You don’t need to read blogs online or obituaries to know that people tire of each other from time to time. Even besties and passionate lovers have that problem. The solution is easy to figure out, but a bit harder to implement. Let’s give it a try.
The best of human beings find themselves stuck in ruts and bad habits, even in troubling ways of communicating. There’s an endless list of reasons for that to happen, and effective ways to remedy the problem. The essential first step is 1) for everyone involved to recognize that they’re unhappy with the situation and 2) to be willing to do what’s necessary to solve the problem. Cooperation is critically important when people need to take breaks from each other and when they resume their relationship(s).
Allowing yourselves intervals to reassess a relationship (e.g., employment, marriage, friendship, etc.) enables everyone to rest enough to think clearly. They can re-evaluate their priorities and how they figure into the troubling relationship. They can identify old and new goals, consider if they’re being met or frustrated by the relationship, and whether or not time off can allow refreshed minds to reconnect in constructive ways. Remind yourselves that all new, desired relationships look appealing when you take them on. That “honeymoon” is for creating long-term glue in a relationship because the reality is that life will serve difficulties to overcome. Pleasant memories can induce people to try harder to preserve relationships.
Ask yourselves, “Am I being realistic or not with this relationship? Are we meeting each other’s needs and our original expectations? Should we modify our expectations to end up happier than we are? Are we allowing ourselves and each other to grow?” “Am I failing to behave sensibly but capable of doing so?” “Am I willing to learn to be a true partner? What about the other person or people involved – are they willing to do all that, too?” If the relationship is of a sexual nature, do one or both of you cheat on the other –with or without permission? The “I trust you” aspect of the relationship is over, if yes. Humanity has an inherent need for sexual exclusivity, aka fidelity, from sexual partners. Is it missing in your relationship?
The answers to all the questions above will instruct you on how to proceed: Take curative action or break off the relationship.
While you’re enjoying the break from each other, everyone needs to reflect on the fact that, in today’s digital reality, we’re used to instant gratification. That mindset harms relationships. Unlike machines, people need time to adjust to the vicissitudes of life – including the quirks of each other’s personalities. We’re emotional creatures with psychological needs, not programmable machines. We don’t automatically respond as someone wants us to and vice versa. It takes a while to get used to each other, to adjust your manner of speaking to and behaving with someone so that they understand you and so that you understand them.
Relationships have phases, with inevitable frustrations from time to time. They should be cooperative and desirable over the long term, with time to grow, to mature, and to strengthen, or they’re dysfunctional and not worth maintaining. A lack of appreciation for that necessity is what kills relationships. People have learning curves and, their priorities can change over time. That can be productive. Relationships include the need to wait out someone’s sadness, frustration, or other form of unhappiness. Relationships are about giving and getting, not just one or the other. Giving a relationship time to work out can be wise. Waiting to find out if it will isn’t about “doing nothing” because “Patience is also a form of action” – Auguste Rodin.
Work with the realities referenced above, not against them, to maintain a relationship. If anyone involved needs guidance about how to support it, seek out competent therapists. They’re helping many people.
Yocheved Golani is a popular writer whose byline has appeared worldwide in print and online. A certified Health Information Management professional, she is a member of Get Help Israel. Certified in Spiritual Chaplaincy (End of Life issues) and in counseling skills, her life coaching for ill people puts healthy perspective into a clients’ success plan for achieving desired goals.