Does the heart weigh more when we are in love? It feels so full of happiness that we think it may explode. Radiating like a neon light. When our relationships are going well they have the power to lift us up, give us a leap in our walk, the sky seems bluer and life a mystical magical journey.
However, other times our relationships seem like nothing more than hard-work and we would rather criticise, abuse or avoid the other person rather than address the core issues.
The committed relationship.
Believe it or no; you struck a deal with your partner when you committed to each other. Back in the day when verbal agreements and a hand shake were as good as signing your name to a contract, the deal was sealed.
When both parties make this promise; they offer to share their most valuable assets: – their heart and mind. You have decided to become partners in crime. Sharing these cherished yet vulnerable commodities is not only saying, ‘I love you’, but ‘I trust you with everything I have’.
A union of this magnitude has the power to make you rise above the trivial and make you see the world in a rainbow of colors. It’s a big responsibility and one that should not be taken lightly, ever!
Because this joint venture also has the power to mentally reduce you to nothing, finding it hard to breath and fight another day. You try to remember when this relationship started to become difficult, doing nothing more than decreasing your energy levels with negativity. Wondering if you can ever come back from it.
Time to review the relationship.
There are going to be tough times. We are realists, history shows us that we roll with the punches, through the good and bad times.
When life beats you about, gives you a thrashing and turns your world upside down, your partner says, ‘we will fight this battle together. I want you to share your burdens and difficulties. When you hurt, I fight to right what is wrong’.
But when you feel burdened by your partner, it is time to start asking some questions and fast. These conversations NEED to be had:-
- When you start feeling as if your partner is the enemy.
- When you feel heavily burdened rather than feeling light hearted.
- When you maybe avoiding your partner.
- When you would rather be anywhere else but by the side of the person you once declared your love to.
Settling into routine.
When we begin a relationship, it’s a time where we can’t keep our hands off one another. Some refer to it as the rabbit stage. While there is discrepancies in the research, it has been noted that this stage has the potential to last anywhere between three months and two years.
Then we start to settle into a routine. There are many jokes that surround this time. You’re ball and chained to domesticity or you are under the thumb. There is a myth that you get less sex at this stage of the relationship.
Regardless of the research or how our sexual prowess naturally slows down. If you want to ensure the intimacy in your partnership remains a blast you put an effort into it. It is as simple as that.
We can make a whole lot of excuses to ourselves on this subject. I don’t have time, I’m tired or we’re fine. Yet we always find time for the things we want to do. You want to keep the fire alive because it benefits the both of you.
You’re not motivated by fear of your partner straying because sex is withheld. You’re not doing it out of duty. You’re putting in an effort, even on those days or nights when you may have other pressing issues, showing your partner they are a top priority. This one act of love making, you both share with nobody else, should never be taken for granted.
Magazines make a fortune continually discussing this area where we go from rabbits to habits. An example of a title is: How to keep the bedroom antics alive and well. We all have our own opinions on the subject of sex, love and intimacy. However this part of the relationship requires a whole lot of consideration, not routine, not obligation but determination.
If you are exercising on a regular basis yet are too tired to be intimate with your partner there are underlying issues. This area requires further investigation.
Could you imagine going to the gym and working out for an hour but you don’t have the capacity to share five minutes to a half an hour with your partner several times a week.
Exploring each other and working up a sweat, produces endorphins, serotonin, pheromones and others feel good chemical running through your body, tightening the muscles in the body and is a workout in its own right. Please note there are many more chemicals that sexual intercourse produces however the scope of this post is to present a point.
Understand how both you and your partner wind down after a day of full activity.
Be aware of how you prefer to unwind after a busy day. We all handle the stressors of the day differently. When you get home you may:-
- Walk in the door to your sanctuary and have a shower.
- Turn the music on, pour a drink and just pan out for some time.
- Go in search of your partner for a hug, kiss and a good natter.
This has no bearing on how you feel towards your partner. Understanding how you shut the door on your day can save arguments, disappointment or expectation.
