It is clearly the case that the vast majority of relationships fail. This can easily be said because most relationships end in a break-up. When you enter into a relationship, for the most part, this sort of ending is the last thing you hope for or expect. And yet, the odds are stacked against you.
The most important question in light of this, is why are the odds stacked against you? Also, what can you do to change this? How can you make it so the odds turn in your favor and in the favor of the success of your relationship?
To answer these questions, it is crucial to understand why it is that most relationships fail. These reasons should be obvious, and yet, so many of us so easily fall into perpetuating these reasons. Knowing them explicitly, however, will ultimately be the route towards avoiding them. Without explicit knowledge of something which is detrimental to you, you are bound to fall into said detrimental activities.
Failures to Communicate
Communication is the key to a healthy and long-lasting relationship. This goes for both monogamous and non-monogamous relationships. At bottom, this is due to the fact that in relationships we have needs which we wish to have met. No one is a mind reader: if we do not express these needs, simply put they will not be fulfilled. Sadly, however, many of us simply expect our partners to somehow know what our needs are and when they are not met as a result of not expressing such needs, we unreasonably grow angry and resentful of our partners. If we have issues in our relationship, we seldom talk to our partners about it in the form of dialogue. Instead, we either bottle up our problems or we let them out in a destructive manner that is not conducive to dialogue.
Instead of believing that our partners are mind readers, bottling up our issues or lashing out at our partners, we ought to sit down with them and have a dialogue regarding all of the relevant facts of your relationship with them. You should go over duties that one another have in the relationship and ensure that they are fairly distributed; you should ensure that the physical and mental well-being of yourself and your partners are doing well and if they are not, talking about taking steps to ameliorate such issues; you should discuss any issues you have in the relationship but in a non-confrontational or accusatory manner. Really, relationships are supposed to be a tug-of-war –one which ultimately serves to strengthen your bond. The lack of this sort of dialogue will result in the inevitable failure of your relationship –either you will break up or you will be miserable together and suffer internally. Plus, in itself, not talking to your partners feels lonely! You will feel like you are not being appreciated or heard. This cannot be conducive to the success of any relationship.
Generally speaking, many people say that they don’t think sex is the most important part of a relationship. For the most part, they are right. However, what they might also agree with –although hesitantly, due to the implicit fear of its truth– is that “when the sex is good it’s 5% of the relationship. When it’s bad it’s 90% of the relationship.” If sex is good in a relationship, it really doesn’t matter all that much. However, if it is bad –i.e. Infrequent, non-existent, or of poor quality– it becomes a huge problem for most people. Sexual dissatisfaction leads to feelings of inadequacy, loneliness, and a lack of affection. These, of course, are feelings that can easily lead to the failure of a relationship.
One of the biggest contributors to sexual dissatisfaction in relationships is sexual selfishness. It is quite often the case –to the point where, for example, about 70-80% of women report rarely or never orgasming from sex– that at least one party during sex only cares about their own pleasure. Hence, the first step to improving your sexual situation is to be more conscious of your partner’s needs and if they are satisfied sexually. Being more willing to accommodate the needs of your partners’ will make the sexual situation in your relationships a lot better, whereby you are now both happy with sex. A failure to have empathy for your partner’s sexual needs, however, will surely make the relationship fail.
Maybe you’ve been together for years with one or more people. Now you’ve gotten into the habit of repeating the same mere routines over and over again. Something is missing from your relationships. Have you taken inventory? Do you try to come up with new activities to do together? Do you even still feel like friends with your partner? Or are you simply the person with who they have sex and dinner? If it is the lattermost, you should be worrying that your relationship is in jeopardy.
If you find that you have gotten stuck in dull routines with your partners, you should talk to them about it. Usually, such routines are not positive ones: you might just eat together and have sex. But when was the last time you went on a nice date night? One of the best ways to overcome complacency in a relationship is to create positive routines. Try to have a date night at least once a week on activities that both of you can agree upon –not just a short dinner out. Even the discussion of these activities will be better than digging yourself deeper into what could ultimately end your relationships.
It is easy to lose sight of these three issues. When you are in a relationship, everything might seem fine, or you’ve done a good job allowing yourself to believe things are fine when you know deep down that they are not. But, if you communicate, become less selfish, and prevent complacency, these are steps that will push you away from failing in relationships to succeeding in them.