Summed up… Relationships, time and communication should be top priority. This is not the most intelligent post, it should be common sense. But, in case anyone is in doubt… here goes.
For richer, for poor, good times and bad times…that is what the standard marriage vows we exchange on our wedding day states. But how many actually implement it? Does time warp it? Do people become so wrapped up in themselves they forget that nothing is certain, no one is promised tomorrow?
The main thing that sparked this article is the amount of time people spend with their loved ones; not so much spouses/partners but all loved ones. However, for the sake of sanity I am narrowing it down to just ones other half/spouse/partner.
Is it possible to balance work and a successful relationship? Of course,…but (there is always a but), I believe it requires work and dedication. Marriage is supposed to be to your best friend, someone you can confide everything in; someone who is stable and someone who won’t spring life changing surprises on you, someone who can see through the mask of apparent anger and to the pain, taking no offense but giving love when love is needed most. At least, in a nut shell, that is what love is to me.
But if a person is always gone, if money and work is put above the relationship then the relationship is sure to dissolve, unless that is how it was from the start. If from the start you knew what you were getting into none of this really applies to you. This is more about relationships during which one partner does a sudden change that impacts both. If the change is discussed then that is understandable, I suppose, unless the one doing the life changing action doesn’t listen and feels they have the final say over the relationship. I believe in each person being equal and I believe in compromise.
So, with all of that in mind, I did some research and reading on marriage and work, marriage and time, and what successful marriages are made of…and what unsuccessful marriages are made of. Infidelity is disgusting as is abuse so I won’t mention them for they are obvious ‘deal breakers’- and a whole other blog post.
I am against working for others, period. I don’t believe in slaving to a system that makes money off of you. Of course, there is a bit of hypocrisy here because I do work, I work from home as a freelance artist, I am my own boss. I understand everyone can’t do this, and that’s fine. But the damage spending more time at work than with your spouse and family is devastating. While of course work is needed, there is such thing as overwork, and worse, when a person says they want a life without being a person who works away from home so much, then turns around and becomes the person they said they never would, it does ruin things.
According to every research study I read, all made a note that family and the spouse should come before work. But digging a bit deeper, the research studies I went through stated the top reasons for divorce as follows (some are missing as noted): lack of commitment accounted for 73% of divorces. Other reasons included excessive arguing (56%); lack of compromising (45%) and neglect of time as well as lack of meeting the others needs (29%).
It should be noted that many people listed more than one of the above, and this is not the complete list of course. Interestingly enough (as noted below) a large percentage of people wish either their ex-spouse or they themselves would have tried harder to make their marriage work after divorce. Bit late, but hey. Maybe realizing that will help other people not make the same mistake and work before the marriage or relationship ends.
(Considering divorce? I suggest looking at this and filling out these answers first… Unless there is abuse or neglect, as long as you have some love within, I don’t suggest throwing away your relationship over issues that can be resolved. You have nothing to lose in trying, and you’ll have the comfort of knowing you’ve tried everything possible to save your marriage… Looking back over 63% of divorcees say they wish they would have tried harder to make their marriage work. Again, if you are in an abusive relationship, GET OUT… But for other issues such as time, communication, etc… these issues can be fixed with love and work… 🙂 Click HERE to access one of many suggested resources.)
When a relationship first begins conversation is so interesting and vital because you want the other person to feel the same for you; you want them to like/love you. Yet, as time goes by and people think they “have” the other person the sweet, loving things they once did begin to fade into nothing but memories; sad memories because you miss them. When everything else begins to fall apart from lack of time, lack of attention, etc these little things that were part of the reason you fell in love begin to become huge issues and their absence hurts even more.
Some key things that fade with time noted both in research studies as well as life has shown most of us are things such as: affection (non-sexual), showing admiration and interest in the other persons activities, family before job, honesty and openness, time together, no negative surprises, no secrets, a safe place with acceptance, good listening and good communication, shared interests as well as sharing activities and experiences both find enjoyable. When everything is one sided it doesn’t really become boring so much as it becomes hurtful because it is pretty much a slap in the face saying your world is not interesting enough to be in.
Some people claim there is just not enough time, which is complete non-sense as one can always make time for what they want. Whether it means saying no to others, remembering or pretending to be at the beginning stages of the relationship when romance was at its peak, sharing new interests and thoughts, finding an activity that helps you both develop and grow not only as individuals but together, and having a date night at least twice a week. Yes, twice. Once is not enough, in my opinion and also in the opinion of many researchers.
Patience and understanding are fundamental- and remembering important things, keeping your word and promises are just as vital. This shows the other that you are reliable, stable and safe. It also shows that they care about you.
For example, you don’t forget to go to work do you? Do you forget when a football game is on or when it is a night out with the guys or girls? No. If you make sure you also don’t forget your promises/words you’ve given to your spouse, this will result in happiness and trust. But forgotten, it will lead to sadness, resentment and a feeling of worthlessness.
All in all I think it’s pretty straight forward. Relationships take work, and if people are willing to work at them they should flourish. As much as I wish the saying that “love is all we need” were true, it isn’t. Well, perhaps it is. Perhaps true love would never allow the above neglect to happen, perhaps, true love stays true to their word and their partner. True love should put their spouse or partner above all else, including work… True love is selfless, and if both people are selfless, putting the other first, then there is no one in ‘second’ place.