We all have experienced failed relationships at some point in our lives. Whether it’s a short-term relationship, a long-term relationship, an engagement before marriage, and even marriage itself.
When it comes to marriages, the current divorce rate according to APA.ORG is 50%. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher, they report. I would have to agree with this 100%. I feel the divorce rate is probably higher than 50% these days.
According to McKinley Irvin, one of the 32 shocking divorce statistics is that the average length of a marriage that ends in a divorce is 8 years!
Personally speaking, my parents have been married for about 35 years, which is quite an achievement. Although their relationship has been rocky, it has taught me do’s and dont’s in relationships as a whole. It’s funny that our parents teach us either what we do want in our lives or what we don’t want in our lives when it comes to relationships. I personally went through a divorce 4 years ago, and thereafter experienced dating as an adult for the first time, which is surprising to most. I had my first child at 17 with my ex-husband and we had 2 more beautiful girls after. After my divorce, I also experienced failed relationships some serious and some not.
Looking back on my experience, I have learned some important essentials that can make or break a relationship at any point. Although every case is different, for instance, if there was infidelity involved or abuse, there are some common key steps and factors to consider prior to or even during a relationship that can strengthen your chances for success. Understanding these important things can help people or couples “reverse engineer” the problems before they start to happen.
Here are 5 major factors you should be prepared for:
- CONNECTION: Ensure there is a true connection – Before entering or committing to a relationship, it is important to make sure there is a true connection; mentally, physically, spiritually, and on all levels to include a friendship. You should see your significant other as a true partner in your life and vice versa.
- FINANCES: Make sure you understand each other financially – Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, finances in a relationship are super important. How do you and your partner view finances, goals for finances, future plans for retirement, etc? Do you have goals for saving each month? Do you have budgets for spending? Make sure you are on the same page so that there are no surprises. It’s also key to discuss your monthly obligations, your debts that you are liable for and anything else that could potentially cause future disagreements and potentially a breakup. Does your partner have a tax lien on their credit, do they owe 100 thousand to the IRS for back taxes? Trust and believe you do not need that stress in your life, but if your partner is that important to you, work together in resolving issues such as these. Credit is also important! Make sure your credit is solid as a couple as this will be a factor if you both want to purchase a property in the future or live together. Make sense? Ok…on to the next!
- INVEST IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP: Make sure you invest in a good counselor or marriage and family therapist. Marriage and relationships can be a strain, especially when you hit bumps in the road. If your relationship is serious or you are married, it is important to research a good marriage and family therapist in your area. Pre-marital counseling can solve some issues before they become deal killers. Take the necessary steps to invest into your relationship if you want it to last.
- NEEDS: Every person is different. If you want a long-lasting relationship, you need to spend the time to learn your partner. I highly recommend reading The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman and taking the quiz on your love languages at www.the5lovelanguages.com. This will help you learn what your partner needs in order to feel loved and vice versa.
- EXPECTATIONS: Has anyone ever told you not to expect anything from anyone? Well… this is where expectations come into play majorly. In relationships. If you or your partner start a relationship expecting different things, the chances are higher that you will build lots of resentment throughout your relationship. It’s very important to discuss expectations before entering into a relationship otherwise you will both be heavily disappointed.
Although there are so many different reasons why relationships might come to a standstill or end, it’s important to really know who you are, what you want and discuss the same with your partner! It’s important that we are proactive in our lives instead of being reactive.
Wishing you luck in love,