“The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.”- Audrey Hepburn
When we talk about broken or failed relationships, what comes to mind first is that someone probably cheated. And then there are the other reasons such as incompatibility or irreconcilable differences; physical or verbal abuse; possessiveness, jealousy, & trust-issues that lead to fighting, etc.
But I tell you what, there is another MAJOR culprit why relationships fail. I would bet that this one probably have not cross the minds of most of us because unlike the reasons mentioned earlier, this particular one is not obvious. It works like a cancer- you’ll only realize that you have it when you’re already experiencing the damage on the relationship. Most often than not, either it is too late, or it will require a “major treatment” for the relationship to be restored.
This silent relationship-killer I am talking about is called Relationship Drift. It is like people staying on different boats that are slowly being drifted away by the water current. If they don’t exert effort to paddle and stay close together, the boats will be separated away from each other.
The sad thing is that Relationship Drifts don’t just happen overnight. It’s a long on-going process that we fail to notice and it could happen to any relationship. It could be between spouses, parents and children, in-laws, and friends. It’s when we lose spark or interest to one another. This is when conversations are no longer interesting or on a deeper level. It is when we no longer miss the other person. It is when we no longer care what the other person is doing. It is when we no longer care what they think or feel about us. It is when we no longer feel anything or when we become indifferent.
I would like to think that drifts in relationships is brought about by the absence of 3-A’s: Affection, Attention, and Affirmation. And so to avoid it, we need to ensure that we always have these 3-A’s present in our relationships.
When we love someone, we have to show them our affection. Love is not just a word or a feeling. There has to be an action. Kissing and hugging are most popular, but there are other ways too. We can give simple gifts, tap on the shoulder, helping out, or even calling or texting just to say you’re thinking of the person or you appreciate something that he or she did for you.
Set a time to bond. Try to schedule separate dates with your spouses or partner, children, in-laws and friends. Be mindful of the moment and communicate. Share your thoughts and experiences. Ask how each other is doing, and be interested to not only what’s happening in their lives, but also with their dreams and aspirations. Celebrate a lot- not just birthdays and holidays. Make reasons for celebrations like when your son top the exam or your daughter learned to play a new instrument. Creating moments with your loved ones is what makes a great relationship.
We need to show encouragement and support when needed. Even if we don’t feel like doing it, we have to let people feel and believe that we will always be here for them. The lack of assurance that you will be there no matter what cripples relationships. Being said that, let’s try hard not to judge but be understanding even if we do not tolerate a certain behavior. Good and open communication is always a key.
I know that doing all these is not easy. It is hard and that is why most relationships don’t work out. Trust me when I say that it is better to work hard now, than suffer and regret the consequences of not having to do all these later.
Happy weekend everybody! May God bless the relationships in your lives!