Infomercials, Autopilot, and Adam Sandler
One of my favorite infomercials is for the Slap Chop. (No, I’m not compensated for this, nor do I necessary endorse this product.) If you don’t know what this product is, please visit the website here: www.slapchop.com. It’s a simple gadget to make slicing and dicing different foods a breeze with minimal effort and easy cleanup. The reason I love this infomercial is not necessarily for the actual product, but the way the salesperson is presenting it. That it will basically solve your chopping woes and make life easier – at least in the kitchen.
I bring up infomercials like the Slap Chop for this reason: we are naturally drawn to what makes our lives simpler, easier, and more fulfilling. That’s why infomercials are so alluring. From cooking appliances to electronic gadgets, we love products, formulas, and systems that show us a better way. But if we’re really honest, we are looking for some kind of magic that will help us succeed without trying so hard.
I’ve got to be honest with you. I have bought some of these infomercial products myself. I own a Ped Egg. Before it broke, I used my George Foreman Grill many times. I’m even wearing a Slanket (competitor of the Snuggie) as I write this post. I love my infomercial products, but I know they aren’t magic and it’s negotiable if they actually make my life better.
If you’ve gotten this far, you’re probably wondering why the heck I’m talking about infomercials about on a blog about relationships. Here’s the thing: infomercial products typically show you the easier way to accomplish the same outcome without the hassle of “doing it the hard way”. It’s like a pilot turning on the autopilot system on an airplane after they are at cruising altitude. They don’t have to work as hard or make manual adjustments to keep the plane in the air.
Do you remember the Adam Sandler movie, “Click”? Not to spoil it if you haven’t seen it and want to, but it’s the story about a man who buys a magic remote control that ends up “autopiloting” through the hard, boring, or tedious parts of his life. He ends up missing out on his life and regrets that he didn’t truly live his life when he had the chance.
When clients come to me with relationship concerns, I typically ask them these questions: “When is the last time you went on a date?”, “How much time do you spend together?”, and maybe the most difficult one, “How much work are you putting into your relationship?”. These questions can sometimes be like a slap in the face. The hard reality that many people don’t realize is that there is no one lasting, easy, or autopilot solution to healthy relationships. It takes real, sometimes difficult or even painful, work. You can coast on autopilot in your marriage or partnership for only so long before you start running out of gas. The couples who are successful know this truth. They put in the time and effort it takes, even when it’s hard. They make regular adjustments and connect authentically and often. (If you missed it, take a look at my post from a couple of weeks ago on what “Master Couples” do differently for more specific ideas.)
The bottom line is that relationships take work. There is no infomercial to give you an easier way and no autopilot switch or magic remote to give you a better marriage or partnership. But if you’re still looking for anything that might help, the closest tool I know of that I share with my clients is one created by the Gottman Institute called the “6 Magic Hours”. It’s a small but effective way to make the most of your time together and prioritize your relationship. It only takes six hours a week and can make a huge difference in your relationship. Please feel free to print it out and post it on your refrigerator, your bathroom mirror, or anywhere you might see it every day to remind yourself and your partner of the small steps you need to pay attention to.
6 Magic Hours
This guide is great to get you started on a better path in your marriage or partnership, but maybe you need more. I’d be honored to work with you further and create real, lasting changes. Give me a call at 720-381-2755 or email me at tradewindstherapy at gmail dot com to set up our first appointment today.