The rate at which relationships fail these days is very alarming. In previous times, once a couple was known to be in a relationship, they were expected to get married in the long run, by default; and yours truly, many of them would eventually get married after a period of courting. This is because, they dated for the right reasons, under the right atmosphere, and with the right principles and motives in place. Unfortunately, in the 21st century, the tide has so changed, that the previous trend of faithfulness and longevity in relationships has almost become non-existent. These days, an average high school kid is likely to have had at least two partners; that is, before graduation, s/he has been in at least two relationships. And, most of them end up breaking up after a while.
Amongst mature folks, however, the indices are somewhat different. Mature people know why they want to go into a relationship, and they know just who fits their specification. They do not go hopping from one individual to the next, looking for the perfect partner as if engaged in a treasure hunt.
Everyone’s dream is to be in a relationship with ‘the right one’. However, it is important to note that, ordinarily finding the right one does not guarantee a successful relationship. A good relationship will take a lot of work, energy and commitment to forge; and, having the right person only makes it an easier possibility, not an outright eventuality.
Even relationships between two good and seemingly right persons fail, due to a variety of reasons. If you want to have a good relationship, you should not only seek out ways to make your relationship a good one, but you should also explore the pitfalls to avoid, so that your relationship does not fail.
This post outlines the top ten reasons why relationships fail. Do well to arm yourself with this knowledge, so as to avoid failing in your relationship.
1. Lack of communication/inadequate communication
Communication is the lifeblood of any and every relationship. It accounts for as much as 50% of relationship and marriage successes or failures worldwide. In friendship, communication is quite a good thing; but in a relationship, it is not just a good thing; it is a necessity. It is as necessary to the relationship as food and oxygen are to the human body.
Several studies have identified lack of communication, or inadequate communication as among the major reasons why married couples seek therapy, or divorce. Couples must be able to communicate effectively on any and every matter of concern to them both. They must be open and honest communicators, otherwise, failure is the eventuality.
Relationships are like living organisms. They can grow and blossom; and they can also starve and die. When there is no communication, the relationship gets starved of its most important nutrient, and at the end of the day, it dies. Most times, even when the two parties involved really love each other and want to really grow together, distance, or work schedule comes between them, and they eventually are unable to communicate as they would love to. Over time, other people start getting involved in their lives, and their love begins to wane. Sooner or later, their relationship dies.
Lack of communication, or inadequate communication, is the number one reason for relationship failure on this planet today.
2. Cheating and Infidelity
This is also another reason for relationship failure. Cheating is a sure way to end a good relationship. Even if the cheating party does not habitually cheat, one act of cheating is enough to spoil the broth. Nobody likes the feeling of being cheated on, especially if the party being cheated on has been faithful to the other.
The problem with cheating is that it breaks the trust between the two parties involved in the relationship; and, even if the cheating partner is forgiven, the cheated one may not be naturally inclined to continue in that relationship, seeing that their trust has already been broken. Even if they so decide to continue the relationship, things will most likely never remain the same with them.
There are many forms of cheating, all of which can spell the end of any good relationship. One subtle type of cheating is called emotional infidelity. Emotional infidelity is defined as an intentional effort by a party in a relationship to get involved with other persons, exhibiting a behavior that aims to foster the development of emotional attraction intimacy with this other person, which may further enhance the possibility of developing or having sexual intimacy with that person in the future. Partners who engage in this call it ‘having some temporary new experience’, or ‘breathing some fresh air’: and, while some do it to boost their ego, or to temporarily distract themselves from the idiosyncrasies of their boring relationship, it is totally wrong. A relationship requires commitment, and ‘checking other people out’ while in a relationship is a good sign that one is not ready for commitment. Either ways, desiring an individual outside your partner amounts to cheating, whether you eventually get to hang out with them or not. And, the bad part of it is that it begins to tell in one’s attitude towards their partner.
Once these subtle forms of cheating begin to creep in, the other party typically, in defense mode, goes into investigation; and it is usually not long before they discover that their partner has been cheating on them. And that usually spells the end of what would have been an otherwise beautiful relationship.
3. Moving too fast
This is another subtle killer of relationships. Couples must learn to give themselves time and space to allow life to happen naturally.
Couples sometimes get in a hurry to accomplish their goals that they fail to catch some rest and enjoy themselves, and that’s where failure starts. Typically, a relationship is like a vehicle; when a vehicle travels some distance, it must stop at some service station for refueling, change of tyres, brake oil, and some other checks. Refusal to stop for these checks will inevitably result in a breakdown of the vehicle at an important point of their journey.
