As knowledgeable as people are today, with technology allowing us to explore boundless information, there still seems to be some ignorance and lack of knowledge when it comes to love and relationships, especially in regions like the Middle-east. I have seen so many couples ending in divorce and breakups for reasons that could have easily been avoided had they both took the time to sit down and think clearly.
If you are facing difficulty with your relationship, it is not your fault if any of the following points has affected your relationship negatively, and if your relationship is good then good for you, keep at it! If you are not in a relationship at all, you might learn a thing or two from here anyway that could help you in your future relationships, if you plan to get one.
Some of the most common reasons most people leave each other for are:
- They believe they are incompatible
- They ‘grow out’ of love
- They fight too much and there is no understanding
- They ‘change’ and believe that they are not the same anymore
- Unrealistic expectations
This is addressed to people who are serious about their current relationship, are serious about getting and keeping one soon or eventually, and those who are married (recently married). The reason is, these in my opinion, face the most problems. They are always on the verge of quitting when things get ‘too hard to handle’. They start rethinking the whole relationship and reconsidering their decisions. They wonder whether they have made the right choice and are more ready to quit before it’s ‘too late’. I won’t go into detail here with the problems couples may face, but I will generally discuss relationships and eliminating ignorance. I will elaborate on these issues in later articles, focusing on one issue at a time.
What is ignorance?
lack of knowledge or information.
Ignorance in relationships about what couples realistically go through can give false hope and expectations. Ignorance of how to grow love and work together rather than against each other will definitely lead any couple down a dark road. There are so many reasons, as I have mentioned for why couples fight and breakup, but they all go down to one main thing: blaming your partner and not looking at yourself to see what you might be doing wrong as well.
Now, let us start from the beginning and define love.
Love can be a lot of things. Among those things would be a physical and chemical connection with someone, making them your significant other. It could be a feeling that develops slowly when you know that the other person fancies you. It could also slowly develop as you get to know someone and realize how much in common you both have or how much this person seems to understand you. However you may define it, and which ever way it may develop, we can all agree that it is a feeling, a really good feeling. Love makes you attracted to someone and reciprocates that feeling. It should be mutual in relationships.
So many issues can be avoided or prevented if a couple were open to enlightenment and to self-development. A happier and healthier relationship can be achieved only with the will to improve and educate oneself about being in a serious relationship. For example, when a couple first gets married, there is the excitement of starting a whole new stage together. Whether they’ve been together for 5 years, or 2 months, they get excited. After some time though when the routine kicks in and they start to act themselves around the house, fights begin, and if they’re already there, they will definitely increase. A lot of couples manage to get along, but a lot of couples actually don’t, and are shocked by what they have to deal with. Especially in regions like the Middle East. Around here, new couples face a completely different life after marriage because, prior to marriage, very rarely do any couples ever experience living together or with the opposite sex in general (excluding family members) in the first place. Many relationships actually end in divorce because of this, due to high expectations that don’t get fulfilled or simply because they don’t know how to deal with the reality. People here also don’t express and talk about their experiences, so many couples fall into the same trap and leave each other thinking they’re facing problems with their spouse when actually these problems don’t have to be “problems” at all. These issues could be straightened out through compromise, communication, the placement of rules and boundaries, respect from both sides, time, patience, perseverance, and commitment.
Love needs work. Love provides comfort, yes, but it also means hard work. The feeling starts off naturally but stress and life responsibilities will fade it away slowly. When you feel love, you should hold on to it and take care of it, let it grow and not just let it be. It is just like a seed. It can fall into your hands naturally, but when it does, you can’t just stare at it and expect it to grow and feed you, it’ll just dry off and die. However, if you take care of it it will grow and prosper and last with you for years, giving you what you need in return.
Many issues and breakups can be avoided if the people are more aware of what love really is, what a true strong relationship means, and what it takes to make love last.
Love is something that should come naturally, but the misconception of it lasting naturally or effortlessly… is what will ruin any relationship or even prevent one.
Now if you do ever face trouble with your relationship and if any of the following ever played a role, it is not your fault, and many of us have probably. It becomes your fault however when you do not put the effort in educating yourself and trying to improve your relationship.
- The media: always portraying what love should and shouldn’t look like, always excluding the ugly parts that are always included in the package
- Lack of experience: many people have not been in relationships before or do not know much about others’ relationships and thus do not have a standard to measure their own relationship by to know whether or not they are on the right track
- Fear of counseling: many married couples think that if you see a counselor you are considered crazy or that you couldn’t help the relationship yourself
- Secrecy: people don’t talk about their problems in public and hide their problems (very natural)
- Parents: the majority of parents do not inform their children enough about what they might face and how to deal with it if they do
There is more that can be added to this list, but it could go on forever. These are general points that could apply to anyone.
Now each of these points could have played a negative role in your dealing with relationships. Let us look at them one by one and analyze how they could be approached differently so you can overcome them.
