The ache for love and belongingness is universal. We are, after all, social creatures wired for connection. So, we find ourselves falling in love again and again. And each time, we hope that this will be the last time. But is it?
There always comes a time when the drawstring that pulls the relationship taut snaps.
Whether it’s infidelity, money problems, or just plain old-fashioned incompatibility, relationships end. It’s a heartbreaking truth, but not an insurmountable one. If you find yourself in the aftermath of a failed relationship, there are things you can do to pick up the pieces and get yourself back on track.
However, before you can start rebuilding your life, you need to understand why your relationship failed in the first place. So, in an attempt to save future heartaches, here are a few reasons why relationships fail and how you can improve them.
Substance abuse is one of the most common and destructive issues in relationships. It not only takes a toll on your health but also strains your finances, damages your reputation, and wrecks your relationships. You lose yourself to the dark desire to get high and numb the pain. But, in the process, you neglect the person (or people) who stood by you through thick and thin.
Sadly, excessive drinking, drug use, gambling, and other addictions often lead to domestic violence, infidelity, and divorce.
If you’re struggling with addiction, get help. Institutions such as the Palm Beach Institute can provide you with the resources and support you need to get sober and rebuild your life. Remember, there’s no shame in asking for help.
Lack of Communication:
Expressions – they narrate what we feel inside but are often left unsaid. It is especially true in relationships where we think our partner should “just know” how we feel. We expect them to be mind-readers, but the truth is, they’re not. So, if you’re feeling something, say it. Don’t bottle it up until it explodes.
But, how your express yourself is just as important as what you say. Avoid getting defensive, attacking, or placing blame. Instead, try to use “I” statements and be open to hearing your partner’s side of the story.
When was the last time you told your husband that you’re grateful for him taking out the trash? Or, how often have you told your wife how much you appreciate her cooking dinner? Small things, yes, but they’re necessary. Gratitude is the glue that holds relationships together. It’s the foundation of respect, love, and trust.
When you don’t feel appreciated, you start to question why you’re even in the relationship. You wonder what you did wrong and start to doubt yourself. So, put aside that TV remote or your phone, notice all things good (even if they’re small), and express your gratitude. Don’t forget to mention how your partner’s looks still have you weak in the knees.
Barely Spending Quality Time Together:
Always around but never present. Do you feel that? That’s probably almost all of us. You’re sitting at the dinner table together but are you mentally and emotionally available? Or are you both preoccupied with your own thoughts, worries, and stress? If that’s your case, it’s not okay. Detachment, for whatever reason, creates an emotional distance between partners, often leading to bigger and bitter situations.
So, turn to digital detox now. Take some time for yourselves and do things that make you happy. It can be anything – from going on a hike to taking a dance class. And, most importantly, do it together. The key is to be present and focus on each other.
Trust Flying Out the Window:
Lies, secrets, and betrayals – once trust is gone, it’s gone! People will tell you that it’ll eventually get okay. But it never does. You can never fully trust that person again. The thought of them cheating on you or keeping secrets will always be at the back of your mind, poisoning your relationship.
The only way to rebuild trust is, to be honest with each other. Be open about your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. If you ever mess up, confess. Because when a third person comes between you and your partner, it’s not just your relationship that’s at stake. It’s also your integrity and self-respect.
Taking Intimacy for Granted:
Is intimacy all about sex? No, it’s not. It’s about feeling close to your partner, physically and emotionally. It’s about sharing anything and everything with them without feeling judged.
But, in relationships, we often take our partner for granted. We stop trying to make an effort and assume they’ll always be there. That’s when the cracks start to show. The love and passion slowly fade and are replaced by resentment and anger.
To keep the spark alive, try to do things that make your partner feel special. Compliment them, hug them, and touch them. Do things that make them feel wanted and loved.
Money problems are one of the leading causes of divorce. It’s not surprising, really. After all, financial insecurity can put a lot of stress on a relationship. It can cause arguments, resentment, and even physical violence.
If you’re having trouble making ends meet, talk to your partner. Openly discuss your financial situation and try to come up with a plan. If you’re not on the same page, seek professional help. A financial advisor can help you get your finances in order and guide you in moving forward. And always remember, you’re in it together. If your ship’s sinking, you both need to find ways to bail it out.
Interruptions from Family and Friends:
We all know people who are always ready with I-know-it-all-advice. Whether it’s about how to raise your child, whether or not your partner should work late hours, or what you should be doing with your life – they have an opinion on everything. And they’re not afraid to voice it.
While it’s great to have people who care about you, sometimes family and friends can be a little too meddling. They can cause arguments and disrupt the peace in your relationship. If you’re constantly fighting because of them, it’s time to talk. Let them know that you appreciate their concern, but you prefer dealing with things on your own.
No relationship is perfect. All couples go through tough times. But what matters is how you handle those tough times. Do you give up, or do you fight for your relationship?
If you’re facing difficulties in your relationship, don’t lose hope. A therapist can help you get to the root of your problems and find ways to overcome them. Talk to your partner and try to find a way to work through it. And, if you need help, seek professional guidance.