In 2008, Hurricane Ike swept through Gilchrist, Texas destroying roughly 200 homes on the Gilchrist Peninsula. When homeowners returned to see what was left of their property they were devastated. Hurricane Ike flattened the peninsula making it unrecognizable. However, there was one couple, the Adams, who came back to a remarkable surprise. Out of the almost 200 homes that were destroyed theirs was the only one standing.

Many people may look at this situation and say it was an act of providence. While it may be, it wasn’t in the way most people would think. You see, 3 years earlier this couple had a home built in the same area that Hurricane Rita destroyed. They loved the beach so much that they decided to stay and build a home that stood a much better chance of withstanding a strong hurricane. Learning from their previous experience they invested an additional $115,000 for add-ons and improvements. To keep things in perspective the original cost to rebuild their home was $180,000. Even with this attention to detail, Ike’s storm surge still managed to get in. But their home remained intact.

Is Your Relationship on a Secure Foundation?

As I share this story I’m beginning to imagine how great it must be to own a home on the Gilchrist peninsula. In fact, owning a beach home would be a life’s dream for many people. I can see the sun shining and people frolicking to the beach with their kids and beach gear in tow. When life is this good no one is really thinking about how a hurricane can wipe away their dream life in the snap of a finger. In fact, the average person looking to purchase a home on the peninsula would feel it’s worth the risk. After all, according to David Roth of the National Weather Service, a tropical cyclone makes landfall along the coastline about three times every four years. However, there would inevitably be a day when a hurricane would come to test the strength of the foundation of each home along the peninsula.

Source: Britannica.com

Source: Britannica.com

When the Adams were asked about their decision to rebuild on the Gilchrist Peninsula The couple said “we know there's a chance you'll face hurricanes, but that's the chance you take". The Adams understood you should always plan for the best but prepare for the worst. The reality is in relationships you will inevitably face challenges. However, many couples fall in love seeking a fairytale type relationship not fully appreciating that there will be hardships along their journey. Consequently when the hurricanes of life hit things fall apart because their relationship wasn’t built on a strong foundation. This could’ve easily happened to me and my wife. Over the last 6 years of our marriage, at the time of this blog, my wife had a miscarriage, my mother died of cancer, my aunt died in a car accident, my two uncles died of cancer, my grandmother and grandfather passed, and congestive heart failure took my little sister. These were circumstances outside our control which could flatten any relationship. Thank God we had built our relationship on a strong foundation.

However, just like the Adams home, we didn’t go through this experience unscathed. For me, I had to learn to turn toward my relationship instead of away. Meaning, I had to choose to seek comfort and healing from within my relationship and God, instead of through someone else or some other means. And at times this was a challenge. However, my ability to do this was predicated upon the work my wife and I put into the relationship as well as my continued pursuit of personal growth. The foundation we were fortunate to build during previous years impacted how we showed up when the hurricanes of life blew in our direction. And I have to give my wife a shout out. I’m proud of her because I’ve seen more of her strength and character over these last 6 years than any other time in our marriage. She’s stood by me like no one else has through these experiences and if it wasn’t for her hopeful spirit and good attitude there’s a chance I could’ve gone off the deep end - This is what a strong foundation looks like.

5 Ways To Build A Strong Foundation In Your Relationship

5 Ways to Build a Strong Foundation in Your Relationship

Do the Work

There’s never a time when you should feel you’re done working on your relationship (reinforcing your foundation). I believe the main goal of every intimate relationship should be to have the best relationship possible. Why? Because the vast majority of people want their relationship to be a major source of happiness and fulfilment in their life. And research suggests, the better your relationships are, the happier and more fulfilled you’ll be in life.

Get a Support System

If you think you can do this relationship thing by yourself you are misinformed. In our society there is so much thrown at us; temptation, pressures, stress, amongst other things. You will need people and professionals who can help you see through the noise and help you stay clear on what reality is. I’ve been part of a men's group for over 6 years. And this group has contributed significantly to the success of my relationship, in addition to professionals. They don’t tell me what I want to hear, they tell me what I need to hear.

Consistently Live Out Your Values

One of the things I love about life is it always comes to test and reveal to you what you’re made of. You only know if you’re a patient person if you’re put in a situation that requires patience. You can only know if you love your boo when they’re unloveable. You only know you’re committed when temptation comes to test your commitment. You get the point. Choosing to consistently live out your values creates a habit that eventually becomes second nature. As humans we are habitual creatures and are wired to live out patterns. That’s why it’s so difficult to change because people “get set in their ways”. If you’re accustomed to living a certain way then subconsciously you are going to do everything in your power to keep living out this pattern. The encouraging part is that you can always choose to be better.

Commit to Personal Growth

I can’t stress this point enough. It’s impossible for you to see all your hang ups and blindspots. A commitment to personal growth gives you better insight into who you are and how you’re showing up as a person. Self-discovery helps you see how your actions impact the environment and those around you. In this case your boo.

Have Fun Together

Seasoned couples sometimes forget how important this is. It’s the adventure of getting to know one another and experiencing new things together that got you into your relationship in the first place. That same spirit will be a catalyst to keep the fire burning in your relationship for years to come. 

We can help with this. If you live in the Greater Toronto Area let us know, we’d love to share the WooYourBoo App with you, when launched. It suggests personalized date ideas based on what makes you and your boo special together.

Remember, if you’re not having fun, you’re not doing this relationship thing right!

With love,

Colleen x La Vance


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