These 4 Little Things Change Relationships

Little things matter, in everything. When two people get entangled with each other, it is refreshing as love and happiness abound. As life happens, couples face different tides in a relationship and their creativity to handle different situations will determine how long the relationship will last. Love, validation, endorsement and gratitude determine how relationships thrive. But there are some really small things that drive people crazy in relationships:

  1. Lack of common courtesy. For instance, it hurts when one partner continuously interrupts the other during a discussion. It also hurts when one’s efforts are ignored and unnoticed or when one is taken for granted when doing favors for their partner. While forgiveness is encouraged, it is disheartening when a partner continues repeating the same mistake and expecting to be forgiven, without regard to their partner’s feeling. When a partner is rarely appreciated but overly criticized, that could also dampen their morale and lose motivation for making the relationship work. In some cases, a partner plays evasive or defensive during discussions and loses their partner’s interest which may make their partner feel demeaned and devalued.
  2. Perpetual lies and failure to keep promises. Solid relationships are built on a foundation of trust and confidence. Some partners entertain extra-marital affairs in their relationship at the expense of the feelings of the other. While people lie to protect themselves or their image, such habits erode the trust that the partners had when they came together and over time, the relationship may not survive.

3. Silent treatment. Partners come from different backgrounds and therefore they have to forge ways of talking to each other regularly, despite life’s challenges. Some people generally do not talk much and that is fine but total silence to one’s partner is demeaning and hurtful and may seem like a punishment to the receiving partner. In this era of mobile phones, some partners opt for text messaging and avoid face to face talk with their partner, which may also be used as a tactic to avoid clear cut discussions. This may not solve their situation and portrays lack of respect for the relationship.   Such poor communication will inevitably ruin the relationship as this drifts both partners away from each other.

4. Lack of physical affection and sexual intimacy could also draw a couple apart. Tender loving care forms the basis of a warm and strong relationship with both parties feeling secure and dependent on each other. The lack of physical affection and intimacy signifies lack of interest and attraction to the other partner and can drive the relationship to frustration and eventually break up.

Relationships should ideally be fun and when faced with issues, couples undergo difficult emotional times trying to figure out what to do next. Couple therapists recommend that one should ponder over their planned actions and avoid making any irrational decisions.

  1. Re-evaluate the reasons why you fell in love with your partner. List down the good side of your partner and why you chose them over all others. For what it’s worth, list down the issues you are going through at the moment. You were attracted to them for some reason and so there is a possibility things go back to normal again.
  2. Look at yourself in the mirror. What was your contribution to the situation? Were there other external issues that affected your thinking and actions that led to the breakdown of communication? Did you apologize to your partner? What can you do to change things?
  3. Remember that you are in charge of your own happiness. Despite facing some trouble in the relationship, be nice, try to smile and maintain a good mood. This will boost your positive energy too, even in the presence of your partner. Say genuinely pleasant stuff to them and keep a warm demeanor. Your calm actions may soften their feelings and may draw them back to you.
  4. Be truthful when presenting your grievances to your partner. Carefully assess the time when you want to have this discussion with your partner. Consider if there are other elements affecting his judgement. Employ a listening ear and entertain a calm but honest discussion, while considering the first two elements.

While things may never be the same again, there will be need to consider the good, the bad and the ugly, before taking any permanent decision to abandon the relationship. You may both want to seek couple’s therapy with a counseling professional in your area who could guide you through the process.

Further reading:

11 habits of people who are good communicators, according to experts. (2016, July 5). Bustle. https://www.bustle.com/articles/170717-11-habits-of-people-who-are-good-communicators-according-to-experts

7 easy ways to make your relationship last. (2021, February 19). Reader’s Digest. https://www.readersdigest.ca/health/relationships/7-secrets-make-your-relationship-last/

van Lankveld, J., Jacobs, N., Thewissen, V., Dewitte, M., & Verboon, P. (2018). The associations of intimacy and sexuality in daily life: Temporal dynamics and gender effects within romantic relationships. Journal of social and personal relationships35(4), 557–576. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407517743076

Zimmerman, J. (2018, September 27). How to have an actually productive argument, according to a couples counselor. mindbodygreen. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/how-to-have-a-productive-argument-according-to-a-couples-counselor

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