Throughout the Western world divorce rates range from about 10% – 50% depending on your country and culture. This does not include the splitting up of people who live together without getting married or emerging divorce rates from marriage equality figures that have not yet been factored into statistics.
The reasons people dissolve their relationships are varied including:
• Irreconcilable differences including difference of opinions, arguing or being unable to come to agreements
• Violence or mental, sexual, social or economic abuse by one partner towards the other
• A sense of betrayal as one partner engages in a relationship outside the partnership without the other’s consent
• People believing they have fallen out of love with the other person
• Interference in the relationship by relatives who do not allow the couple to find their own dynamics to make the relationship work
• Problems around money that put stress on the relationship
Relationships initially go through a two-year honeymoon period where love often conquers emerging difficulties between couples of any age.
Once you get to know someone, however, you may begin to see their foibles, idiosyncrasies and difficult behaviours, so there can at times be a temptation to focus on those, rather than love. This can also happen when you have your first child, do not get enough sleep and become short-tempered.
The habit of ‘blaming’ emerges, where you each begin to blame the other for the difficulties within the relationship.
All the difficulties in relationships tend to emerge from two causes:
The first is poor communication, where you talk over each other and fail to listen to or understand what the other person is trying to tell you. You may even start to block out your partner’s communication most or all of the time.
The second cause is a lack of respect and consideration for what the other person needs from life, the relationship and what support they need from you.
There is no ‘made to order’ partner that fits perfectly with your agenda.
People and their needs change, so you must be prepared to change and help cater for your partner’s changing needs, as well as your own.
Unfortunately, schools do not teach people to have good, loving and lasting relationships, which is bizarre really because your relationships are a major part of your adult life.
You may also not have had parents who knew how to execute wholesome, respectful, loving relationships, which meant they could and did not teach you those skills.
So, to rescue a failing relationship, you need to learn how to drive the vehicle called ‘the relationship’ by increasing your skills to communicate and negotiate within the relationship.
Yes, it begins with you.
Then both of you as a couple need to learn to communicate better in a respectful way.
What to do to rescue a failing relationship:
• Accept that making the relationship work starts with you and the way you communicate
• Recognise that there are multiple parties within a relationship including you, your partner, the relationship itself and your family if you have children
• Remember that families who sit down and calmly negotiate together have a high probability of staying together happily
• Begin to map what each party within the relationship needs
• Make a regular effort every single week to work on your relationship
• Consider that what you get out of love, sex and the quality of a relationship is greatly influenced by the effort you put into making those experiences work
I help couples make their relationship work in a loving, wholesome and practical way in my clinic in Sydney or by Skype internationally.