There are a multitude of books dedicated to this subject, not to mention thousands of websites, and I even co-authored a chapter about it in a previous book. So what can possibly be said that hasn’t been said already?
We know that relationships are tough. They take work and they don’t always go the way a person wants. We often get blindsided by our own willingness to think it’s working (or not working) that we end up sabotaging ourselves in the end. This is not to be confused with relationships that are abusive (although we can blind ourselves to that as well) where an immediate exit is needed.
The most depressing answer I’ve seen on this subject came from Quora.com where soembody asked what people don’t know about marriages after several years. The most upvoted answer came from a person who said the relationship ends up feeling like two people who are roommates instead of partners.
However, here’s another story that came to me from a friend who once had to emcee a wedding. He asked all those in the audience who were married for over twenty years to stand up.
He then asked them to keep standing if they’ve ever had a fight in their marriage.
Keep standing if you’ve had a serious fight.
They continued to stand.
Keep standing if you’ve had a fight that could’ve broken your marriage.
All of them remained standing.
We all wish there was some magical formula that we can plugin to our own situation that will make everything perfect. It’s just not going to happen, but there are many things we can do to lay a strong foundation for when things get tough.
Every day, we must learn to love our partners. We must be willing to show that love and to always remember our origin story. What was it that bonded us together in the first place?
If we can always keep that in the forefront of our mind, it will help us to make better decisions about our relationships each and every day.
On the flip side, there are those who do not engage in relationships. There’s a societal pressure that one must be in a relationship or something is wrong with that person. This is slowly beginning to dissipate, but it can cause people to ask themselves, “Is something wrong with me?”
Sometimes, the decision to avoid one was caused by a great hurt that happened in a previous relationship. Other times, it can just be skeptical about the reasons for relationships in the first place. After all, we’ve been inundated with the romantic comedies of the past thirty years that tell us it’s happily ever after in the end. However, real life stories tell us otherwise.
Regardless of what people tell you, or what they’ve experienced, they don’t understand your situation. To try and explain it is attempting to bypass several filters that a person has already put in front of themselves. Understand your reasons, feel confident in your decisions and walk boldly forward.