Relationships – Part 1
As I sit here staring at my computer, I wonder if I really want to open the Pandora’s Box of writing on this subject. My brain is a whirlwind of activity, threatening to charge full bore into overload. Where do I start? Where do I end? How about I start at the end…Ass backwards works for me. And maybe if more couples know the factors that will rush them toward their eventual demise, they’ll stop doing what they’re doing and do something differently. And so, without further ado, here are the top however many things I come up with that will end your relationship. It may be sooner, it may be later, but don’t act surprised when the death knell tolls if you are engaging in any of this with your partner.
Ranging from overt physical violence to covert emotional undermining, abuse takes many forms. And if you are in an abusive relationship, it’s more of a hostage taking situation than a relationship. It’s not healthy, no one is truly happy as this type of relationship has little to do with love, and a lot to do with power and fear. If you are the recipient of abuse, you are in a relationship with someone who doesn’t know how to have a loving relationship, so you are not going to have one. End of story. If you are the abuser, you don’t know how to have a loving relationship, but you can learn if you are willing, and it’s going to take some work.
Name calling and emotional abuse is just as damaging to a relationship as physical abuse is. Here are some examples of abusive and undermining statements:
“No normal person would do that.”
“Can’t you do anything right?”
“Are you stupid?”
Now, context does have to be applied here. If someone is ransacking your house and breaking your TV, it’s appropriate to say that no normal person would do that. But if you spill a glass of milk by accident and your spouse tells you with a look of contempt that no normal person would do that, it’s abuse. They are undermining your sense of self worth.
Abuse has to do with the extent of the reaction.
Uh. I could go on and on here. But basically, if you are physically,verbally, or emotionally intentionally hurting or harming, instilling fear or threatening, undermining or purposefully trying to make your partner feel bad you are being abusive. Healthy relationships are about making your partner feel good. They’re about uplifting your partner and loving them. If you are showing love to another you are not trying to hurt them. Or scare them. Simple as that. And if you are hurting your partner it saps away the love. Cue-end of relationship. Kindness and loving actions build love. Be kind to yourself, and kind to your partner.
2) Lack of Respect
Do you roll your eyes when your partner is talking? Belittle something they have said? Walk away from them when they are in the middle of a sentence? Show up for dinner an hour late without calling? Sentence them to days of silence when you are angry with them? Make fun of them in front of others? Criticize or cut them down either when you are alone or in front of others? Interrupt them or zone out when they’re speaking?
…And then wonder why they don’t want to sleep with you?
Respect and consideration are prime in keeping a relationship loving and healthy. And your partner deserves the highest level of respect of anyone in your life. If you ain’t giving it, guaranteed you soon won’t be getting any.
3) The Need to Win
Partnership, marriage, a happy relationship…competition and the need to win has to stay on the sports field and out of the bedroom. When you make yourself a winner in relationship with your partner, you’ve made them a loser, and that does not breed ooey gooey good feelings. It makes your partner feel….like a loser. This can show up in couples several ways. In arguments, where the goal becomes being the one who is right, rather than seeking to understand your partner’s point of view. In how things are done around the house. “Seriously, who loads the dishwasher like that? Let me show you the proper way.” Or in more subtle areas, like trying to be the better, nicer parent.
Having to win usually comes from a place of trying to affirm one’s own self worth, but in doing so, it places your partner’s self worth at risk. Loving relationships are about seeking understanding, finding a win/win or even a lose/lose. Agreeing to disagree. Because more often than not, nobody is wrong, the intent wasn’t bad, you are just two different people who have different opinions and different perspectives on life. Choose to understand each other and learn. You’ll be much happier.
4) The ‘Agreement’ Disguised as a Relationship
You’ll provide the sex and he/she will provide the money. You provide the majority of the money and therefore you think he/she has to do every single damn other thing in the relationship to validate their worth while you sit there saying to yourself “I make more money than you.” Or, the famous “It’ll be cheaper to live together than apart.” You might as well start your fund for the divorce lawyer now, because when he finds a younger quieter model, when she gets tired of being your maid, mother, cook and all around gopher girl, and when you realize that living together because it is cheaper is not always the best reason to take your relationship to the next level…and this will happen…well…lawyers love people like you. Because you get so darn angry when things end. Which is weird. Did you really think you were in a relationship? It’s called an agreement. And whenever business partners enter into one of these, they start it with lawyers. Because they KNOW that someday it will end.
If you don’t want to work, don’t enter into a relationship. It is a myth that relationships don’t take work. They do. Would you go into your place of employment and because you were tired, sit there and do nothing while your co-workers hustled their butts on a major project? I don’t think so. So don’t be doing that around your partner. We all have exhausting days either at the office or at home taking care of the kids, and it’s okay to be exhausted and take time off. But not all the time. It can get really easy to sit back and not put the effort into making your partner happy, just making yourself happy…but the happier you make yourself with your least amount of effort, the less happy your partner is bound to be, and the less they’ll start to figure they actually need you around. Much better to make yourself useful and indispensable, don’t you think? You’re less likely to be fired.
6) Lousy Communication
Books have been written on this. Go buy a book on healthy communication and read it. Or don’t. In which case you have immediately placed yourself in category 5. Enough said.
I could keep writing and writing on this. But I’m tired. So I’m done for now. I’m going to go take care of myself and keep myself happy. Because keeping oneself happy, helps one to bring more happiness to others.
A happy self, means more energy to help build happy and positive feelings in others. Making others feel good, feel taken care of, heard, respected, makes them feel loved. The more love one feels toward another, the stronger the attachment and the more likely the relationship will continue onwards. It’s that simple. And, because we are human, that complicated. But it all starts with you. 🙂