I feel heartbroken when I see relationships going sour- couples hardly speaking, married couples not having sex, and basically people feeling like living with their spouse feels like living in a hostel with same-sex colleagues. It seems as though there is no prevention strategy for relationships going sour. After a while, the honeymoon phase as it is so called wears off and couples settle into the routine of things. The ‘routine’ is one of the reasons people are scared of committing today, as they don’t want to become ‘another old, boring couple’. The big question is why do relationships turn sour?
You stop making the effort: This is the one old and trusted reason that is behind the demise of many relationships today. After the honeymoon phase, couples get comfortable, and you should be comfortable! At the end of the day, this is the person you love and want to be with, but do not get so comfortable to the point that you stop fighting for each other or trying to make each other special. It is human nature to tend to take for granted someone who is always around and always available. And as a spouse, you can’t not be around or available, it’s impossible! But what you can do is make little effort every now and then to let your partner know you are still in love with him or her. Buy flowers for her, surprise him with lunch at his workplace, order dinner and set up your own romantic date in the comfort of your home, leave little notes, breakfast in bed is always a winner (when the guy wakes up to cook breakfast), do the things you did during the honeymoon phase of your relationship to remind your partner you still care as much as you did in the beginning. You don’t have to do them everyday, life gets busy. But simply saying “I love you” and showing through your actions that you mean it can make your partner’s day!
You stop talking: When couples talk about growing apart, my question is always “was there a point when they grew together?” Let’s face it, couples hardly ever grow together except they are Siamese twins. they grow differently, probably in different careers, and in different areas of personality. What kills relationships is when couples stop talking because they feel the other person just won’t understand their work, their challenges or whatever else they may be dealing with! This is the quickest way to alienate your partner and in the process expose your relationship to bitterness. Couples need to talk, even if it is about nothing in particular. The freedom to talk to your partner about anything is a sign of a healthy relationship, so I find it rather hilarious and weird at the same time when people say they want to be with someone who’s just like them- in the same career path, same personality etc. What’s the fun in that? Surely you must be interested in things that are outside your life’s bubble. Speak to your partner and listen well too! Laugh at jokes together, watch the crazy and hilarious TV shows together, relate them to daily events and simply connect just by talking. Talking is one way your relationship will keep surviving against all odds.
You want greener grass: Not because your grass isn’t green…nah on the contrary. You just long for more…in someone else. It is very easy to admire someone you are not dating. Afterall, you are not aware of all their quirks and weird attributes just yet, so you become discontent with your partner. You struggle to understand why he just doesn’t shower the moment he gets home or why she sometimes sits next to you without titivating herself even though she’s not going anywhere. You raise the bar unrealistically and you suddenly expect your partner to meet with your swift change of demands. This is why people cheat in relationships: they want others to change completely for them, or they start eyeing the ‘grass’ next door. What many people don’t understand is that the grass is green where you water it. If you water (nurture) and genuinely care for your partner, he or she will also be the greenest grass of all. All that energy spent on fantasies about another patch of grass can be invested in making your partner feel loved. Do you know that love is the best way to bring out the best in anyone? Best smile, best personality, and even beauty! People glow when they are in love, they smile for no reason in particular, they are relaxed and they are happy because they are being watered. Instead of letting your grass turn brown, pay attention to it. The grass is greener on the other side because someone is watering and caring for it too! If you do not learn how to care for your grass, it does not matter what shade of deep green grass you get, it will turn brown from your lack of nurture!
Any more tips? Do share! XOXO
As published on covenantrelationships.org