The Five F's of Success in Your Relationship

Apr 06, 2021

Some of us don’t take the time, but others of us do and just don’t know what to talk about or how to have the conversation.  We wanted to let you in on a simple conversation framework that we have used successfully with couples for years called “The Five F’s.”  Yes, you heard that right, we want you to get together and discuss F words!

“The Five F’s” (Faith, Family, Friends, Fitness, and Finances) was popularized by Karen Simmons, current CEO of AutismToday. Simmons pioneered the use of The Five F’s model in her own life when she was told she only had days to live.  In a moment of despair, she experienced a certain clarity she had not previously had where she determined there were only 5 major priority areas in which we need to focus.

In relationships, we are not all facing life or death situations, and we all have so many things going on, subtle distractions, and a variety of past experiences that prevent us from being able to focus on any one thing.  As a result, we end up in a life or relationship that feels far from what we had planned or desired.


Faith in relationships is simply spiritual connection.  It helps us see that we are connected to something bigger than ourselves, and let’s our spouse into our lives on a deeper level.  Seek to build a closer connection to your spouse by engaging the spiritual side of your personal life and your life together. Some typical examples include praying together, volunteering together, experiencing nature together, or even something as simple as going to church together.  Fostering the spiritual side of your relationship has the potential to increase the authenticity, vulnerability, and intimacy in your life.


Family is one of the most important areas of focus in our lives. It is the one piece that we often take for granted because we are surrounded by them, but we are rarely intentional about what we hope to accomplish in our closest family relationships.  There are so many things that this could include like weekend activities, meals together, vacations, holidays with the in-laws or extended family. If we don’t focus on these areas of importance within our family relationships we may end up with results that leave us disappointed or frustrated.  Discussing family specific goals can help you repair damaged relationships, build trust, and increase the level of joy you experience as a couple.


Friends can be like family and are a crucial part of support and value in our lives. Spending time with friends at their houses, sharing meals together, offering accountability and perspective, and supporting each other’s kids adds an element to our relationships that sometimes a spouse alone can not add.  Differentiating between helpful and harmful relationships can be part of this conversation, but it should also include what type of friends you want to be as a couple. Take an “inventory” of how your attitudes and actions affect those around you and seek to be a source of encouragement to your friends.


Fitness is essentially a health assessment that is critical to physical wellbeing and emotional happiness.  This doesn’t have to mean an intense 7 day per week regimen. However, it is really important to consider what we are doing to focus on our health. Being on the same page in regards to physical health builds accountability, shared experiences, and allows us to focus on how to be our best for quality of life and longevity.  Sometimes working out drops in rank of importance when competing with other activities. A helpful tip is to set a realistic and reasonable schedule (even once a week) and commit to it...together.


The majority of our daily decisions are tied to our finances.  Things like how much we earn, how much we spend, how much we save, and how much we work impact our expectations for our measure of success. Whether you are struggling to find spare change in the sofa or you’re currently driving a Rolls Royce; regularly discussing financial decisions is critical to the success and well-being of your marriage. Engaging in regular conversations about finances can drastically improve your relationship by providing shared understanding, freedom in decisions, as well as, trust and security.  When both partners are fiscally “in-the-know,” your decisions regarding regular spending, time spent at work, and enjoying your hard-earned cash can provide peace and confidence that few couples experience.


You may be wondering…”NOW WHAT?” Here’s the fun part…

  1. Take time for each person to rate your relationship in each category.  We have provided a chart to help measure your current satisfaction in each area.  
  2. Take time within the next week your ratings, why you rated each category as you did, and what each of the categories mean to you.  
  3. Write down a few specific actions or goals in each category that you feel would improve your score at the end of the year.

We have found that providing tools and frameworks for conversations like this allows couples to be more honest, communicate clearer, and actually make changes that result in positive outcomes.  We have also found that couples who engage in conversations of this nature regularly express feeling closer to each other, communicate more expectations being met, and experience a stronger feeling of partnership.  This is a BIG deal...make time for it.


Take YOUR relationship from "BAD to GOOD" or "GOOD to BETTER."

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✓  The 3 RELATIONSHIP KILLERS affecting your marriage.

✓  The 3 LIES we believe about marriage.

✓  The 3 ANTIDOTES for improving your marriage.

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