The hidden argument. Recognising the core of the issue.
We say good bye to our partners in the morning. They do their thing and you do yours. Someone has to bring in the dough right?
A phone call causes an irritation but you deal with it. You arrive at a parking lot and someone steals your spot. You attempt to negotiate but this person is so rude you just move on.
Then your boss is an unapproachable jerk and instead of telling your partner about your day at work, you decide that you are going to argue with them. You don’t do this consciously but you are frustrated at your day and now it’s your turn to off load some steam, exactly the way your boss did to you.
This is a very subtle and slow relationship killer. These hidden or confused areas where we use our partners as verbal punching bags for the frustrations we faced outside of the relationship. We take our problems out on the one person who is there for us when we have issues. Unaware that we’re still angry at the situation that happened during the day, when your loved one was not around.
Your partner could have been your sounding board. Someone you share your shitty day; rather than raise trivial matters to get an argument started. Don’t forget your partner is on your side. The person who loves you and generally does not go out to cause these annoyances.
Recognise when you are looking for a fight. We have the capacity to lean on our partners in the most negative of forms. Abusing the relationship without us even knowing about it. We just are not in the mood to tolerate what is generally of little consequence. These are warning sign that something within you is not balanced.
Some telling points are:
- Showering and leaving the wet towel on the floor. This drives you crazy but you recognise this as a trivial matter, yet on an unbalanced day where things have not gone right – you want to argue about this.
- The rubbish bins have not been taken out and you are sick of asking for it to be done. What am I your mother or wife? Yet on other days, you would rather take the bins out anyway.
Nurture not torture.
Our relationships our precious yet precarious, leaving ourselves open to the vulnerability of pain and heart ache.
There is nothing more complimentary than your partner wanting to hang out because they enjoy you, not because they have to, or need to. They just want to.
We need to nurture our relationships rather than dragging them through the mud.We need to nurture our relationships rather than dragging them through the mud. Click To Tweet
Children have the potential to do this to some couples. For years these partners have devoted their time and energy to the kids. They forgot to nurture their own relationship and once the offspring leave the nest there is nothing holding the relationship together.
Let’s accept it right here and now; loving our partners at times can be hard work. A relationship requires maintenance. Yes you read it right – relationships need a service like a car demands a tune up.
It is necessary to know when to communicate and a when to use a healthy method of AVOIDANCE.
At times, topics are so raw that we need to step away from them and not immediately discuss highly fueled issues. Talking about everything when it arises, in the heat of the moment can create heartache, confusion and sorrow. At points where our emotions are turbulent we have no equilibrium and we generally don’t address the main areas of concern.
We have heard it time and time again. Nit-picking, nagging or a constant barrage of criticism has the potential to ruin a relationship. This is not love, this is verbal abuse. It’s controlling and manipulating.
Bringing up the past and using something that happened months ago as ammunition. If you want to keep your relationship going, stop trying to wage wars against your partner. You’re not your spouse’s ruler, boss or keeper. You are partners in crime, you walk side by side.
Open communication is necessary. Sometimes you have to put everything aside and have the tough talks. You have to invest time in the uncomfortable topics. The words left unsaid can be the cause of an eroded relationship. Remember we can say anything, it is how we say it.The words left unsaid can be the cause of an eroded relationship. Remember we can say anything, it is how we say it.… Click To Tweet
These conversations are heavy duty and they can drain us due to hurt and anger. Yet without these urgent conversations relationships start to fray and before you know it you’re sleeping with the enemy.
We have seen it in the movies and at restaurants. There are comfortable silences between a couple where you know they’re happy just being with one another.
Then there are the couple that have nothing left to say to one another. You wonder how they ever got to this stage. Why did they leave the unspoken for so long? Their relationship is over but they stay together because of money, fear of starting over or better the devil you know.
We avoid the tough talks for two reasons.
- We don’t know ourselves well enough to address what is really at the core.
- We’re too scared to discuss matters that we may not like the answers to.
