In the exercise world, most of us have heard of exercising your core. Many people think of the core as just the abs but the core is really your entire trunk, the center of your body. It engages with every movement your body makes. The strength of your core relates directly to your overall body strength and ability.
When we talk about your relational core we are talking about your connectedness, your level of intimacy & friendship. In your body, your core is the muscle system that enables you to have balance and stability. In the same way, a strong relational core enables you to have balance, strength, and stability in your relationship.
Why is a strong relational core important? Without a strong core, everything is shallow and weak. There is no stability or stamina in your relationship. When your core is weak, it is much easier to give up rather than fight for your relationship. When your core is strong you are able to withstand challenges and difficulties and come through together on the other side.
How do you build a strong relational core? Since your relational core is related to your connectedness and intimacy we need to focus on those areas. There are 2 or 3 main ways we want to highlight.
DATE YOUR SPOUSE
We’re not just talking about going to a movie and not talking to each other. Deepening your friendship requires interaction so choose dates that promote talking, asking/answering questions about each other, retelling your courting days or even reenacting your first date. Be creative and willing to be open. This is how you will deepen your closest relationship. Check out the article, Dating Shouldn’t End, for some more ideas.
Another way to strengthen your relational core is to practice being present. What we mean by that is to be where your feet are meaning that your mind, body, and attention are all present in the same place. You work hard at curbing distractions like work or social media so you can focus your attention on the people you are with. Read Practice Presence for more details.
KNOW AND BE KNOWN
The third way we want to point out for building your relational core is possibly the most challenging. It is to Know and Be Known. This is all about deepening your friendship and intimacy. It is the opposite of a shallow relationship. To know and be known is to make yourself vulnerable and open to your partner. It is much more than just knowing some facts about one another. It is about being willing to share from your heart about your deepest fears and highest goals. If you can open yourself up to your spouse in this way, you will definitely be strengthening your relational core muscles.
If you are anxious to get started taking intentional massive action here are some workouts (relationship exercises) to get you going.
With a stronger core, your relationship will have more stability and stamina. You will be able to stand up to challenges and issues that come up over time. With a strong core, you and your partner will stand strong as you travel into the future together.
In our next several articles we will go into more detail about some specific intentional massive actions you can take to find success and fulfillment in your relationship.