Very few people may be totally happy with their lives today. Surely, most lives today are shrouded by problems such as distrust among the partners, disagreements over slight issues, suspicions, ill will and even hatred. Relationships are continually souring all around us, and most times, we feel that nothing can be done about it. We resign ourselves by saying that it was meant to be that way.
The shapes our relationships are taking right now are downright deplorable. 1 in 2 couples are ending up in a breakup or a divorce. The levels of animosity are definitely rising, and this is certainly no good.
Why is this happening? What is it that we are failing to see? Despite making a diehard commitment at the start of our relationship, in the heydays as you may call them, what happens that makes the relationship so drastically irreparable?
Certainly, the problem lies in one of the partners or both. There are some very basic things that we are completely missing out on. We are not spending the time to realize that men and women are totally different kinds of beings, and that the only way to live successfully in harmony is by understanding each other completely.
If you think that is too difficult to achieve, you need to think again. You need to see that the situation is not all that bleak as it seems.
There is just one link in this chain, one single strand, that we are missing out on. If we simply see this one missing link and accept it, we will be able to do much better with our lives.
That is what it is all about—mutual understanding and acceptance. That is what we need to learn. And, yes, in this chapter, we begin creating the journal of your relationships that will help save your rocking relationship boat. This is your reference point and your guide, the place where you find your fumbling relationship begin to take root once again.
Life As We Know It and Why Is It So?
We see this very common scenario in the world around us today… maybe in our own lives too. It is someone’s wedding day. They look into each other’s eyes and vow to be together “until death do them part”. Standing in front of the marriage celebrant it is difficult to imagine how the two could ever not feel so in love as they do today.
Yet 5, 10, 15 years later they are standing in front of a judge and this time they are told they are divorced. It is not exactly the fairy tale ending they had anticipated all those years ago.
This scenario is a reality for over 50% of couples who marry. While the length of the relationship may be different among couples, and there are other reasons for the divorce, the reality is, over half of all marriages will end in divorce. The statistics are worse for remarriages.
It is a gloomy picture, and perhaps you are feeling depressed wondering what hope your marriage or relationship has in the face of such statistics. The great thing about statistics is that there are good as well as bad statistics and other statistics reveal that if a couple can work through the problems in their relationship; they can potentially bond stronger than ever and go on to have an even better relationship.
Why is all this happening? Ultimately, it is our perceptions of what makes a good relationship and our expectations of our partner, which creates the friction in marriage.
As we learn to understand why we have these expectations and how to challenge with them, we can look at our relationships with new eyes and appreciate them for what they are, rather than for what they are not, With this knowledge, all relationships potentially can move forward.
Our ability to relate to each other has evolved over our lifetime. We learn by observing the culture we grew up in and through our life experiences. As children, we watch our parents and we see how they relate with each other.
We interact with our siblings and this contributes to our knowledge of how people in close relationships interact with each other. We learn from talking to our friends and often compare and contrast their experiences with our own. As we reflect on what shapes the way we interact with others and why it does this, we find the key to beginning the restoration of a successful relationship.
Here are a couple of practical steps that may help the process. Try to do them together as a couple.
Reflect on who you are and what has shaped your thoughts on life and relationships. Take a day or two to really think deeply about this and ask your partner the same questions. Compare their thoughts with yours.
Use a journal to write down significant events in your relationship each day and what experiences caused them to occur and what your expectations were that caused that let down. These events go a long way in reinforcing your relationships. Even as you feel that you are drifting apart, if you just happen to read about these events in your journal, you will reminisce about those happy days you had together and perhaps you will have a change of heart. You will make an effort to patch up the relationship again. You will want to be together again to relive those happy days, and somewhere deep inside, you will get the confidence that the situation is not as bleak as it appears on the outside.
Chances are that your partner is reconsidering as well. Since the love you started out with was quite strong and determined, your partner is not going to want to peter it down too. Sit together and think. Maybe a solution will emerge out of the entire morass. Maybe you will want to be together for life once again, just as you committed to each other during those marriage vows.