Relationships end every day. And for very many good reasons.
But, there are also some habits that people who divorce all seem to have in common. So, a good way to ensure that your relationship will last is to always try to avoid them.
For example, many divorcing couples have never found ways to voice their frustrations. Perhaps because their relationships have always been unbalanced, with one of the partners dominating the other.
Some did talk about their problems at the beginning, but then stopped. Which generally means that one or both of them has withdrawn.
Instead of finding ways to say what needs to be said, they’ve simply disengaged and given up.
So, if you’re able to argue constructively with your partner when you disagree about an issue, then your relationship is pretty healthy.
So long as things don’t get mean during your fights. Or you start nursing resentments.
Years of living closely together, and seeing each other at your worst can also make you scornful of your partner. But once contempt and personal insults seep into your fights, then you’re heading for trouble.
Everyone is also entitled to an occasional bad mood. But in a committed relationship, it’s essential to keep talking politely. And to be sensitive to your partner’s needs and concerns.
Because poor communicators also often find it difficult to put themselves in their partner’s shoes. They assume the worst whenever something goes wrong, and don’t discuss their fears.
Or shout about them instead of solving the problem. Or they choose to confide in someone outside the relationship. And so trust is gradually lost. And without trust, just about every relationship starts to fall apart.
Divorcing couples often had unreasonable expectations going into their marriage. Maybe they thought getting married would fix all those problems they had while dating.
Or that exchanging vows meant they could relax. So the realities of paying bills and raising children brought the fairy-tale they’d hoped for down to earth.
Divorcing couples have often stopped trying. That’s a bit like getting a new job and then slacking off. You always have to give your best, or things will end.
Many divorcing couples don’t make sex a priority. They’ve stopped flirting with one another, holding hands and snuggling up close in bed. And gradually that loss of connection leads to a break-up.
Some fear losing their individuality, so they’ve always held back from investing emotionally in each other.
But there’s no way you can be half in a marriage. It’s fine to maintain your individuality, but once you stop being ‘us’, then the relationship is actually already half over.
Above all, divorcing couples often started taking each other for granted. But marriage is always a work in progress.
So, the moment you stop appreciating each other is when things start going downhill.
And if you see such habits in your marriage, talk about them. And if that’s difficult, talk to a good counsellor before it’s too late …