The media, as we all know, sugarcoats everything. Movies are not real, and nor are fairytales as they are portrayed in movies. People in the media are chosen and picked out perfectly to fit the imaginary stories that have been thoughtfully written to grab the attention of the writers’ target markets. They purposely make stories emotional and make men and women act in the best ways possible because this is what people want to see. The audience gets touched when the media creates something that does not really exist but in our minds as imaginations of what perfect relationships look like. Just like hair commercials tell you that this or that shampoo is going to let your hair grow 5 times as fast, and you might actually buy the product even you know it is not true, because some deep part of you would like to believe that it is. It gives false hope of something that does not exist, because the person in the commercial was born with good genes. So be aware that the media plays tricks and if you ever felt that your relationship is far from being like that couple you saw in that movie, don’t go there! Don’t compare your real existent relationship to a fictional story behind a screen that literally any person can come up with.
- Lack of experience
If you do not have enough experience about relationships, the first advice I would give is to read books about them. Read educational books about relationships. Websites are not always reliable sources (I know this is a website) because they are opinionated and you can find so many different opinions, follow one and then find an opposing one and get confused. Books are based on so many true facts and extensive research, which can seriously help. I will list a few books below that I found to be very helpful. Ask friends, family, and others about their own experiences and do not be afraid to do so. You don’t have to follow what they say but at least get it will give you some insight. Another thing I found helpful is articles and blogs. I know I said that websites are not as reliable as books but that doe not mean that they are not reliable at all. Many blogs and articles have very useful information. The good thing about them is that they are shorter than books, and of course as with anything, you can dismiss the parts you don’t like or the parts that don’t apply to your situation. And blogs come from real experiences and real people, like myself, so you can get answers to questions without having to go through the trouble of asking if you are a timid person.
- Fear of counseling
Many couples tend to undermine counseling very much. I have never been to counseling myself, but I would definitely consider it. What can be better than a psychologist analyzing your situation for you, telling you what is wrong and what is right, giving you ways to fix what is wrong, dedicating time to listen to you fully and deeply, and promising (by law) to keep everything you say confidential? Of course it would come at a price… Literally… but your relationship’s health does too.
Understand that people don’t talk about their problems at home. If you are facing problems with your own relationship, and you see a couple enjoying their time in public, it is natural to start thinking about why yours isn’t like that, or whether you are in the right relationship. You must compare however. Notice yourself when you compare and stop that thought cycle. Remind yourself that you no matter how close you might be to the couple you are looking at, some people can be very good at hiding things. I’m not saying that every couple you see is hiding abuse or something, but I mean that every couple fights, and if you see them smiling one day, they might be considering divorce or break up the next. Fighting and discomfort in relationships is very natural and happens in all of them, to an extent. You just need to stop comparing your hidden problems in your relationship to the public happy face you see on others’ relationships, because you are comparing apple and oranges, printers and cake. Just as you think a certain couple is perfectly fight-free and happy, they probably think the same of you.
Be aware that your parents have probably been through all the things that you are going through and maybe even worse because of the time they have spent together (if they are still together). And if they haven’t told you before, it could be simply to avoid you judging them negatively or not to make you feel bad for them or about them; and because people don’t generally share their problems. Your parents have been through so many hardships and I can confidently say this because for them to be together till the day you are old enough reading this article right now, they must have been through a lot together. No relationship reaches 2 years without difficulties and hard times, so I can only imagine 10, 20, or even 30 years of being in one. Now many parents do not inform their children what to expect in a relationship, and children grow up taking their parents’ partnership for granted. This can make it hard to acknowledge that relationships are hard work once the child matures and enters their own relationship.
When in a relationship, there are a few things you need to know. On the top of that list of things would be: your personality type. Second, would be: your partner’s personality type.
You have to be willing to change yourself before changing anyone or anything around you. It is essential to understand yourself before you can change yourself though. Becoming self aware will help you not only in your love life, but in every aspect of your life. When you know yourself better, you get to improve on yourself. You start to understand your weaknesses, and fix them, and strengths, and build on them. Understanding yourself can alone help with your relationship as it could help you understand more about what you could be doing wrong and right.
Understanding your partner’s personality type will help you in knowing better how to treat him or her and in identifying important triggers in their personality. This can help you prevent problems and allow you to understand how to approach them in a much more sophisticated manner.
There are many reasons why misunderstandings happen among couples. The thing is, every couple fights, it is exclusive to your relationship (if you have one), and these fights can actually be very common among many relationships. The issue is that people do not talk enough about this, and I cannot blame anyone for not wanting to share their problems, but that does create some sort of misconception of how a relationship should be.
People facing problems with their relationships might feel like they are the only ones going through this. Seeing everyone else happy in their relationships in public or in front of you gives the wrong impression because you never know what happens behind closed doors. So the number one tip to remember if you are facing problems is that you are not alone. Many others can be going through the exact same thing as you, some better, some worse. Some relationships are exceptional of course and can be toxic, if that is the case with you, then you should definitely seek help. I will talk about toxic relationships in a later article but for now check out the link below:
- 13 signs you’re in a toxic relationship and it’s ruining your life
- 35 signs you’re in a toxic relationship
- Here’s how to tell if you’re in a toxic relationship. If any of this sounds familiar, it’s time to make some big changes.
- Men, Women and Relationships: Making Peace with the Opposite Sex – by – John Gray
- Attached – by – Amir Levine
- Why Men Love Bitches – by – Sherry Argov
- Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus – by – John Gray
- Why Marriages Succeed or Fail: And How You Can Make Yours Last – by – John Gottman
- The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts — by – Gary Chapman
- Letters To Philip: On How To Treat A Woman – by – Dr. Charlie W. Shedd