Why Isn't Your Relationship Working? - Do you think you have all the answers?
I received so many requests to talk about this topic, which is my #1 requested topic. However, it's not for everyone, but everyone can get something out of it. I find it amazing how many people think that because many of us discuss these topics, they believe we have relationships. If I'm not the first to tell you, then let me be the first to tell you that is the farthest thing from the truth. Over the years, I have had failed relationships, regardless of what I have experienced and what I learned through my education and research. Why is it? Well, to be blunt, no matter how much anyone knows or thinks they know, a successful relationship takes two people. No relationship can be successful if only one person has a stake in its success.
In my book "Making Partnership Choices," I go into this topic in great detail. It is available at all major online bookstores.
Frankly, no two people enter a relationship with the intention it is no going to work, and we all know that in the beginning, everything is sunshine and roses. The excitement, the butterflies, the anticipation, and all that goes along with it are present and large as life. In the beginning. So, what happens? I love to quote my father because he was a wise man and was usually correct. He used to say, "Don't start doing something you aren't prepared to do the rest of your life." Oh boy. How true that is. However, it all gets down to basics. The basics of what a relationship is. Once you lose or forget the basics, you have created a recipe for disaster. Maybe that is one of the reasons 48% of first-time marriages end in divorce in the first year? So many think and say being in a relationship should not change your life. Guess what? You possibly just learned the first myth.
Let look at a summary of the basics of a relationship, meaning, why do people enter into a relationship?
The most common are, but not necessarily in that order,
Filling a void in our life,
Having someone to share experiences with
Form a family
Now there are certainly many more, but this is only a blog post, not a book. Let's look at an example. If you entered a relationship for any of the above reasons, and those reasons are being fulfilled, and one day or overtime, it stops, what do you think the result might be? We also must understand that anything in life that starts then stops may have a good reason behind it. Therefore, that is a factor to consider before you call your relationship failed.
Remember earlier I said, in the beginning, everything is sunshine and roses? It is true. In the beginning, everyone puts their best foot forward. Tries to impress the other. In today's society, people are a bit more natural, meaning they tend to be more of themselves right from the start. For example, if they aren't fancy dressers, they might not look like the couple on the right on the first date or any date for that matter. For me, I tend to be myself.
I enjoy and take great pride in dressing neatly and appropriately comfortable, but I can certainly dress the part when I need to. I follow a smile rule, which is, this I me. It either works for you, or it doesn't. By no means is that meant in a demeaning manner. I am just being myself and thoroughly explain that first when I meet someone. You would be surprised how many people appreciate that because unless it's a special occasion, they like to dress comfortably. Therefore, for me, one of my basics is to be myself. There is no point in presenting myself differently from the start when I know six months later. I'm going to be who I am. I start that way.
So when it comes to the basics, the basics that work for you, you MUST know what you want and what you are looking for in a relationship. You also need to, at some point, make that clear to the other person. No, not on the first date or conversation, but once you feel somewhat comfortable talking, better to get it out of the way and save a great deal of time if you both are not on the same page. AS people, we are motivated by our needs. This is why we seek out others to be a part of our life. Very few people want to feel empty and be alone or isolated. Know what the basics are for you.
More importantly, know what the basics are for your partner. And by the way, this applies to all genders and same-sex relationships, so don't let the pictures make you feel it's limited to a man and woman partnership.
You can see it on the right. It applies to everyone. We live in a world of diversity, and many things which should have been accepted years ago that were not, now are. This is not a debate about your beliefs. Frankly, they are yours, and you have a right to them, and I don't particularly care what they are. My blog posts are diversified and non-biased, and when it comes to relationships, it's not about gender. It's about the basics. Plus, being the writer and the author, I can post any pictures I want. Just saying. One of the things our society is slowly moving away from is being judgemental. Frankly, I am a bit too slow for my taste because I believe in personal choice, as long as it is legal and not breaking any laws. Everyone has the right to choose how they want to live and be happy.
Now that I cleared up any questions about gender so let's move along.
WHY ISN'T YOUR RELATIONSHIP WORKING?
If this post applies to you, or if one day it does, remember to look back at the basics. Then, ask yourself, WHAT CHANGED?
Because I promise you that something did change and you missed it. Usually, it is no one person's fault. In fact, both people probably contributed to it. Life gets busy. Money gets tight. Children come along, and people start working more than one job. They see less of one another. They're almost, and in many cases, like two ships passing in the night. So doesn't it make sense that the basics would get lost somewhere along the way? And yes. That exact situation happened to me. That is how I learned that hard lesson. However, the one lesson I, as well as many others, didn't learn, was how to fix it. Today we live in a disposable world. Everything is disposable. We don't fix things like we used to.
We replace them. That was fine when it comes to your washing machine or microwave, but it has trickled down to relationships as well. We don't fix them anymore. We replace them, only to find that we just kept making the same mistakes. Let me ask you. How many times were you in the photo on the right? Another sad but true fact. It's never as bad when you are the one doing the hurting versus being the one getting hurt. No one is saying that every relationship you enter into is going to be your last. As I stated earlier, we all enter a relationship with the best of intentions. However, that one you really think is the right one. The one that will last a lifetime needs much more care than just the casual relationships you were a part of.
The first part of that care is NOT FORGETTING THE BASICS. These are the things that got you to this point in the first place. Once you got past that, other things happened, such as,
and much more. Trust me. Life will test every one of these. Not only once, but possibly many times. However, if you never lose the basics, and stand fast to what you both developed together, you will weather every storm together. When anything breaks, it's because one or more parts that keep it running broke. Unlike the engine in your car or the circuit board in your TV, in a relationship, you both have a responsibility and equal part in keeping your parts in working order.
Look at a relationship like a job. When you always go to work, and the job gets down, everything works. When you start to take too much time off, the job doesn't get down, which results in failure. No matter what it is, it falls apart. Therefore, in a sense, a relationship is like a job, but a job you should enjoy doing. So many say no one is responsible for your happiness but yourself. When you are single, I agree with that.
However, look at that from this perspective when it comes to relationships. Each person has a job. Their job is to make the other person happy. Has long as they both do their job, and no one takes too much time off, both people will be happy. Doesn't that make sense?
So you are wondering. In your busy, hectic life, how do you do this? It's actually easier than you think. It's about time management.
Take time for yourself,
MAKE time to be together,
Take time as a family, (if you have children or siblings)
Never hold things back and keep secrets,
If something is bothering you, talk about it,
COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE
Re-evaluate priorities as they change,
Be courtesy to one another. Yelling and fighting never solved anything,
Make decisions together. You have a partner now. Understand what you do affects the other,
Be as independent of each other as you are dependent on one another.
Yes, the list can go on and on. However, in my opinion, these are critical points in every relationship. Unfortunately, these are the critical areas that are easiest to let fall by the wayside—two quotes from my book. And never doubt them NOT to be true.
"Relationships don't end. People end them." "Romance doesn't die. People kill it."
Always remember that you control the moving parts in your relationship. Take care of those parts, and the relationship will not break. It worked at one point. If it breaks, find out why and fix it before you dispose of it. Not everything in life should be disposable. Of course, there will be times when things are not repairable. That, too, is a part of life. I am not suggesting that people stay together regardless of the circumstances. Many circumstances can lead people not to be together, and maybe they should not be in those cases. Therefore, I am not referring to every problemed relationship. The sole purpose of this post is to share where things most commonly go wrong and how to avoid them. The rest is up to you. Also, this is in no way to be taken or mistaken as advice to your particular situation. It is merely a topic for discussion purposes only. Yes, legally, I have to say that.
Stay Safe and be well,
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