Adrian AshmanAdrian Ashman is currently Professor of Education and a former Head of School at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. He was trained in the 1970s as a psychologist at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada and was elected as a Fellow of the American Psychological Association in 1991. He has operated private psychology practices in Canada and in Australia dealing primarily with adult clients with personal relationship and sexual performance difficulties.
Adrian has also worked as an educational psychologist and university researcher in the fields of special education and disability since the late-1970s and has consulted with a number of government departments including Education, Community Services and Health, and Employment, Vocational Education, Training and Industrial Relations. Professor Ashman is a trained mediator and has many years experience in conflict resolution.
Adrian is a keen recreational cyclist and walker, misses flying and sailing, and is very attached to his olive farm to which he and his partner retreat at every possible opportunity.
Host: How can my partner and I sustain a loving relationship?
Adrian Ashman: Well, one of the questions that I guess that I get asked a lot is how to sustain a healthy relationship, that with the person that is a significant individual in their life. Best place to start is to say well, what were the things that attracted you to this person in the first place?
Now, if it was just physical things, well, you can pretty much forget about it right there because that s not what love and relationship is about. Relationships are about respect and they are about affection and we will talk a bit about that a little bit further on. So, we are talking about issues like caring and sharing. What are the things that make this person special to you? What are the things that make this person the caring person? What are the things that you can give to a person that will help them sustain the relationship with you? Relationships are not one-sided. Relationships are a duel of events. They involve two people and sometimes more unfortunately, but two people working together to achieve both satisfaction and gratification. Satisfaction in terms of having someone around and gratification in terms of being rewarded for the things that worked really well. There's a lot of work that has to go into a relationship to be able to sustain it. So, getting in there is usually pretty easy. Actually, holding on to the person and being able to be gratified and to be satisfied in that relationship are really, pretty important. So, first thing is that a relationship can't be one-sided. It has to be two-sided. It's about affection and that s not necessarily what was this about. They might come to love them a little bit further down the trail, but they have also got to be honest and open with that person.
What I ll mention time and time again in this series is the issue of communication. If you can't talk to the other person, if you can't express your views, have those views respected and if the other person can't express their views and have those views respected, then, you are looking down the barrel of the gun, in the sense. So, the relationship can really fall apart if you lack in that sense. So, relationship is really about looking after the interactions that take place between two people and respect and affection are the two primary issues that we always need to think about when we are talking about maintaining or sustaining a loving relationship.