What is a “Relationship Wheel”?

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-relationship-advice-guidance-love-counseling-concept-group-tangled-roads-shaped-as-heart-confusing-traffic-image34945044Everybody knows that communication is a key to building a healthy relationship.  The first step is to make sure you both want and expect the same things.  Being on the same page is very important.  Many people mistakenly view a relationship as an external quest, meaning that they tend to focus on the other person rather than working on his/her own issues.

“If only my wife would love me for who I am…”

“If only he could be smarter with money”…

“I wish my husband would want to have more adventure…”

But it’s not enough just to wish!  You need to speak up and identify what you and your partner would like to change, and develop options and plans of action to achieve these mutual goals.

A “Relationship Wheel” is a simple but tremendously helpful exercise I learned when studying at the World Coach Institute.  My hubby and I certainly enjoyed doing it together.   By the way, you’ll see our results as an example below.

In order to harvest the most benefits from the exercise you would need to complete these 3 steps:

Step 1:

The eight sections in the Wheel represent Balance.
With the center of the wheel as 0 and the outer edge as 10, rate your level of satisfaction with each area by drawing a straight or curved line to create a new outer edge.  The new perimeter of the circle represents your Wheel.

Step 2:

Next, create a few goals to balance out the wheel

Step 3:

Decide what action you will take this week to accomplish one of these goals.

Relationship

1. Personal Growth, Life’s Work, Includes Spirituality –  “9”

I have enjoyed reading self help books and working on my Personal Development since I was 15 years old.  Also, I can say that I always had a strong connection with our Creator.  I feel supported, loved and at peace with our Universe most of the time.  My husband is not such a “Personal Development Junkie” as I am, but he is very spiritual and we can spend hours speaking about God, the universe, and eternal principals.  We have a very similar points of view about religion and spirituality, even though we didn’t grow in the same environment, and had very different churches and traditions.  This often amazes me.  Also, we share a very common love of music and the arts.  It’s not a “10” yet because sometimes I would wish my husband would read little bit more so we could discuss new material from different books.  And maybe it would also help if he would develop some new skills, as I very much enjoy doing myself.  So, there is some room for improvement.:)
2. Alignment with Family & Friends – “9”
I’m blessed with both, warm loving family relationships, and good friends who are real and true.  They are all unique people from different stages of my life.  In fact, I have known one of my girlfriends since I was 3 years old or earlier, another one from my first grade of elementary school and another one from college years.  I’ve made a couple of real friends since moving here to America.  I don’t communicate with each of them on a daily or even weekly basis, but any time we talk or see each other, it seems like time didn’t effect our friendship in a bad way.  Quite the opposite, it only seems to become better!  In fact once during a dark time in my life, I had a chance to give my friendship a reality check, and my friends strongly supported me in many different and wonderful ways.
My husband doesn’t have many friends, and it seems that he has less need than I do in relationships outside our family.   However, he always welcomes my friends and doesn’t mind when I communicate with them.  He tells me that if I feel inspired and uplifted, he feels the same, too.

So the only thing I would wish to improve is to have more recreation time with our friends, such as going somewhere annually, creating some fun tradition, etc., because with our crazy schedules and busy lives our friendship often migrates to a “virtual” version.

And regarding my own family, unfortunately, many of them have passed away.  However, I have a very close and dear relationship with my husband’s family which have become mine now.

3. Agreement on Physical Environment; e.g. Tidy vs. Messy, Ocean vs. Mountains – “8”
We are quite close in our Physical Environment field.  Only a couple of things:  1. I think I enjoy changes more.  Because I have tended to move to different living places more often in my past, sometime it’s hard for me to stay at the same place for a long time.  In Russia we say: “A fish is searching for a deeper water, and a human for the better place”, which became my motto before I met my husband.  He is more stable in this case.  2. I prefer to risk sometimes and he is more careful and pragmatic.  We had some arguments about this point earlier in our lives.  However, now I think we have found some reasonable compromises, though sometimes my social butterfly soul still asks for changes. 🙂

4. Lifestyle: Fun/Recreation, Interests, Hobbies, Health and Wellness – “7” (in average)
Health and Wellness is “9”.  We have the same goals about a healthy lifestyle and we’re trying to improve our wellness together with healthier food, good supplements and exercises.

Regarding Fun/Recreation, Interests, Hobbies, it’s “6”, mostly because we are working different schedules and can’t spend enough quality time together on Fun/Recreation, and especially with hobbies and interests.  However, we both agree that we need to make improvement in this area, and this is a good beginning.

5.  Children or No Children, and Parenting Style  – “10”

We are very similar in our parenting style and we always support each other in our intentions regarding dealing with children.
6. Communication – “10”

Good communication is our strongest area!  My husband and I are truly best friends, and we do like to share.  We joke that it’s even boring sometimes, because we don’t have secrets from each other. 🙂   We often laugh and cry together when watching a good movie or listening to America’s Got a Talent.  Even when we argue, we usually simply “agree to disagree”.  We know that we don’t need to have the exact same opinion about everything in our lives.  And we don’t feel a need to persuade one another to accept our position or try to have “the last word”.

7. Financial Goals  – “7”

This area was the weakest field when we were just married (about 8 years ago).  My husband preferred to avoid speaking openly on subject of money.  I was worried too much about our finances and credit card debt, and think I even had anxiety because of it.  And I couldn’t do anything about it because I was very new in this country and didn’t understand much about finances and their associated nuances.  I preferred more planning in this area but my husband was more spontaneous.  He wasn’t accustomed to saving money, quite the contrary,  I felt a very strong need to feel more stability and save for “rainy days”.  I actually never used credit cards or credit loans before coming to America, so our approach to finances was very different.

Fortunately, we’ve improved very much the last 5 years in this field!  I think this is mostly due to beginning to freely discuss our financial problems and concerns aloud.  Additionally, my husband enjoys listening to Dave Ramsey on his radio in the car.  Now we have 0 debt.  Both cars are payed off, and we even have a “baby emergency fond”!  We still have much room for improvement, but I believe we will eventually achieve our desires in this field!  Our goal is to increase our cash-flow, save a good amount for retirement and wisely invest some money.  We are working now on starting our own business and are trying hard to sell our screenplay.

8. Romance, Intimacy and Sexual Chemistry – “8”
We are both very sensual; sex plays a big role in our lives.  We enjoy intimacy, cherish the human body and appreciate closeness and love we share.  We have very much in common regarding our understanding of sexuality and intimate relationships.  I rated it 8 out of 10 because we need to put more attention to spontaneity in both our romance and our intimate lives.  We work a lot and have untypical schedules (working evenings), so we don’t have much time for “romantic dates”.  We have talked about this subject before, and we are already making steps towards improvement here.

Hope you’ll have fun!:) I believe if you’ll complete the “Relationship Wheel” at least once a year with your partner (or even better, with your future fiancee before you commit to each other), it will help add clarity and vision to your relationship which will immensely improve your overall happiness.

1 Comment

  • Martin says:

    I read with great interest this Relationship Wheel and found it to be very helpful. I’m sure my wife and I will enjoy filling it out and finding a very healthy rating in all areas but that doesn’t mean we won’t have need for improvement.

    I was however curious about the issue of family government, such as would the family have a head or executive office, a legislative body, and how would critically bad decisions be handled. Or is that a stand alone subject for another day.

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