My wife first introduced me to the books of Dr. Demartini, a behavioral specialist / motivational speaker/ Counselor. It is difficult to label what he exactly does but he would say he is a human behavioral specialist.
Googleing the guy may yield some negative results as I myself never where very keen on these type of motivational guys. People easily throw every cent they have at guys like these with the hopes of solving all their troubles in the world.
He’s written some pretty radical books on personal development and living a fulfilled life, and after a year or two I’ve warmed up to some of his ideas and concepts, particularly his value system which has proven to be priceless in enhancing the relationship between my wife and me.
Let me explain.
According to Demartini each one of us has a set of values. Those things that we value the most in our lives. I knew this as my passions. He reasons that we will always have the most time, money, love, patience and enjoyment for our top values. It makes perfect sense. It’s those things you can do forever without noticing the time go by, or the things you really look forward to doing. You surround yourself with it, you think about it a lot, you spend money on it, and you talk about it.
My top value is PC Gaming and Anything IT related. This means that I can spend time in front of a PC the entire day. Be it playing games, sorting my music out, downloading stuff, browsing the web, or watching a movie. This is my prime value. I will always make time for this, surround myself with this, and as I mentioned above, love to talk about it.
Demartini reasons that everything in human behavior and relationship rises and falls on our values. To me this has become almost more important than knowing each others love languages.
Once we are in a situation where we struggle to live our top values, we start to get irritated, stressed, and get a general sense of not “living” the life we were meant to live.
The key thing I’ve noticed with my relationship with my wife is that an in depth knowledge of each others values enabled us to understand each other better, make it easier to love one another, and deal with conflict easier.
Let me give another example. One of my wife’s top values are “spending time with loved ones”. One of her lower but still high ranking values are “time in nature/travelling”. This means she absolutely loves it whenever we spend time with family, friends, and each other. Quality time. Even better… organize a vacation away with our loved ones and I am ticking two of her values in one go.
Happy wife happy life, or rather Happy Values Happy Wife. Ok it doesn’t have the same ring to it…
Once we know each others values we also start to understand why we and our partners react and behave the way we do.
Wife is upset with husband because he always works late and he never spends enough time with the kids. The husband’s work is his top value. He loves what he is doing, and he does it very well, earning the big bucks. How do you resolve this conflict? Well, the wife is forcing her highest values onto her husband (time at home and time with kids). Spending time with his family at home is a value for the husband, but his work simply rates higher. You will always spend the most time, energy and effort on your top values.
This gets resolved by making the wife understand how his values are supporting her values.
Obviously you do this comparison below both ways, but for this example I’ve only done this the one way:
Because he works late and earns enough money she can be a stay at home mom
Because he works late and earns enough money her kids get a great education
Because he works late and earns enough money she can entertain friends (one of her top values) at their very nice home
If she can make the top realizations, then she will not only stop to resent her husband for always working late, but also start to support him more. You ask yourself how is his top values supporting my top values, and vice versa.
Phew… I’ve written a lot already on values and I’ve barely touched the topic. The point is I am know thankful that my wife introduced me to this guy, it is really helping in keeping us in love, happy and passionate about our lives.
P.S – you can do your value determination test online here. You may need to sign up on the website.