Risk Services of Arkansas - May 2019

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The Necessity of Spring- Cleaning Our Relationships

Insight From All Pro Dad

I ’m on the mailing list for All Pro Dad, a website founded in part by Tony Dungy, former head coach of the Super Bowl- winning 2006 Indianapolis Colts. Every morning, I receive the “Play of the Day,” a small article that always comes with some advice for fathers and husbands on how to improve their lives and strengthen their relationships. A few weeks back, I received one of these blogs that really stuck with me. Titled “5 Ways to Spring- Clean Your Marriage,” its sentiments seemed like the perfect accompaniment to the spring-cleaning theme I’ve been talking about these past couple of months. Now, I’ll be the first to tell you I’m no expert on relationships. I’ve had more than my share of struggles with loved ones in the past, and I’m not about to pontificate any advice of my own on this subject. But I thought that what I found helpful in the article might be helpful to a few other busy folks out there, too. According to the author, there are five prime issues that lead to marriages falling apart: 1. lingering resentments that fester and poison loved ones against each other; 2. differing visions for the future of the partnership; 3. neglect; 4. unhealthy

the marriage, this isn’t always easy — there are times when I feel like I’m being punished for my wife’s ex-husband’s mistakes, and vice versa. But with this awareness in mind, we’ve always been able to work through it and try to focus on the here and now, together, rather than dwelling on the past. There are always going to be curveballs along the path, and we’ve definitely had a few along the way, but I can confidently say that Jennifer and I have always been on the same page. In the past couple of years, we’ve made a point to try to get away together at least once a quarter, to unwind and discuss issues just like the ones the author outlines in the blog. After all, a marriage is a lot like a business: If you hang a couple of lofty value statements on the wall but never talk about them again, they probably mean nothing. I think you have to follow up, keep the communication going, and continuously move forward, side by side. I feel like, especially with business people like us, it’s easy to get lost in the go-go-go mentality. I’ve certainly been in a place where I’ve won in business but lost in my relationships, and when that happens, I count it as ultimately just a loss. As everyone knows, marriage isn’t a cakewalk, and like I said, I’m no expert. But with a little intention and a healthy dose of practical insight, like this article from All Pro Dad, hopefully we can all strengthen the most important relationship in our lives.

friendships getting in the way; and 4. slippage in each individual’s definition of long-term happiness. Each of these, he argues, are things we should sit down and talk out with our spouses — and regularly. I was especially struck by the first two considerations: lingering resentments and different visions for the future. This is neither Jennifer’s nor my first marriage, and it came with a unique set of challenges, especially when blending our families together. We dated for three years before we decided to get married, and one of the first things we did was make sure that we were nailing down our collective goals for our families. What did we want the future to look like? While we certainly didn’t agree on every single detail, it was essential that we were on the same page from the start, especially when the kids became involved. Both of our ex-spouses have struggled to really be there for our children, and we knew from the start that in our relationship, we needed to put their needs first. We also had to ensure that, though we were both coming from previous marriages, we didn’t carry the lingering resentments of past relationships into our new life together. Even seven years into

There are always going to be curveballs along the path, and we definitely had a few along the way, but I can confidently say that Jennifer and I have always been on the same page.”

–Brad Johnson

President, Risk Services of AR Specialized Insurance Programs for Specialized Industries. • www.insurica.com • 1

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