ACT With love, what a great idea.

As some of you may know I co-host an online radio show called The Relationship Show with John Barson. Last night we were interviewing  Russ Harris MD  and Author of  “ACT with Love” and  “The Happiness Trap”.  I found his book “ACT With Love” particularly interesting because it was extremely realistic, no sugar coating here.  🙂 While he bluntly exclaimed  that there are “no real people that  are perfect partners for us”, he did offer solutions on how to have a fulfilling, successful and reasonably happy relationship, should we want to do the work. Sorry, but I agree with him, no relationship in life can be maintained without work and acceptance on both sides. The key word here was acceptance.

He uses acronyms all through his book and the first was ACT, which stands for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.  Russ offers ACT  training for counselors, therapists and troubled couples all looking for new options to navigate these treacherous waters.   Unfortunately if you would like to take his courses or workshops you will have to go down under as he lives and works in Australia. A long trip for most of us, but you can certainly contact him for his CD’s and books When he first stated that there was “No such thing as everlasting love” Miss positive here was “What the hell is he talking about”.  I soon discovered that he meant  was that we could not expect to feel exactly the same way about our partners every day. That our feelings will change and evolve through the entire relationship and to expect that starry eyed, fresh new relationship feeling is unrealistic and will only set us up for disappointment. He is so bang on the money, even if we hate to admit it. But have no fear, you can still have a happy healthy relationship.  He talked about  the five basic processes that DRAIN Love, Disconnection, Reactivity, Avoidance, Inside your mind, Neglecting values.  He also gives great guidance on making the commitment, should I stay or should I go.

When he used the acronym LOVE it meant Letting go, Opening up, Valuing, and Engaging. I loved that when couples came to him and were in the midst of their troubles he immediately had them remember what exactly it was that attracted them to each other. (S0metimes in the heat of an argument it is hard to remember our partners good points).  His methods seemed to offer great solutions to turn conflict into compassion and god knows we can all use a little of that in our relationships.

I know you have heard me refer to the C word (Commitment), Thanks to this book I now have added 3 more. Russ’s foundation of a loving relationship contain’s 3 C’s,  Connection, Caring and Contribution.  He also pointed out that we need to “take the armour off and fight fairly”. “It’s not just what you say but how you say it” and as well as “the power of asking nicely” and the most important one to appreciate is “that we can’t always get what we want”.   DAMN 🙂  He talks about “appreciating our partner and telling them about it”  I loved his statement of “Catch them doing something Right”, I think I heard that idea in a management book before, but it would totally work in our relationships. “Who doesn’t want to know that our partners appreciate us”.

As you can tell I was so excited with Russ’s book and Act with Love therapy, that I just had to recommend it to everyone. If you are interested in building and maintaining a commited, trusting,  caring, connection with your partner. Even if you are just looking for that partner, why not start out with all the helpful information that you can. That way, when any troubles start  to develop you will know how to deal with them effectively, so that you can have that loving lasting relationship. Anyways it’s just my recommendation, when you build a house you make sure you have the right materials, why not make sure you have the right tools on hand for building that great relationship.

  1. NeilNeil06-12-2009

    I read with interest the article as it came up in a very short term relationship. While the obvious ‘click’ was there there were issues about the distance between the two parties. I drive for a living and my ‘new love’ lives about an hour away. While I definately desired to make the trip my body was having other ideas. Trying to get that idea to her did not work. How would it have been best to have resolved said situation?
    I liked the statement about ‘heat of argument and hard to remember what attracted them to eachother. How does one do that when they both have valid points? I understand ‘can’t always get what you want’ (as I am a middle child lol) but when it feels like your not being understood how does a man get those feeling accross? Thank-you for your input and the opportunity to share.

  2. BB06-12-2009

    why didn’t I hear this yesterday…you have changed my life B….always

  3. vancouverdatingvancouverdating06-12-2009

    I certainly don’t think that I know all the answers, I do think that Russ’s book was amazing and anyone can learn to work through their issues. I have learned that you do need to spend time with someone and go through rough times in order to see how they react or overact. Life is always going to throw you curveballs, it’s how we responded to them that matters.

  4. vancouverdatingvancouverdating06-12-2009

    I hope that in some small way I changed your life for the good. Hopefully we all learn from our mistakes. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Life is short, choose to be happy. Regrets are just wasted energy, expel it into something good. I feel good things are on there way for you. 🙂

  5. NeilNeil06-12-2009

    Hmm you say ” you need to spend time with someone to see how they act or overreact” That time amount is different for everyone. That should be something discussed between both parties. If the other party isn’t aware of partners time limits, how fair is the playing field? What part of ‘partnership’ am I missing?I don’t think ‘regrets’ are wasted energy, they can be, or they can be a learning tool.

  6. vancouverdatingvancouverdating06-12-2009

    You are right, one persons time limit is not always the same as the others. Who ever said that dating and relating was fair, at least I have never found that it was. 🙂 Good for you if you can use a regret as a learning tool, that is what I meant about expeling it into something good.

Leave a Reply