Couples must learn to allow life to happen normally. If one party is moving too fast and the other is a little slow in catching up, the relationship might die. Both parties must understand their pace, the level of maturity and understanding that they both are, in order to avoid burnout and dissatisfaction. Things like moving in together immediately after meeting, or getting married immediately after high school, are not good enough. The faster they travel, the more fatal the accident they are likely to have will be.
4. Unrealistic/conflicting expectations
Ninety percent of singles confess that they got shocked at their partners when they eventually got into the relationship; and many times, such shocks eventually morphed into disappointment, and then came the breakup.
Couples must learn to manage expectations. Everything always looks perfect, until you get in. Then, your image of perfection with this other person vanishes faster than it as formed in your memory, and you begin to wonder if you were hypnotized into that relationship.
When there are unrealistic expectations, or fantasy/Hollywood-based expectations, the relationship is most likely going to fail. Also, the expectations of both partners must align. A male looking to start a family with his partner within the next two years should not get into a relationship with a lady who does not envisage that within the next five years. Else, they will run into trouble. They may be good people, but their expectations do not tally.
Unrealistic or conflicting expectations make many relationships fail, year after year.
5. Lack of goals or purpose for the relationship
Purposeless relationships are often the fastest to fail. Purposeless relationships are relationships involving two people who happen to like each other, and because they are single and available, they decide to try each other out. At first, the chemistry is so strong, that they go as far as daydreaming of making babies together; however, sooner or later, because their relationship is not based on real friendship and trust, it dies just as fast as it was born.
Common goals foster commitment and faithfulness, and also help to develop and sustain the bond between both parties. Relationships without clearly-defined goals and plans almost always fail at the end of the day. Having a purpose or plan that you both work on and work towards is a sure way to maintain the bond between you two; on the contrary, having no common ground or common objective is a sure way for either party to begin to either get involved with other people, which will lead to cheating and eventual breakup; or to burn out eventually.
Even with all the problems that people in relationships face, those who are serious about their long-term future together plan for it and eventually turn out successful. One thing that keeps them going, is not the love that exists between them, but the goals that they hope to achieve together.
When both parties do not see where the relationship is headed in the long run, it is only a matter of time before they get tired of each other and eventually break up.
6. Incompatible value systems
Values and belief systems are very important determinants of long-term relationship success or failure. Couples who happen to just be in love with themselves but hold different belief systems, and have totally differing values will not go far together. Values are like the oil that keeps the engine of the relationship vehicle moving. Values also determine behavior, disposition and ultimately outcome.
A relationship involving an individual who believes in the power of hard work and persistence, and an individual who believes so much in the lottery and good luck charms will never go far. It will fail; now, not because the two persons are bad persons, but because their values do not align.
Couples must seek to ascertain the level of their values compatibility before they get into relationships. Individuals who have enjoyed lasting relationship have indicated unified value systems as one of the keys to their relationship’s longevity. They agreed on many matters, and that helped to preserve the bond. On the contrary, many of those whose relationships fail, indicate a myriad of reasons why their relationships failed; and most of these reasons point to one thing – differing value and belief systems.
Jealousy is a very potent killer of relationships. Jealousy is a canker. It breeds insecurity, envy, anger, stalking and a horde of other vices that gnaw at the foundation of any good relationship, exposing it to corrosion and eventual death.
8. Long distance
This is a real problem that many people face. Distance has been the cause of many failed relationships since the turn of the century. People are emotional beings, and they need the sense of sight and touch to maintain their body chemistry for their loved ones. When both parties are separated from each other for a long time, chances are that their love may wane, and the sparks may die off. In that vulnerable state, they are likely to seek companionship elsewhere, leading to the eventual failure of the relationship.
Even though not all long-distance relationships fail, many do.
Nobody wants to be with someone who does not value them; so, abuse most often ends in breakup.
With the increasing number of social groups campaigning against battery of spouses and significant others, abuse is nearly the fastest way for a good relationship to end. Abuse – whether physical, verbal, emotional, or sexual – hurts the soul of the victim, leaving them feeling less of themselves than they ought to.
10. Money problems
This is another very potent killer of relationships. According to research, financial problems are among the top three killers of relationships and marriages. Money is connected to safety, control, trust, and a lot of other important components; and, if one partner is frivolous with money, tendencies are that the other party will grow afraid of them getting bankrupt; and, in a bid to avoid that, may eventually bolt out of the relationship for good.