Oct
27
2013

Integral Relationships…. And What I’ve Been Up To

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve posted on this website and some of you are probably wondering what I’ve been up to. I’ve only been consulting one day a week for the last couple of months and my hiatus from the busy consulting life has taken me in all sorts of directions.

Staring at the SunOne of the biggest things happening is I’m getting married. This is following being together with my partner Candice for almost three years.

One of the major supporters I’ve had in the journey with Candice to this point has been a guy called Martin Ucik,  who has written a book called “Integral Relationships:  A Manual For Men”. Martin lives in Santa Rosa, California but travels around the world sharing his unique model of relationships.

Let’s face it: having a great relationship can make your life a whole lot more wonderful and having a dysfunctional one can make your life a misery. But further to this, Martin has explained how a relationship if approached properly, and with compatibility in terms of your stages of development, can be a powerful tool to personal growth.

What Martin has done is put together a pretty amazing compilation of some of the best models out there of relationship success. Some of the useful pieces of info he brought together for us included:

  • Each person seems to have a unique attachment style (anxious, avoidant or secure). Understanding your and your partner’s attachment style can greatly help some of the common traps around the amount of time you spend together and the different needs for freedom each partner can have. This book covers the concept in very scientific but accessible depth. Basically this info helped us to realise that we had a particular attachment style dynamic and by both of us recognising our unique approach and moving closer to a secure attachment style we were much less likely to run into issues and as a result we experienced a much greater level or relational harmony.
  • Effective communication is a big key to an effective relationship. One model of communication developed by Marshall Rosenberg called Non-Violent Communication (NVC) can greatly help communication to be a heart-felt expression of feelings and needs rather than of judgements and interpretations. A deeper point made by Martin Uick is that ultimately one has to overcome one’s shadow material, meaning the suppressed parts of one’s personality which are not integrated. However despite this NVC can be an extremely useful tool on the way to doing this deeper emotional work. Rosenberg’s seminal book on this communication model can be found here.

 

Another useful concept we have integrated into our relationship is that of Love Languages. This recognizes that each person has a unique love language (whether this be acts of service, quality time, words of affirmation etc) that truly makes their heart sing. Getting to know your partner’s love language can greatly help you know how to offer your expressions of affection in the way it is best received. These concepts were first introduced to the world in the book “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. This information helped me to realize that by providing quality time to Candice every day she’ much more likely to have a full emotional bank account rather than one running on empty!

There is a heap more info in Martin Ucik’s book that is way more esoteric than what is explained above, but for brevity what I would say is that Martin has basically integrated some of the most relevant information from various wisdom traditions around the world to really put together a unified “map” of finding and sustaining a healthy relationship.

So we decided to invite Martin Down Under to run a weekend workshop in late November/early December. We chose Sydney simply because of accessibility to the largest community of people. This workshop is likely to be beneficial to anyone who is looking to enrich their relationship or is currently single and wants to explore criteria for a healthy evolutionary partnership.

Click here for details of the Integral Relationships Workshop in Sydney from November 29th to December 1st 2013.

Please comment below on what you have found has helped you the most in developing a healthy relationship…

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