By biological design, we are social creatures. Seldom do you come across people that are content with permanently being a hermit for most of their lives. We often feel called to be with someone in order to share our life's journey together. Whether its for simple companionship or something much deeper. According to statistics taken from the American Psychological Association, "about 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher."
The concept of marriage is multifaceted and there is not one particular answer why this divorce rate is occurring in such alarming numbers. However, we can avoid this from happening if we are equipped with a multitude of tools we can use to combat these potential pitfalls from happening. This article will peer into an aspect of relationships that are often looked over. If it is not properly examined from time to time, it could affect the stability and strength of your relationship.
When we begin to date people, our immediate thought process when meeting another person is "What value can this person provide to me in my life?" Truth be told, that question never leaves our mind. Even in long term relationships, the question always lingers. Especially so because you are spending more time with the other person.
We all have a healthy dose of selfishness within ourselves. It is unavoidable. Part of the reason why relationships could fall away is that one other person starts to feel like you are loosing value to them. This might seem shocking to you, especially if the feeling is not reciprocated. If you ever find yourself in that situation, the best way to immediately remedy this is to practice the other persons love language. You can learn more about love languages through Gary Chapman's book here. Practicing the correct love language will serve as a reminder to your partner of your value in the relationship almost undoubtedly.
We must ask ourselves though, where could this idea arise from in the first place? Through my life's journey, it has helped me to remember that everyone is always evolving, and if we choose to better ourselves over time, it will eventually require us to become different people. We will eventually be different people because our actions must change to get a different result in our lives. That is the law of change. It changes only if you change. If you are not providing value enough, it generally means that either you/ or your partner are growing and the other person is lagging behind. Communication of value alignments is always crucial to maintaining a healthy relationship.
Say that you are in a relationship where each person is equally ambitious. What might happen is that during each others growth, one might start to align in a direction that is unbeknownst to the other. It might be difficult to make sacrifices for the other person, especially if it feels at the expense of someone's personal development. The fact is that relationships will always require sacrifices, or at the very least compromises. However, this does not mean that your personal development needs to be compromised entirely. What has helped me in my life is to remember that you can always align your development in tandem with your partner. Even if you both are going in different career or life direction, you can still use this time to encourage each other to grow in your respective lives. It takes creativity, but it is absolutely possible to do this.
If you start to experience this in your relationships, a helpful tool to use is to write down your five main values and goals for the next few years and chart the next few years of your life in tandem with your partner. This will allow you to visualize the direction of your relationship and allows you to see if you can plug in different parts of your life that you want to occur at around the same time scheudle of our partners. It will make you feel empowered knowing both your values are aligned and that you have a gave plan for allowing each person to actualize themselves to the next level of their lives.