- Category: Love and Relationship Readings
- Last Updated on October 18, 2012
- Written by Mark Blair
Don’t let anyone kid you; it takes work to maintain a relationship. We are surrounded by temptations. The radio, television, newspapers and the Internet seem to have more stories about break ups than successful relationships. It seems like stories of break ups are more entertaining than couples that stay together.
“This just in! Robert and Mary Jones are still married after 8 years and everything is going OK between them!”
Seriously, though, with all of the negative relationship news and information surrounding us, it can begin to feel like that is the normal state of things. Like we all should just expect it to happen. With that attitude, when we do hit a bump in the road with our love interest, the temptation is to jump to “This is the end!” instead of “How do we fix this?”
Now, I’m not a prude by any means and I know there are times when a relationship is definitely over. What I wanted to put out to you are some ways to consider ALL of your options instead of jumping to “We’re over!”
Consider a scenario where you feel like your love relationship is stagnant. You both are working hard, rarely go out, haven’t had a trip or vacation in a long time. Then someone at work or the gym begins talking with you, making compliments on how good you look and how great you are at “fill in the blank”. This continues for a few days/weeks and you begin to feel a little off balance. Happy, excited, sad and scared all at once.
This is the critical point when you could begin rationalizing this new relationship and how it could be better than what you currently have. You feel like you’re getting from this new relationship what you are missing in your current one. This is not the time to bail out of the old relationship. It’s time to take a close look at it to determine how you got to where you are now.
Are you both working so hard to be successful in the relationship that you’ve ignored some of the basic needs that you both have? You both have goals, individually and jointly. Maybe it’s to live in a specific location. Or to own a particular kind of house. Perhaps one or both of you are in school and trying to complete an advanced degree. The question to ask is are you both so busy that you’ve forgotten to attend to the little needs that both of you have.
The feelings of loneliness and neglect are symptoms of something getting in the way of the connection that you both have. And what’s getting in the way are probably the very efforts you both are putting into building a life together. The school, car, house, and even children are all distracters to the connection you have with your partner. So here is where the work comes in that I mentioned earlier!
It’s time to talk with your partner about where the balance is between achieving your goals with happiness and harmony in the moment. Can you pull back on the some of the activities, slow down movement toward the goals so that you have time for each other? The balancing act is in determining how to continue working toward the goals while having sufficient “us” time to survive the current struggle.
If achieving the goals is more important than the current connection, then there is a different problem to deal with: priorities. What is more important to each of you? Owning the big house but sacrificing the relationship seems out of balance. The result will be two unhappy people living in a big house.
Consider other activities that you and your partner can do away from each other that could help. Social groups, hobby groups, even other friends could provide a way to get some good energy back into your life. For some people, it can become easy to rely on each other for all of the good feelings we need. That’s a big burden to place on each other on top of everything else you are trying to do.
One last thought about working on your relationship instead of running away with a new “love”. Whatever issues you currently have, you will just be taking them with you into another relationship. Sometimes we have challenges so we can face them and overcome. We might think we can run away from them, but the truth is that they just follow right along behind us.
So the next time you find your thoughts drifting away from your current relationship and toward some other “imaginary” source of good feelings, stop and ask yourself what work you are avoiding. If love is still there, then there is the opportunity to work on it and be successful.
There is nothing boring about a couple who makes the changes necessary to continue a loving relationship. That is a story we should all enjoy!