1. Telling White Lies & Half Truths – Unfortunately, it is extremely common for adults in relationships to tell little “white lies” to their partners. With that said – it is generally done with the right intentions. Caring enough for someone to spare their feelings, or trying to withhold information in hopes of sparing an otherwise delightful evening with an argument might sound like a great idea at the time. The truth; however, always shines through. After the dust settles, all that is understood is that you did not have enough respect for your partner to honour them with the truth when it
2. Power Imbalance – The second most common reason why people fail is because both parties are not developed enough to equally contribute their roles within the relationship. You often see this portrayed in movies or TV shows. Look at Everybody Loves Raymond, a TV show where a man was portrayed as a grown-up child in his marriage leaving the wife to assume the role of both adults. Having your wife play wife and mother is nothing short of a disaster in the making.
3. Suffocation – No I am not talking about actually murdering your partner, but smothering them in such a way that they feel as if they “cannot breathe.” Many relationships nowadays are filled with
partners who are so insecure they restrict you from having any outside contact whatsoever.
4. Jealousy – Feeling a need to compete or separate. When you feel so much less significant than your partner and constantly push your partner to prove themselves within your relationship.
5. Selfishness – Only having concern for oneself without thought or consideration of your partner can cause serious detrimental effects on your relationship.
Thinking over these five categories, I realize that they are lacking in my current relationship. It seems, as if naturally we were a lot stronger than I thought… Something outside of the fairy tales told to me my whole life. So now that I realized we weren’t making the most common errors within our relationship, I was curious as to what we were doing well. This was such a challenge for me, and I realized it’s because I never truly knew what I valued in a relationship. I took some time to determine what a loving relationship looks like, and then compared that list to my current relationship.
Here is my list:
1. Removal Of Ego – I decided that in a relationship I want to be able to have my partner and I give and express to each other acts of love without desire of reciprocation or validation from the other.
2. Unable To Hurt Each Other – I also realized that it would be important to me in a relationship to have someone that I cared about so deeply, that I could never do something out of spite or anger that would hurt them emotionally and/or physically to bring me a feeling of satisfaction. I, of course, would want mutual respect from my partner.
3. Unity – Using the term, “we” is a great representation of this unity, but sometimes I feel that people misinterpret the bigger picture. It is always important that with your daily thoughts, actions and words, respect of your partner is always prioritized. With that said, I decided I never wanted a partner that would demand I waited for her approval to make any decision. Real strength in unity allows for independence. Having a spouse who I truly get, love, and appreciate for her personality, desires, and ambitions at her core allows me the strength to understand her. When I understand her, I don’t have to question why she behaves certain ways, why she makes certain decisions, why she chooses to see a movie with a particular friend. Instead, I am left in a place where each action she takes on each day is merely yet another reflection of the woman I am so incredibly in love with.
4. Share The Load – I do very strongly believe that all men were designed to carry distinct roles within a relationship, as women were as well. With that said – I also believe that it is vital to share the load at times. You will hear people say, “You are the man, suck it up.” I know, for myself, that I am not completely capable of being secure 100% of the time. I am, after all, human. There will be times when I need my wife to step up and take some of the load off of my shoulders. There will be a time when I am so mentally distraught that I will need her to deal with social situations, just so
my mind can find peace for a short period of time. I decided I never wanted a relationship where I had to carry the weight of both our loads on our shoulders 100% of the time. This is often seen in cases where men get into relationships with women suffering from a diva or princess mentality. How many times have you heard a woman say, “I am pretty, I am used to getting what I want.” Although that statement may be true, and must make her life a lot easier on the surface, she is only cheating herself and her future husband by expecting everything to be done and catered to her.
5. Pride & Suffering – Having a woman that when I speak about so pridefully it brings a smile to my face is a wonderful thought. This may sound a little cliché but having someone that I would be willing to suffer for if I saw it would bring them happiness is also another important sign to me. When you become a father, and a husband, a lot of your life will consist of pride and suffering.
You will be so proud of your children’s accomplishments, and they will accomplish certain things
because you suffered by giving up a fishing trip so you could afford them another year of music
lessons, for example. It may sound horrible, but at its core it comes from a place of pure and
everlasting love. When you know this type of love to be true in your heart, there is no personal
remorse for your suffering but a condition you gladly give to see the joy in the eyes of the ones you
care deepest about.
These are five examples I determined were extremely important to me. Once I realized what was
important to me, I looked at my relationship and realized I was lucky. The woman I was with is the
one I truly loved all along, not the one I was infatuated with because she matched everything the
movies said I should go after.
I challenge you to determine what it is that YOU want to go after. What is it that YOU define as love,
what is important, what have you learned from your past relationships that you want to bring forward
into a new and healthier one?