Many of the reasons for relationship failures or difficulties are in categories that overlap or may be broadly described as “communication failures.” We covered communication as the dialogue between a couple that develops a mutual understanding, respect and affection.
Communication, however, is also about intuition, a sense of what your partner needs and wants. It is about common interests and the enjoyment of each other. It is about shared activities and it is about trust, faith, understanding and commitment.
Communication is also about listening. Are you really hearing what your partner is saying? Are you reading between the lines and getting the real message? Are you empathetic and sympathetic with your partner? Are you hearing your partner’s expressions of feelings?
Relationships, like plants, require nurturing. They need food, good soil, water and sunshine. Your relationship needs the investment of both of you (food), a good foundation of mutual interests and activities (good soil) and a shared commitment and common goals (water and sunshine).
Over time most relationships are confronted with many small problems and a few large ones. We are flawed beings, after all, and we do make mistakes. It is how we respond to mistakes that determines our character.
If you have a contentious problem in your relationship, you have to eliminate the causes of the problem, then eliminate the problem itself and mend the breach. Failure to erase problems and their causes will allow them to continue to be an issue in your partnership.
If you caused the problem you also have to ask for forgiveness. If your partner was the cause, then you have to be the one forgiving the mistake. “To err is human, to forgive is divine.”
Marriage or any other type of intimate relationship requires more than just being there. You should cultivate mutually pleasurable activities. You have to consider and address your partner’s needs and wants, not allow other people to interfere, make a commitment, and work out your differences.