Some pitfalls to look out for
Long-term relationships can be negatively impacted by some obvious behaviours such as affairs, physical or mental abuse, and constant fault-finding. However, there are some issues which are often understated and not always recognized, which can erode relationship happiness.
Studies have shown that when a relationship goes bad, positive interactions to prevent arguments and negative emotions go out the window. What might have been a close relationship and good sexual encounters tend to steadily decrease. Suddenly, almost without any warning, there is very little of the relationship that survives.
However, if there is still love left in the long-term partnership, here are some warning signs to look out for to prevent a complete downward spiral.
Some issues to consider in a long-term partnership:
- You find that you do not need each other as much anymore. In the beginning, couples leaned on each other for support, but with the passing of time, gained confidence, and learned self-coping skills in difficult times.
- Solution: Turn to your partner instead of trying to cope on your own, or speaking to family or friends for advice.
- Your hobbies and interests are not shared by your partner. As life goes on one develops new interests and hobbies. You might even get over-enthusiastic about something which your partner does not share, for example taking up a new sport, or working out at the gym. He or she might feel left out and you begin to drift apart.
- Solution: Although it is good for partners to have their own interests, try and find time to do something together that you both enjoy.
- In a long-term relationship, because you know each other so well, you may tend to make assumptions about how your partner thinks or feels. When one partner often speaks for another, it can lead to feelings of humiliation – especially in front of other people. This can contribute to the erosion of a relationship.
- Solution: Allow your partner to speak for himself or herself about feelings and beliefs. To save your partnership – think before you speak for your partner.
- You may find yourself holding back from some of the things you want to do, and research has indicated that people in long-term partnerships tend to blame each other for things they fail to do. This can apply to anything from neglecting to keep the home tidy to allowing the garden to get overgrown. The excuse is usually my partner is a slob and doesn’t help me with anything, so why should I bother. This builds up resentment and a constant critical attitude which can weaken your relationship.
- Solution: Initiate a calm, open discussion with your partner to explain how you need support in the things you do, whether they be inside the home environment, or outside in social activities. Make certain that you assure your partner you will give your whole-hearted support wherever it is needed.
Studies have shown that for a long-term relationship to be successful, and stay successful, it needs the input of both partners to prevent a catastrophic breakup.
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