I thought I did everything right. Never cheated, Never used drugs, Never uttered bad name towards the other, only built up each other, Went to bed every night together, every evening would tell each other, “I’ll love you more tomorrow than I did today” and every morning we woke up we would say to the other “I love you more today than I did yesterday.” We traveled the world together, we saw Buddhist temples in Thailand, had lunch on Machu Picchu in Peru, ate termites in the amazon rain forest, Sailed through the Greek islands and rode quads throughout Santorini and Mykonos. Went on night hikes and zip lined through the jungles in Costa Rica. Skydived in Kauai and relaxed on their marvelous beaches. Was told on numerous occasions they would never want to go through life with another, and I was the love of their life.
So how did it all fail? It all comes down to the little things. Those little things that you begin to neglect the more time spent with another. And as you neglect those things they slowly erode the relationship as they become more habitual. until you finally reach the point where it would be awkward to reintroduce them into a relationship. We’ll call this phenomenon learned neglect. Where each mild neglectful action is slowly reinforced by continuous love and affection even though you stopped the actions that might be deserving of that love and affection somewhere along the way. You may not even notice it. This is why communication is so important. Tiny leaks can sink great ships and if you don’t pay attention, your marriage too could be relegated to the bottom of the sea.
We had our occasional arguments a few blowouts where I said things I didn’t mean. They were very few and far between. Here is a massive lesson for you, never ever verbalize the D word (divorce) in the others presence unless you’re ready to begin your perilous decent. Even if you think it’s the best way to end an argument trust me it is not. Distraction is another culprit on the relationship killers list. I could have spent a lot less time distracted, A LOT less time. We are so absorbed by other things that catch our interest, we get pulled in too many directions and forget to focus on whats important.
However you are in luck, my loss is your gain and it’s also the gain of my relationships from here on out. Divorce is such a powerful lesson don’t throw it away or revert into self loathing. Know that it falls on your shoulders, take ownership of it and be better down the road. Here are the most valuable takeaways I can give you.
Trust- this is the foundation of all relationships and it must be respected, you have to trust each other. You have to believe the other. Jealousy has no place in solid committed relationship. What you or your partner may have done it their past has no bearing on the present or your future together. Try to welcome your partner without judgment and if you do come to a problem with some thing from your partners past, learn to forgive. It’s in the past and I’m sure had they known you then it would not be part of their past.
Communication- Communication is paramount. It’s where you find out your partners likes and dislikes, wants and needs, worries and fears. Tell each other what you want from the other and from life, tell them often. It’s where you discover how your partner is feeling and you should be able to ask and receive an honest answer at any given moment in time. Guessing is just setting both of you up for failure. And don’t assume the other knows how you feel or think they are supposed to know that information. Sometimes we know but it’s far better for both parties to just talk it out.
Attention- Put down the f**king phone from time to time, pay attention to your someone. Sorry to use such crass language but this is becoming the norm in most relationship and it’s slowly eroding all that you’ve built together. That action is simply telling your partner non verbally that your tech with it’s news feeds and it’s easy access to all the other people on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, or Pinterest, are far more interesting than your partner. And you would prefer to be entertained by whatever is going on onscreen rather than engage with the real life human sitting across from you. It’s somewhat of an emotional cheat, you are reaching out to tech to get what you feel you are lacking from your partner. Don’t go in search for outside entertainment, be present in each others company. Give that person your full utmost attention. Be comfortable with boredom. it’s not always going to be massively stimulating and that’s fine embrace it for both your sakes.
Affection- Touch each other often, cuddle with each other, kiss each other, hold hands everywhere you go. Have sex, lots of it and don’t be afraid to use your mouth. Use communication to find out what your partner likes and wants are, than go and do that to them or for them. Something happens physiologically when two people continuously embrace. Your bodies almost seem to crave each others. There is this wholeness between the two of you. Use it to both your advantage. When you stop touching that craving diminishes and it becomes much more difficult to want what you are not currently receiving from that partner. This is where some partners find themselves straying if they are not having their needs met. Which is basically the end of the relationship regardless. Do not do this, it’s incredibly selfish if you feel you must move on give your partner that same right. Once you have strayed there really shouldn’t be any coming back from that. Steer clear of this and just frequently touch each other and hold each other close.
Appreciation- Give honest sincere appreciation of each other and their actions and or sacrifices. Say thank you and mean it, that simple gesture is so important and it can have a massive impact on future actions. If your partner is someone you’re thankful for let them know it often. What ever they do for you is simply icing on the cake and with each layer let them know how grateful you are for it.
Anyone can have tremendous success in a relationship. Find someone who fits you perfectly and always work to insure you grow your relationship together and that it’s a positive one on both your lives. One that you impact each other in ways far beyond the surface. That you’ll strengthen your resolve in one another and continuously deepen your connection. It really is easy you just have to find the right person you are willing to do this for and they are willing to reciprocate.