Why Relationships Fail! (AND how to prevent it!)

fighting health partnership time & energy May 30, 2017

Do you wonder why relationships fail, even good ones?

Even GREAT ones, where they partners seem to be made for each other, seem to get along so well?

There are 3 reasons that relationships fail:


1. Growing Apart

Sometimes one or both partners wake up and feel like they don't know the person next to them.

They don't seem to share the same interests, they don't have much fun together, they just don't connect.

Relationships are dynamic: over time we ALL change, and if you don't make a conscious effort to stay "up to date" with each other, to keep the connection alive, you run a very real risk of growing apart.


2. Power Struggles

If you find yourselves having more and more disagreements, arguments or fights (and especially if the same conflict keeps coming up) then you're entering into or already in a power struggle.

Being more interested in having things your way instead of creating agreement, or prioritizing getting your needs met, or being "right" in an argument are all invitations to a power struggle.

Long-term relationships (and marriage in particular) are partnerships, the very definition of "we" over "me", while power struggles are a sign of "me" over "we".

If you've got a power struggle then your relationship is in serious danger!


3. Crisis

If you're together long enough it's inevitable that you'll face a crisis that can threaten your relationship, and maybe even more than one.

A crisis is anything that leads to lots of stress, like a move, a job change, a financial setback, a death in the family, even bringing children into the relationship can cause a crisis (because if you have kids like me then you know that regardless of HOW much you love them children will push every single button and test the limits of your patience).

Stress makes us tend to act worse than we usually do: we act out, or pull away, or lash out, or get mean.  And those kinds of ingredients lead to conflict and relationship troubles.


What can you do?

  • Be present: Make sure to really be present with each other at least a little bit every day. Watching TV together doesn't count, and neither does sitting next to each other but being on your phone or iPad! You've got to settle down, look into each other's eyes and just BE with each other.
  • Share: Get into each other's worlds and do things together. Anything exciting, like going somewhere new or even going on some rides at an amusemet park, really perk up the neurochemicals that bind us to each other!
  • Choose "we":  You've got to choose "we" over "me". Don't just "give in" but really make a point to find solutions that work for BOTH of you.
  • Find the fear: Understand that behind EVERY upset is a fear. Now, when your partner is angry instead of being defensive you can be curious about what's triggering them and find a way to comfort them.
  • Keep learning: Use disagreements as a way to learn more about each other and strengthen the bond between you.
  • Practice collaborating: Be ready for crises by practicing collaborating, even on "small" things like painting a room or working out a budget. Strengthen the muscles of collaboration while the seas are smooth so you know how to work together when the going gets rough!
  • Self-care: Take care of yourself! If a crisis comes and you're already stressed out or exhaused (or both!) then chances are you won't be able to handle it well. Invest in your physical and mental wellbeing as much as you can so that you'll hve the patience, energy and clarity of thought to handle a crisis when it comes up.



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