Failed relationships represent the primary cause of unhappiness and stress in a person’s life. Working on successful relationships is one of the most important life skills a person can learn, because it can bring peace, satisfaction and personal accomplishment.
John Gottman, professor emeritus in psychology and author of What Predicts Divorce?andThe Seven Principles for Making Marriage Workhas spent his entire life helping people achieve happiness and maintain healthy relationships. He can predict with 91 per cent accuracy whether a couple will divorce after discussing for five minutes with them by following four indicators: criticism, contempt, defensive and stonewalling. Criticism occurs when a partner attacks the other person and not the behaviour, contempt prevents a person from resolving a problem when one partner only understands that the other is disgusted with him or her; defensive is a way of blaming a partner and stonewalling occurs when a partner prefers to avoid the conflict and remove himself emotionally from the relationship; the presence of these indicators suggests that a relationship is bound to fail.
John Gottman’s research may be vast and accurate, but there are simpler ways of predicting whether a relationship will work or not. There are no more than five characteristics some people present that give away their incapacity to maintain and develop a healthy relationship.
In small doses, jealously can be considered auspicious, but too much of it will most certainly ruin a relationship. A suspicious mind is very poisonous and the lack of trust always leads to fantasizing about negative outcomes such as cheating.
Jealousy is the fastest way to kill love, chemistry and trust.
Some people confuse emotional attachment with real love, a mistake which leads to a failed relationship. Emotional attachment can be suffocating, while true, unconditional love needs a certain detachment; real love is when a partner accepts the other for what he is, rather than expecting him to offer his full attention. In other words, attachment walks hand in hand with insecurity.
A relationship works when both partners have equal roles and rights; it may happen that one loves more than the other, but domination is a characteristic that, more often than not, ignites conflict and eventually puts out the flame that brought them together in the first place.
Sometimes, people don’t realize how dominant they really are, which creates confusion whenever a relationship ends. The best way to maintain and develop a relationship harmoniously is to rely on mutual understanding and stop the urge to control the other’s life.
There is an old aphorism which says that “selfishness is the root of all relationship problems.” Ignoring the needs of others and refusing to offer anything in return will inevitably lead to a failed relationship. True love is selfless, no matter its kind, and it is given without expectation of receiving anything in return.
It is human nature to have flaws, which is why a healthy relationship is based on tolerance. Expecting people to change is a wrong attitude and noticing their faults will only determine them to leave and find a better partner.
Most disagreements are rooted in the differences of personality, values or lifestyle, but they will never go away unless both partners decide to be tolerant and learn how to live with each other’s flaws.