The Changing Face of Relationships
I believe that some marriages should never happen.
I believe that some partners can grow in two different directions and stay together too long or gradually ‘die’ within a survival relationship.
I believe some couples genuinely are right for each other but ‘stuff’ gets in the way and chokes the relationship.
I believe there are two areas in our life that we are given enough guidance (training) or exposure to. These are Marriage and Child Rearing. Who ever tells us in a constructive way what it is like to live with someone 24/7? We are ‘lucky’ if our parents have (had) an enduring marriage and were good role models. However, what worked for them in the last half of the 20th century may not work for you in the 21st century.
So if couples genuinely are right for each other how do we stop the ‘stuff’ that gets in the way and chokes the relationship? With all the personal development, self examinations and ‘journeys’ that we are on, lets look at what we can do to change the face of relationships for the better.
- We can reduce the daily stresses that relationships bring, so we are not just ‘getting through the day’ but enjoying the moments along the way.
- Break down (or at least stop building) barriers that can occur. Instead of talking at each other or living in co-habiting isolation, start communicating through empathic listening, touch, genuine intimacy and appreciating each other.
- See people for who they really are, not what you want them to be. Celebrate their strengths and value their weaknesses and the opportunities and room that are created for you within your relationship.
- Don’t create (in your head) a ‘monster’ that lives on the other side of the bed. Ask yourself why you see them so differently now than when you were first married, what has changed in both you and them? Why is your partner acting the way they are? Are they reflecting what we feel about ourselves? Are their highest values being challenged? Are they not feeling appreciated or are their needs not being met? Humans rarely become ‘monsters’ so work out what has changed your attitude to them and what you both can do about it.
- Bring more joy and harmony into your family by understanding each other better. Take one moment at a time and consciously reduce the opportunities for conflict. If you stick at this, in time it will become an unconscious habit and you will start to appreciate the gift of each situation.
- Bring equality into the relationship, either through roles, commitment, actions or plain equal respect for each other.
- Examine the place for old fashioned values within your household. I mean things like: respect, trust, good manners, care, dignity and most of all LOVE.
With second (third etc.) marriages or marriage later in life, everything is magnified and multiplied. This is partly due to lifestyles tending to be more complex and already established e.g. careers, readymade families, financial investments/debt, possessions, and extended family views.
It is also partly due to our values, goals, beliefs and needs being far more developed and much harder to integrate. All of these reasons are breeding grounds for potential conflict. In my eBook series New Beginnings, I have provided much more in-depth assistance for couples who want to change the face of their relationship for the better.
Relationships have changed and become infinitely more complex, yet when you strip it all away, the core is still the same:
- Everyone wants to be loved for who they are
- Human’s one quest is LOVE (which is why we don’t give up even after the most painful of experiences)
- Nature did not create Humans to be alone.
So remember these three next time your partner drives you insane! Whilst how we approach relationships needs to be different, what we seek hasn’t changed for thousands of years.
Author and experienced relationship coach, Gillian Andale is the owner of Love2Last, a coaching and resource centre dedicated to couples who have found love again, want a new beginning and aim to strengthen and grow their relationship as well as need help in blended family situations. Visit www.love2last.co to browse and see the wealth of information available.