Sometimes? No. Aways! Mispoken words may words never be forgotten depending on how real and/or how hurtful they were perceived to be. Such words lead to permanent scars that can derail relationships. If such regretful words are spoken, your solution is to negate them by speaking many more pleasant ones. With time, the unequal “mountain of pleasant comments” may allow one to overlook – maybe even forget – the unpleasant ones.
No…not necessarily, and not you specifically either. But before you call it quits, you both owe it to yourselves to try hard to save it. First, because it confirms your success as a team player by placing the needs of your family above your own. Second, it says a lot about your work ethic as staying together is a demanding effort, and the accomplishment speaks for itself. Third, you lead by example in teaching the importance of a stable family unit to children (if kids are involved). Fourth, you live longer (I’ll spare you the science and studies, but it’s a fact). Fifth, you will be happier – we are not designed to be alone, companionship is essential – so you will deal with these issues for the rest of your life regardless of who you are with. Sixth, sharing life’s experiences with someone that remembers as much of it as you do validates your life and accomplishments, no stranger will remember your legacy the way family can.
A breakdown in a relationship is a breakdown in the creative desire (from one or both parties) to address love’s 7 essential ingredients (Affection, Respect, Admiration, Empowerment, Loyalty, Intimacy, Appreciation). The good news is, it is never to late. All it takes is desire.
As relationships progress, we tend to forget to show our appreciation. By not acknowledging it, we leave our loved ones feeling like we are not aware, or grateful of what they do. Why plant these seeds of bitterness? First, take a moment to think about all the things your loved one does, no matter how small. Then, let them know specifically what you appreciate, whether its how they drive the children to and from school safely each day, to unique experiences they put the time and energy to think up just for you. Think of these specific acknowledgements like oxygen…giving them grows the passion flame, ignoring them suffocates it. There is no one more worthy of voicing your appreciation to, than the person you chose to build and share your life with.
A candle, proudly flickering its flame, will slowly lose its flare without oxygen to keep it going. Similarly, the butterflies in your stomach that make you smile as you get ready to see your someone special can disappear. Part of the reason is predictability, especially with couples that have been together for a long time and know everything there is to know about each other. Make it a point to remain unpredictable and keep your someone special guessing. Not only will you grow as a person, but you will maintain a certain mystery that we all find exciting!
When dissatisfactions have been communicated and there’s no longer the desire to address them, it can mean the beginning of the end for your relationship. Since it takes two, it doesn’t matter if it’s just you, or both, that no longer care to put in the time and effort. Either way, an insurmountable quantity of unpleasant experiences will eventually overtake the sum of pleasant ones that you two have shared. When that happens, it’s over from an emotional perspective – even if you physically remain together.
One simple word can save your relationship…desire. Learn to recognize the many distractions that can make you lose focus on what matters most (i.e. your relationship, not the issues you are dealing with). Even the most beautiful, wealthiest and beloved have shown us time and time again that the grass is not greener on the other side. When you find a good person and commit to them, make sure you commit to being in a relationship as well. Once you both internalize that staying together requires constant effort and keep the desire to do the work, there’s not much that can keep your love from growing…”till death do you part”!
Just like your boss who will base your review on what you did in December more than what you did in January (because the memories are more recent), we tend to attach a framework of the present during difficult times.
When you and your loved one are experiencing difficult times, take out your old pictures and videos. Look at all the pleasant experiences you have shared together and realize that what you have is greater than this single unpleasant moment. Listen calmly to each other, understanding that agreeing or compromising with your loved one’s issues will strengthen your relationship. Simply dismissing them, when they have given you the courtesy of communicating their concern, will not.
No, not really….but for a minute, imagine that you did. What would you do next? For most of us, it would mean getting into better shape, sporting a new look and exploring new interests. It also means being nicer as you enter the dating scene again, listening and being attentive to the one you are with.
Realize that doing all these things can also help today. Why create changes that make you feel better about yourself (and your relationship) when its too late? Make the effort now and enjoy the results with your loved one!