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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Maintaining Relationships

Most of us like to believe that if we fall in love, the eventual outcome will be marriage in which we will live happily ever after. This is not true, however. There is a sharp increase in divorce rates all over.
Two people who are in a long-term relationship discover that they have too many areas of dissimilarity. The most common reasons being, that they had different interests, backgrounds, sexual attitudes, intellectual ability, or views about marriage. People can avoid such problems, early in the relationship, by paying close attention to similarity factors. There are, however, some areas of dissimilarity that are difficult for a person to foresee, for e.g., different attitudes about spending versus saving money, looking after children, or simply deciding who will clean the bathroom, etc.
Another common factor in a long-term relationship, to consider, is boredom. There are a number of activities in life that fall into potentially boring routines. Individuals, in such a relationship, can help by being aware of the potential problem and by making some effort in seeking ways to avoid it, rather than doing the same things the same way, day after day and year after year, which brings about a monotony and unhappiness in life.
As two people settle into a relationship, many of the verbal and nonverbal niceties become less frequent, and negative evaluations begin to replace them. Both men and women feel free to criticize, nag, complain, and find fault with each other. Again, awareness of the problem and a conscious effort to avoid it is important to maintain a positive relationship.
Couples need to work at finding meaningful ways to avoid boredom and to bring zest and interest into their lives. They need to remind themselves frequently to be as nice as possible to each other; this will go a long way in keeping relationships intact.
Sex or the lack of it can be a major factor in maintaining relationships between married couples. Partners should try to understand and be sensitive to each other's needs and if possible, even go for counseling if it helps in any way.
Jealousy can become a serious problem in a relationship. Those who are most jealous tend to feel inadequate, dependent and excessively concerned about sexual individuality. Deliberate attempts to induce jealousy in a partner can be a dangerous game that can lead to deterioration of the relationship. Therefore, handle a jealous person with care and tenderness and you might resolve an issue successfully.
Misunderstandings, small or big, are commonplace in any relationship; however, letting the misunderstanding fester unresolved for long will not help in your relationship! Try to resolve your differences immediately and bring out all issues that bother you. Communication in a relationship goes a long way in keeping it intact!
Finally, a deteriorated relationship is likely to end in a breakup unless three factors are present-
a) The relationship has to provide a high level of satisfaction.
b) Both partners must have already invested a lot of time and effort.
c) Alternative partners should not be readily available.
Therefore, we can safely conclude that love may strike an individual suddenly and effortlessly. Maintaining a relationship, in contrast, requires hard work over a long period by two committed individuals.

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