You co-habit, love each other, and want your relationship to always flow perfectly. Is it possible to sustain a relationship as bright as it was during the first days you’ve got acquainted?
It happens to everyone, but it won’t happen to us since nobody has ever loved each other as strongly as we do! Yet, a month, a year or two pass by, and tenderness, passion, and wild feelings fade; instead, there appear dull quarrels and constant irritation. We cannot but worry that love is gone, and it seems to us that a range of gloomy sad years is waiting for us now.
Until death separates us
Unfortunately, nobody can guarantee eternal love. A feeling that you’ve met an incredibly important person that has helped you to find your true self comes from the depth of our personality. This feeling can’t be constructed or controlled by our will. However, it would be absolutely wrong to believe that a relationship ends when love goes away. As a matter of fact, a man and a woman part because they lose respect for each other.
A switch from all-consuming intimacy to mutual respect is a difficult period in the life of a couple. A feeling of respect implies distance and is considered as something opposite to the notion of love. This is where disappointment and doubt come from: should we stay together any longer?
Here are some ways psychologists suggest if we want to overcome these feelings and start a new life with the same person.
Tell each other what you like in your relationship
Many family couples make the same grave mistake: they never discuss the things they like and dislike in a relationship. Every partner believes that another person will guess everything themselves. Of course, it doesn’t happen; as a result, one is silently suffering whereas another partner continues behaving in the same way since they believe everything is fine.
Start a conversation about the best and the worst in your relationship until “I dislike” becomes “I hate.” “I dislike” has less anger and pain, just a bit of irritation and bewilderment that are easier to control. In this case, a talk will be calm and your words heard. You will leave space for responses to the answers, i.e., preserve space for your partner.
Men are afraid to talk about a relationship while these discussions are highly significant to women. Therefore, if it’s difficult for you to utter your worries, take a piece of paper and write down the best and the worst things in your relationship. Exchange your sheets and discuss the points you’ve written. Such a simple technique will let you better learn each other, take your part of the responsibility for “the worse” and understand what you should do to increase am amount of “the better.”
Define rules, find common goals
A lot of couples are likely to live together mechanically without considering why they are doing that and what they expect from common life. This is a destructive practice since an absence of common goals may destruct a relationship sooner than constant conflicts. If your feelings are really strong, you will be able to reach mutual understanding. This will be your common strategic planning that is based on respect for each other. Distance helps to treat a relationship more carefully without constantly checking if it is stable enough.
Also, rules and rituals play an important role in a relationship. These shouldn’t be made up on the spot since they already exist in your life: somebody is the first to occupy a bathroom while another partner always buys bread or pays the rent. Nonetheless, it often happens that partners are dissatisfied with each other’s roles, which means that duties and rituals have to be discussed. Not to hurt our partner’s feelings, we should answer several questions. What will happen if somebody breaks the established rules? What does being “faithful” mean to each partner? Can we spend time with friends of the opposite sex? The answers should be clear because silence may become a shelter for emotional residue.
Preserve your individuality
Having lived for some time together, people may find out they have adapted to each other to such an extent that their personalities have changed too much. A desire to adapt to a beloved person, please them often makes a man or woman lose their individuality. This is the so-called “relationship crisis of the third year,” one’s attempt to return to oneself, their habits, and values. Many people have a desire to change a job or start studying.
Sometimes, a partner doesn’t understand why it is happening, and their feelings start fading. This is another reason for a calm thorough discussion. The point is that once you got attracted to each other exactly because of your individuality. Thus, you don’t have to lose yourself to preserve a relationship.
Don’t accumulate anger
We often try not to express anger, irritation, fury since we fear they might spoil a relationship. Yet, it’s better to fiercely quarrel than accumulate rancor and a feeling of guilt. Anger is useful since it helps us to tell directly what we think. Pouting it out, try to understand what has caused it. Then, tell your partner about this not accusing them of all earthly sins. If you are a just reason for somebody’s anger, be patient, and perceive your partner’s remarks as constructive criticism. Keep in mind that provided that you are really guilty you have to compensate for your partner’s spoiled mood.
Learn to be grateful to each other
A lot of couples live waiting for something better and don’t appreciate the things happening every single day. What can be easier than expressing gratitude for help, compassion, or a present? Yet, it is considered a “poor” skill, and people even aren’t ready to say “Thank you” provided that they live together for a long time. Be grateful for definite things – a present, walk, a sign of attention.
If a partner has guessed our dearest wish or done something pleasant, why not simply say “It’s so fine!” Your relationship will definitely become stronger. Beware of typical mistakes that kill even the sincerest gratitude. It happens when to a simple “Thank you for flowers” we add phrases like “I hope you will always do this” or “Couldn’t you have thought of it earlier?”
According to American psychologists, Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson, a relationship in any couple goes through six stages.
Partners feel as if they were one whole and pay no attention to differences. In a restaurant, one would say: “I order the same dish as you.”
Partners underline their interests as if checking the stability of a relationship. This is the moment when the discrepancy in opinions and beliefs is revealed: “How can you like such an awful thing?”
Partners investigate their ability “to be apart:” spend a vacation separately, meet with friends more often…and cheat on each other (sometimes).
Both people already know why they are together, they make up a mutual schedule of living, set definite goals.
Partners are absolutely absorbed in organizing family life, they take into consideration each other’s hobbies and career.
You are a great team! Common business, children, friends… If both partners feel fine together, people by their side are happy, too!
To sum up, a truly mature and deep relationship evolves between people who neither emotionally nor financially depend on each other. They could have happily lived separately, but they are so interesting to each other! Life has given them a lucky chance to meet a person they need nothing from and who makes a life fuller. So, may he/she merely live by my side, remain themselves, and feel as well as I do!