How can you even tell whether a certain couple will go the distance?
You’ve been shocked—at least a few times—by the break-up news of a couple you thought looked so happy together.
Things seemed good from the outside, and then one of the partners did the unthinkable—giving up on their commitment, their family life, their vows.
Sometimes there’s a third party involved, and the betrayed partner is left stranded and rejected—forced to pick up the pieces and start over in a situation they never asked for in the first place.
It made you wonder:
Did they see it coming? Were their problems insurmountable, or are they just lazy and gave up once the going got tough?
Did they just pick the wrong partner?
You know your relationship is not exactly everything you wanted it to be.
But when you look around, you wonder if maybe you should just count your lucky stars.
Every couple you know has problems. Some of them have issues you tell yourself you’d never accept in your partner.
Relationships are hard. It’s a constant compromise, having to consider someone else in every decision, and having to care about their needs.
It’s putting up with their annoying habits—with no relief in sight. It’s endless chores and obligations that monopolize our time.
And if you have kids, it’s tenfold. Your needs and wants are even further marginalized. Schlepping them to activities, taking care of them when they’re sick, forking over thousands for education, doctor bills, and new clothes.
We know this about committed relationships. But we sign up for them anyway because we hope to get a whole lot more out of them in return.
We hope that in addition to trudging through all the hard stuff that makes a relationship tick, we’ll also get to bask in the joy of all the wonderful benefits that come with lasting love:
Building a fulfilling secure life together, having someone to rely on and confide in, to travel with, to raise children with—or even to just curl up on the couch with at the end of the day and watch a movie.
There’s just one problem.
All too often, we end up with a whole lot of the hard stuff with very little to none of the benefits we signed up for in the first place.
We start to feel resentful, taken for granted, bitter, and even angry. We start to see more of what we don’t like in our partners and start forgetting why we fell in love in the first place.
For some couples, that means the door is open for a third person to enter the picture.
For others, it means one partner starts disappearing more and more often into the golf course, the office, or hobbies that exclude the other partner.
Still, for others, they live like roommates under the same roof, biding their time until the last kid goes to college.
Day after day, seemingly good couples have sat before me—bewildered and in despair—asking themselves why they couldn’t make their promising relationships work.
With over 40 years of counseling thousands of good people who ended up in bad relationships, this is the question I HAD to get to the bottom of.
And it’s much simpler than any of these couples could ever believe.
If you’re like most of the good people who have sought my help, you have a laundry list of complaints about your relationship. You have a bunch of issues you BELIEVE are the problem:
And that’s just for starters.
But after pouring over the research and working with so many couples, I now understand exactly what happens over and over and over again that destroys partnerships and makes it impossible to stay together.
What I learned is that it is something that most of us are completely oblivious to, no one is talking about it, and traditional relationship advice doesn’t even begin to address.
What you don’t know CAN hurt you and destroy your relationship, without you even knowing why.
No matter what issues you and your partner have—or how unique you believe your situation is—I can practically guarantee that any and all of your issues can be traced back to just 5 root causes or “forces.”
When even just ONE of these forces is present, the relationship simply can’t work for the long haul.
And every single relationship issue will fit into one of these 5 categories:
And the scary thing about these damaging forces is that they can creep into your marriage completely undetected.
While you’re busy bickering about these annoying day-to-day issues, the 5 forces are slowly getting bigger and bigger and more damaging.
Because the real issue isn’t being addressed.
Until one day it becomes so big, that one person is fed up enough to do the unthinkable…
And then it’s too late.
You can go decades wishing your relationship was better, secretly complaining to yourself about every little thing your partner does that annoys or disappoints you.
Until one day you have grown so far apart that you can’t get the love back, nor do you care.
You can choose to remain complacent, ignoring the clues that your partner is unhappy, bored or dissatisfied with your relationship.
You can tell yourself that your partner would never cheat on you, all while turning a deaf ear and eye to the signs that it may already be happening.
You can spend years—and thousands of dollars—in counseling, working hard to fix your relationship problems.
But it will only fix the “symptom.”
This approach leads to temporary relief at best, and in many cases can end up pushing you even further apart as you struggle with the same frustrating issues for years and lose hope that things will ever change.
Unless you understand what the 5 forces are underlying ALL these situations, you will be caught by surprise when your relationship ultimately unravels, the way you see other relationships unraveling.
This is exactly why seemingly happy marriages implode all the time.
And it’s why knowledge of the 5 forces and how they are impacting your relationship right now is absolutely critical.
Otherwise, it’s like leaving valuables in an unlocked car. You’re exposing your relationship to unnecessary danger.
And that requires two steps:
That may sound like a lot of hard work, but it’s actually SO much easier—and less painful—than the daily useless fighting about mere symptoms.
When couples learn what is really behind such conflicts as not getting enough help with household chores, feeling bored or dissatisfied in the relationship, or intense, dramatic fighting, they experience a huge “AHA.”
They finally see WHY what they’ve been doing to solve their problem hasn’t worked.
When they learn what they REALLY need to do instead, they finally have hope that they can create an equitable, fun and supportive relationship that lasts.
But if you can’t see what’s really wrong, it’s nearly impossible to know what to do to fix it.
It’s a matter of perspective, and knowledge.
But I can’t possibly work individually with everyone who needs that kind of help. That’s why I’ve partnered with Flourish, so I can extend that help and guidance to as many people as possible, since almost all couples can benefit from these insights and tips.
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It’s free, it’s easy, and you’ll be amazed at what a difference the tips and insights will make in your relationship!
A marriage doesn’t need to feel like all work (chores, tasks, drama) with none of the benefits (companionship, fun, passion, aliveness).
It can be enlivening and wonderful, if you have the right knowledge and tools.
The advice contained in the articles I’ve written for Flourish will help you uncover the hidden issues that are draining your relationship of joy and passion, and help you create and maintain a strong foundation of love and respect, so that your relationship can last a lifetime.
May you have an extraordinary day,