend our lives in pursuit of ultimate emptiness.
For you lucky dog owners out there, here is a question to ponder: Who is generally happier, you or your dog? Is your dog in pursuit of money or love? Does your dog invest time and energy selflessly to love before anything else? Does your dog give love as if it will never run out? I am guessing your dog is like most other dogs and love is what your dog does best (then eat, play, sleep). Even when you come home late and your dog is hungry, love is what they are looking for first and then their meal. Dogs are good at this love thing. They have it on the top of their priority list every day. Human lives are more complex. Love is still our most treasured value, yet we habitually pay more attention and energy on less important things.
What are you willing to invest in order to grow and nurture a strong, fulfilling love relationship? Time? Energy? Selflessness? Vulnerability? Money? Many times when we think about our relationships, we forget that not only are they our greatest asset, but that in order to grow them, they require our investment. Let’s look at that more closely and take them back to basics:
Invest: to use, give or devote (time, talent, money, etc) for a purpose or to achieve something.
When it comes to investing our time and talent, we do so in our careers without question. It takes time to build a strong career, to earn your way to the top, right? Careers can be fulfilling in helping us grow and feel successful, smart, accomplished. Careers, however, can not give us the care, understanding and connection that love can. Nobody on their deathbed ever said “I wish I had worked harder”.
The career/work goal often starts with an investment in education. Education takes time and money and dedication. Internships are often done without pay but are expected to create experience and produce a significant return upon their completion. Education is a significant investment without a guarantee of return, but without it, our options and opportunities for greatness are limited. Would you go to a doctor who had not been willing to invest their time, energy, money in proper training and experience prior to diagnosing you? Me neither. Want to be an expert? You get there by investing.
When it comes to investing our money, we do so with great care. We may even hire a financial planner to help us make great decisions (highly recommended) and to try to grow our money faster and to protect ourselves from our own lack of knowledge. We are willing to invest money in order to grow our portfolio and create a more financially stable future. We know that if we spend more than we make, we end up with debt and stress and less stability. We are willing to invest our time, talent, resources, and more in order to obtain money. Money affords us choices, but it doesn’t bring us ultimate happiness. Money can buy you physical comfort, but it lacks in emotional connection and understanding.
When it comes to investing in our health, many people fall into the same trap as relationships. Being used to the resiliency of youth (if we are lucky enough to start out with great health, it is easy to take it for granted), we begin to age and many people half-heartedly pay attention to the quality of food they eat, the amount of sleep they get, the overall environment they live in – until something drastic happens. A heart attack, a diabetes diagnosis, a cancer found. Health becomes the priority and it becomes a matter of recovery and regaining lost ground. Money becomes secondary. Relationships rise in importance. Our priorities are realigned. We no longer see health as a “given”. We learn to invest in it.
When it comes to our relationships, many of us have gotten the wrong message. We leave it up to chance. We find someone, commit to each other and then go back to the business of making money and climbing the career ladder and put off investing in our relationships to another time. Many of us don’t think to make a true investment in our relationship through counseling until damage has already been done. Relationships are our most valued life asset, yet we place them on the back burner and do not put our time, talent and money into them until they are damaged, sometimes beyond repair.
After many years as a divorce recovery therapist, I started to really struggle with frustration at watching people suffer and watching battered and bruised love die because it wasn’t given proper attention early enough. Even good relationships are hard sometimes, yet few people make their union their top priority by purposefully seeking expert advice, challenging themselves and each other to take down barriers and connect deeper, giving themselves completely to their commitment and promise and then being in that amazing, completely life changing connection together that simply doesn’t happen on its own.
Relationship help is not a luxury expense. It is a wise investment that is at the base of all your life success and trumps all other investments. If you and your partner believe in working hard to succeed at work, you believe in the value of education and learning in order to continue to grow and being smart with your money in order to build a secure future full of choices; then why would you risk it all on not making the depth, strength and connection in your relationship your first priority and the foundation to build the rest upon? Break-ups and divorces are much much more expensive on every level. Sharing your life with a loving, connected partner amplifies your emotional experience of success! Living a mediocre emotional life dulls the shine of a great financial portfolio or promotion celebration.
Is actively investing in your relationship a luxury or an incredibly savvy, smart, successful move? That depends on what you hope to achieve. Investing is always about achieving a purpose or goal to end up with more than you started with (and perhaps even more than you dreamed of). What is your relationship worth to you? How strong do you want it to be? How much do you hope it will grow? How long do you want it to last? Are you willing to settle for “good enough” or are you determined and willing to have greatness instead?