Many relationships end in break up rather than in a happy ending. In countries like the United States, Spain, France, and Italy, a high divorce rate of at least 40% has been recorded. Surprisingly, adultery and infidelity are not the top reasons for divorce or break-ups. The most common cause is the irreconcilable differences between couples.
Most countries gauge the irreconcilability degree according to the welfare of each couple. The differences are deemed irreconcilable if one or both parties cause mental, physical, and emotional stress to each other. This raises an irony. People who love each other should do anything to resolve their differences. Then, why cannot they settle their disputes?
The main reason is the poor health of their relationship. Two people can still love each other, but they cannot handle their relationship anymore. Relationships tend to become weaker as it grows older, and failure to nurture and to maintain it can shorten its life. Hence, to avoid ending the relationship, couples have to strengthen their relationship.
Here are some tips on how to maintain and strengthen the relationship to avoid break up or divorce:
1. Commit to your relationship
Entering a relationship and committing to it are two different things. Entering into a relationship is easy. You have to accept the offer of the other party. However, committing to a relationship is a different story. Being partly responsible for the life and the happiness of another person can become a burden – just as much as it can be a joy.
If you do not commit to this responsibility, you will not have the urge to resolve your differences. Committing to the relationship will encourage you to become considerate with your partner. It will teach you to compromise and accept each other’s differences.
2. Trust each other
Trust your partner in many ways and not just infidelity. Most couples, especially those in the early stages of their relationship, trust their partner on the aspect of fidelity only. They believe that their partners would not cheat on them. Trust in the relationship extends further than fidelity alone. You should trust that your partner could become responsible for some parts of you and your happiness. Trust that he accepted who you are and will accept who you will become.
Trust your partner, but also give a reason for her to trust you. It is a two-way lane. How can your partner believe you if you give her a reason not to believe you? So, just as you trust her with your life and happiness, let her entrust you with a part of her life and happiness, too. Once you learn to trust each other, you will develop the urge to become supportive of each other. It will make it easier for you to encourage your partner.
Discouraging your partner would introduce resentment in your relationship. That could become rust that would weaken your relationship. When you trust each other, every endeavor becomes both your efforts. You will have no reason to blame your partner for the failure. You will have no reason to feel superior for your success, too.
3. Do not forget your individuality
Though you and your partner become one because of marriage or your relationship, you are still two different people. You have your personality. If you noticed in the preceding paragraphs, the tip only stated to trust part of your life and happiness to your partner. It did not indicate that you have to entrust all your life and joy to her.
You have to retain your individuality from your partner. You do not have to become the person you want each other to be. By doing so, you encourage respect for each other.
The reason couples grew different as time passed by is that they tried to become similar as they built the relationship. The problem arises when their individuality surfaces later. They might not know how to accept it or to work with it because they were not prepared for it. Hence, they would find it irreconcilable.
We are all different from each other. We will always have our differences. These differences are never irreconcilable if they are dealt with as you strengthen your relationship.
Use these differences to create a better relationship with your partner. Use it to keep you interested with your partner. Uncovering more of each other would add fun to your relationship. Always remember, you fell in love with each other because you are interested in each other. Fuel that interest with each other’s individuality.
4. Never rush decisions in your relationship
You have to consider your partner when making decisions for yourself or your relationship. You have to discuss your choices with your partner, even if it would only affect you. Your life is partly your partner’s life, too. She may not lose her trust in you, but she would be angered. Anger can make you do something impulsive that can hurt your partner, which you could never take back.
Your rushed decisions may also affect your partner’s respect towards you. It can be a “zombie-issue” in your relationship, especially if it ended negatively. Your partner might intentionally bring it up in your future discussion as her bargaining chip. You might feel disrespected and humiliated if she does it. This slight disrespect could develop into resentment or distrust. This could create a gap in your relationship.
5. Do not forget each other’s role as lovers
More parts are added in the relationship as it grows. You could become man and wife, or you could become parents. Your position at work or home may also change. However, do not forget that you are still lovers.
Many marriages ended in divorce because the spouses became absorbed in their new roles. They continue to love each other, but their affection as lovers is diminished or worse, lost.
The wife would sometimes forget her responsibilities as a lover to her husband because she focuses more on being a mother. The husband would can’t remember him because he had to be a breadwinner to his family. Soon, partners would realize that they have grown apart and their relationship, as lovers, has weakened.
Grow your relationship without forgetting your roots. Always make time to rekindle your love for each other. Set aside some quality time with your partner every day.
Show your affection as lovers. Do not be contented of just knowing that she cares or be confident that she knows you care. Show it and encourage her to do the same.
6. Always maintain your connection
Your relationship can become frail if you fail to keep your contact with your partner. Your connection is not only about your communication with your partner. It also includes your affection and passion towards each other.
Your differences would become irreconcilable a massive gap in your relationship exists. Your strong communication, affection, and passion for each other can help you avoid the creation of gaps in your connection.
Below are some specific suggestions on how to maintain your connection:
- Take time to talk with your partner as a friend. Talking about romance can be boring as your relationship grows. Learn to communicate like good friends, but do not forget to express your affection when you need to.
- Exercise together. Couples who enjoy their exercise together feel more connected. Further, experts say that exercising together awakens the couple’s passion towards each other. Your libido increases when you apply together.
- Do not hold back in sex. Do not make love to your partner for the sake of responsibility. Passionless lovemaking would disconnect you more from her. Observe quality than quantity. Make your partner remember that moment for a long time. The more it stays in your memory, the more you stay connected even if you do it less.
7. Do not be afraid or ashamed to ask for help
Time would test your relationship. There would be tests that could almost break it, and you could not fix it by yourself. In these moments, do not be afraid or ashamed to ask for help.
It might be embarrassing to acknowledge that your marriage or your relationship is on shaky ground. Many would rather pretend that they do not have a problem and hope that the problem will pass. This will do no good. It will only weaken the relationship more.
Every relationship is worth saving. Try to fix your problems together with your partner. You can read books to redress the problem that shakes your relationship. If you could not fix your problems on your own, seek help – but the right support.
It would be better to seek counseling with your partner first, and your partner might get offended if you find help with your friends and family. She might think that you asked for allies instead of support. She might feel disrespected.
Marriage counselors are bound by secrecy. They could observe your relationship without favoring another party. They could suggest strategies to untangle any problem and restore the health of your relationship.
My Final Thoughts
These tips do not guarantee that your marriage or your relationship would never break. These tips address the differences between partners only. There are still many factors that can affect your relationship or marriage. However, most of the other reasons for break-ups and divorce stemmed irreconcilable differences. Following these tips would help you avoid any other reason for break-up or divorce.