Doesn’t it seem like most big life events happen in waves–births, deaths, weddings, divorces, etc.? I hadn’t been to a funeral in years but ended up going to three last year. It was also the year of divorces. Even the couples that I thought would survive, because they were trying to work things out or going to therapy, couldn’t make it. This left me to wonder why and how it works out for any couple, especially given the climbing divorce rate. With relationships becoming less and less conventional with each passing year, I wonder what marriage will really look like in another few years and how success will be defined.
The growing independence of women around the world is also changing the marriage landscape, as being hitched and having kids is not necessarily the top priority. The good news is that this would suggest that more couples will get together out of genuine compatibility and love, versus the pressure to have a family, which could be one of the issues that contributes to a rocky relationship.
Regardless, once you are in a situation in which you are questioning your relationship (marriage or otherwise), and wonder if you should be on the breakup bandwagon like everyone else, or should feel guilty because you are happy and end up looking for things that are wrong, it’s a good time to take a step back and think about what keeps you together and why.
There is no right formula for success but the more open you can be with yourself about what it is you want and need from a relationship, the more honest you can be with your partner. One of the downward spirals that can occur is that people go into a relationship accepting certain things and then feel that they can’t change their minds and request something different down the road. As a result, they don’t speak to each other about these feelings and end up developing resentment, instead of expressing what’s really in their hearts and minds and giving the other person a chance to address it. Chances are, your partner has similar feelings from time to time so opening up a dialogue, paves the way for future discussions.
Adjustments always need to be made in order to keep a relationship on course. Most issues, when brought to light, can be discussed and resolved. Ignoring issues is not going to make them magically disappear as many people often hope. So don’t worry about what is going on with other couples. They are all different so learn from both their successes and their failures and focus what you can to do today to have a better relationship.