Most of us know that new relationships are full of excitement and glitter. But as they say, not everything that glitters is gold. Everything either of the partner does is endearing to the other, each want to share every waking moment and as I’ve seen with love birds in my hood, some can’t keep their hands off each other. But inevitably, over time, the sparkle wears off and the risk of relationship breakdown becomes very real. Recently i spoke to a friend living in Perth and working as a marriage counsellor, although your blogger ain’t dating or married, he’s always eager to learn a few stuff about romance and in this particular case, it was a just by the way kinda topic. The counsellor told me that what you want from a relationship depends on your situation.People at different life stages have very different needs in relationships. It helps avoid hurt down the track if you understand what you want. In her work, she’s been able to handle those angling for long-term commitment and marriages as well as those open to seeing what happens and also others in friendship and companions. I was however surprised that some who are involved in casual sex also seek her professional advise.According to her, whatever you want from a new relationship, there are a number of things to consider if you want it to work out including but not limited to how you communicate, your physical and emotional safety and showing respect and being respected. On the other hand, she told your blogger that many reasons contribute to breakdown of relationships including stress and pressure about anything including health, work, parents, children or money, different goals and expectations, different perspectives or values, limited trust, raising children, infertility, addictions, serious illnesses and disabilities, sexual difficulties, lack of time to spend together or lack of interest, financial challenges, violence, unemployment among others.
Statistics she shared reveal that more than a third of relationships are expected to end in tears while a similar number of marriages will end up in divorce, and countless more relationships fall by the way side. This percentage has, on the whole, been gradually rising since she started doing research. Whilst the causes of relationship and marital breakdown is no longer a big deal in the society, it is nonetheless important to understand what causes relationship breakdown so that those in such engagements can do their best to avoid it.The counsellor said that causes are varied and often interrelated, but studies indicate that for most couples, inattention to the relationship is what ultimately causes the split. Some of them include communication problems, loss of connection and infidelity/trust issues.Other causes are physical or emotional abuse, alcohol and drug abuse, financial problems, time pressures, family interference and physical health or mental health issues. Counsellor advised that relationships need a great deal of care and attention if they are going to thrive. Indeed, counsellor’s work which has focussed on long-term marriages or relationships cites the following elements as essential criteria for successful relationships among them a great respect for each other and a mutual sense of appreciation, trust and faithfulness, physical sexual relations, strong communication skills and the ability to discuss problems openly, common values and shared meaning, supportiveness for each other and ability to cooperate and flexibility in times of transition.According to counsellor, those are all elements that can be learned, developed and nurtured in people’s relationship. There was also an emphasis on better communication which lead to greater trust, a stronger sense of connection and renewed intimacy. Good communication skills apparently helps in addressing problems in relationship before they become insurmountable.