Time to look at what you are able to live with.
We are not going to value all the attributes and characteristics of our partners. But the things that irritate us, do require thorough examination.
We all have different practices and styles of doing things. You may wash and dry the dishes one way and your partner method is so unusual. This does not mean it is wrong. If they are being done, what is the problem? We make adjustments even if we don’t appreciate the procedure.
So we accept that our partners way maybe time consuming or a silly way of doing things but this is something you can live with; without it driving you crazy.
Compromise actually means that you have to give something up or extend yourself further, to meet in the middle. It certainly rectifies the initial problem, but we can never see compromise as easy. Because we have to adjust something to get there.
What if we have agreed to terms under false pretences? We thought we could meet half way yet, our mind and body are rejecting the terms. The talk is not over and if you ignore it somewhere down the line there will be another issue.
Stuff you just won’t live with.
Some issues are so big that we will never be able to live with them. This acknowledgement is acceptable however it becomes crunch time. Deciding if the relationship can continue. Examples are: A philanderer, addiction, gamblers or someone who works away for long periods of time.
Questions and triggers.
Relationships hit rocky patches. Words are not always said or left unsaid. When do you decide that the storm requires discussion, because this will not sort itself out?
When your home is no longer a sanctuary and avoiding your spouse has become a regular part of your routine. This is a big warning sign.
There is a difference between knowing you are in trouble because you forgot an anniversary, you did not pick up the groceries, or you stayed out late with your mates drinking. You acknowledge you have to deal with consequences.
But when you no longer want to be around your partner it is time to talk and attempt to work it out. You don’t want to leave this hanging in the air. Long periods of silence can form a very unhealthy habit.
This is the time to decide which movie you want to be in. The couple sitting in uncomfortable silence or the partners that enjoy the quiet amongst one another.
There is nothing wrong with being angry. What you do with anger can have profound impact on those around you.There is nothing wrong with being angry. What you do with anger can have profound impact on those… Click To Tweet
How long is it healthy to be angry at someone before it turns into normal behaviour?
These talks can only be achieved when trust is in the relationship. If you are doubting the words from your partner’s mouth then you are at the end of the road anyway.
When trust is lost, attempting to come back from that is one of the hardest quests made of anyone. Most of the time if trust has disappeared the relationship has suffered turbulent times. There is sadness and bitterness hanging around.
Some relationships have a used by date.
When we walk down the aisle we a have the best of intentions of remaining in this relationship. We are determined not to become a statistic of divorce. We are going to give it our all.
We suspect that other couples just did not try hard enough, that is why there is so much separation and divorce. You refuse this option. Forever is forever.
As humans we are continually growing and transforming ourselves as individuals. Do you really want to remain in a stale relationship? Our situations change, the unthinkable can happen and our paths are windy. There are so many variables that come into play.
Once you recognise that some repairs can’t be easily fixed, acknowledge you have done your best. Of course you did not set out in this relationship for it to end, but putting life on hold to remain unhappy is making a choice.
Not too many of us attain this heightened state. This acceptance. It is a word that we use, we know what it means, but it is not that easily reached. We are humans and we love until our heart aches with either joy or pain.
We can easily be affected by one interaction. We attempt not to judge someone yet if they have an impact on us; it is hard to say. ‘I understand you and your actions’ – especially when we are hurt.
But we can always attempt to achieve this comfortable balance where bliss lives. Because this is a place where we accept all, where we do not judge, we are unaffected by others. We really embrace their good, their bad and their ugly.
Love can lift us up, it is one energy that has such a wonderful power running through us. We feel it with every part of our being.
To keep a fire burning, we need to continually add wood and clear away the old ashes. When we work at these simple yet regular tasks, we enjoy the benefits of the fire.
Then why is it that when we form habits in relationships, we forget that a fire requires constant maintenance to keep it alight. It is only when both partners appreciate the warmth of the fire that they acknowledge a small amount of work will bring many hours of joy.
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