Sooner or later ALL relationships run into difficulties. And this is because none of us are perfect, and we are all humans, capable of hurting each other. In fact, of all the species on earth, it is the human species that has killed more of it's own kind, more than any other animal. So while we are the most intelligent of all life forms, we are the most dangerous. We are so dangerous that we can blow ourselves up.
So, to think that you can put two people together and they NEVER fight is naive. I am sure you have seen couples who appear to never fight, never have a cross word with each other, and treat each other with the utmost respect and love. But in reality, those couples stand the most chance of breaking up, simply because they never get their real feelings out. They are hiding who they really are from each other, or at the very least, they are avoiding hot topics that would cause strife in the relationship.
Many times, it is the couples who do fight, who do get their anger out at each other, who do not hold their feelings inside that last for years. And this is because they were honest with each other about their feelings, likes, and desires, and when those were ignored or not met, they let each other know it.
The "trick" is knowing how to share with each other what you REALLY THINK or feel, without losing the other person in the process. And since we all come with different temperaments, come from different backgrounds, and have our own individual way of looking at people and life, then there are various degrees among people as to how much of the "truth" about any given situation they can handle. So when you are honest with someone you care about, and you are being honest about who you really are, and you have the courage to share who you really are, or you disagree with them, you also risk them not being able to handle the truth.
So, it really is a matter of a person's moral character plus their maturity level when it comes to handling constructive criticism or a different viewpoint. In fact, so much figures into how a person will react to your viewpoint on any given subject, that it is a matter of "testing the waters" with your true feelings about any given situation.
Since we all have different temperaments, and come from different environments, depending on our temperament, we either allow or don't allow outside influences to enter into our relationships with another person. For example, if you are a "follower" instead of a leader, than you will look to the leader to tell you how to feel and to think. This is how interfering inlaws can cause problems in a relationship. They can greatly influence their son or daughter's feelings about their spouse, or whomever they are dating at the time. BUT, ONLY if you allow them to.
An individual's family can greatly influence the success or failure of a relationship. IF you give them a chance, they can literally destroy your relationship with someone that on your own, you deeply loved and cared about.
Here are some useful questions to ask yourself if you are having problems in your relationship.
Has the amount of one-on-one time changed since you first met?
Do you still share everything with your partner like you use to?
What would happen if you did what you wanted, and they did what they wanted?
How much time do you have to spend with them to feel you have a successful relationship? How did you arrive at that amount?
What would it mean if you had separate interests?
Do you see yourself and your partner as two separate people who choose to be together or do you feel some type of obligation?
Do you believe “Love means to sacrifice.”? If so, why?
How does God Fit into your relationship?
Actually, God is the most important thing in your relationship! In fact, if HE is not in it, it will not last. God is the one who holds any relationship together. And if both of you are following God and putting Him first, then any problem can be resolved. So the first priority in any relationship for both people is to make sure that each of you have a right relationship with God.
The bible warns us to "Not be unequally yoked with unbelievers." because God knows that if you marry someone who does not know God, or does not believe in God, then your relationship or marriage will never make it. In order for two people to get along they must have the same belief system and value system. If one thinks that lying is ok and the other does not, or one thinks that adultery is ok, and the other thinks it is a deal breaker, or if one thinks that problem solving involves violence and the other believes that disagreements can be settled without throwing things, and being physically abusive, then it cannot work. All the words, and arguments, and attempts at convincing someone that your way is the right way, fall on deaf ears if the person you are talking to has no respect for God or women, etc.
If neither of you believe in God, then your relationship is also doomed because you are doomed without your creator. If you are your "own God" and think that people who believe in God use Him as a "crutch to lean on" then you have yet to experience that crisis that will surely come one day, that you cannot solve. If you are you own God, then you should be able to "make a tree" instead of just make a desk out of a tree.
The bottom line is without God in a marriage or a relationship, the marriage or relationship will not survive. And if you are in a relationship with someone who also does not believe in God, then it is like day and night. Light and darkness have nothing in common with each other. And you cannot force two opposing forces to become one. It will not work, no matter what the surface issue is.
Patricia Jones, M.A.
In healthy relationships no emotions, problems or issues are denied, ignored or avoided from being discussed. Everything is open, honest and based on reality.
Relationships are built on trust. Trust comes from truth. There is no place for secrets or dishonesty. Lies, denials and secrets break trust. Mending of broken trust is not easy. Enduring growing relationships are created by truth.
The basis of all relationship is friendship. This includes relationship between spouses, parent and child, lovers, friends. Without friendship, even passionate romance cannot endure because the risk to use each other then becomes exploitation.
Everyone needs at least one true friendship (relationship) to feel safe and secure. Love is the key to true security in relationships. Love is the opposite of fear. "Perfect love casts out fear."
Relationships die where there is cautious and guarded wariness. Relationships can grow where there is freedom to be vulnerable. This requires trust and confidence that our hurts, dreams, & secrets are safely kept by another. Then we can disclose our deepest selves without fear.
Each of these ingredients is intertwined with the other. Realistic, open, true relationships are honest. Honesty fosters trust. Trust results in security - lack of fear- love, which allows freedom for vulnerability.