Divorce has been rife these past few decades and numbers are not encouraging. It’s easier to get a divorce now than ever. Some statistics suggest that about half of marriages in the developed world will come to an end sometime between the first few months and the first ten years. That’s just marriage; what about friendships, family relationships, and workplace relationships? We live in a world where “permanence” is just a phase in every aspect of life, but that’s not how everyone wants it. In fact, a lot of people would say they yearn for something more lasting; for some stability.
Relationships You Can Trust
That stability has to come from a healthy place, though; from a union of two people who don’t rely on each other to the point of obsession or control. Ensuring one’s health in a common-law or marital relationship requires commitment. Two people must trust one another to be in this for the long-term, not just as long as they can handle being together. Finances are involved and dividing those gets messy. When children come along, learning how to stay together is more important than ever. Say what you want about kids adjusting well no matter what they have to go through, but many will tell you they wished they didn’t have to travel back and forth between mom’s apartment and dad’s basement suite or get used to step-parents and blended families.
Before even setting a marriage date, talk to a marriage counselor or the pastor at your church. These individuals are eager to help couples start out strongly by assessing why they want to be together in the first place. Professionals talk couples through their motivations and may uncover some problems wherein one party just wants to be taken care of, or the other always thought he had to be the head of a household to be important. There could be deep insecurities or control issues to sort out; even issues around childhood abuse or neglect. One person could be suffering from mental health problems that should be sorted out prior to marriage. Young couples often reach their thirties saying “I wish I had known to ask” this or that question, but it is far too late. A counselor will propose those unthought-of questions at sessions held before the wedding or to setting up a home together.
Tethered for Trouble
Are you locked in on this relationship? Do you have your tent fully tethered to the ground, the peg hammered deeply into firm soil? Don’t imagine life will be rosy because you love each other. Many so-called “ideal” unions have come undone as a result of the simplest issues: finances, becoming parents, illness, or disagreements. Is it possible you reached the point of being married for two or three years and have never learned to fight? Maybe that is something every pair should do before saying “I do”; find out how they comport themselves when they disagree. Does one run off in tears? Does the other clam up and say nothing? Is there verbal or emotional violence; a tendency to turn to drink during these times? Figure out how you deal with difficulty and if it’s not a healthy method, talk to someone about learning to deal better with stress. Life won’t get easier; it tends to become more difficult over time. Often, the best idea is simply for each of you to have someone outside of the partnership to turn to because it is not good to always rely on each other, especially not if you can’t agree on something.
Of all the guidelines anyone sets down for a relationship, the number one rule is to respect one another. There will be times when you do not like or desire one another, but respect will help each party avoid making potential bridge-burning decisions like having an affair, leaving home, lashing out, or talking about one’s spouse negatively at work and among friends. If you believe the person in your life deserves your respect no matter how you feel, choosing to hold your tongue or even to enroll in marriage counseling is much easier. In time, many relationships recover from cold phases where a couple doesn’t feel connected as long as one or both people in the partnership hold back from saying or doing anything there is no recovering from.
It is always a good idea to discuss your Values. From personal, and moral, to health, spiritual and political. Some people may not want to talk about these delicate topics early on in the relationship, but taking the time to do so, can save people from forming damaging resentments later on in the relationship. For instance, if you have fitness goals, and your partner does not share the same vision, it can be taxing on the relationship. Getting your significant other on board with your values and goals doesn’t always have to be a struggle. Sometimes doing something together with structure can bring a couple together. For any women out there reading this, I just read this review of Venus Factor and now I am feeling motivated to try that out, and that says a lot since I struggle with gym motivation from time to time.