Why Good Relationships Go Bad… And How To Make Sure Yours Doesn’t

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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 Have To Admit: It Made You A Little Uneasy About Your Own Relationship

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.

The Danger Zone: All Work With Few Rewards

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.

Happy couple dancing

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.

But why?

Why are so few us enjoying the benefits we always imagined from marriage and long-term partnership?

Something Very Specific Is Causing All Of These Breakdowns—The Good News, It’s Fixable

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.

Happy couple embraccing
Now I know the answer.

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:

  • Not enough time alone together
  • Not enough control over the budget
  • Not enough sex or not enough passion

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.

There Are Only 5 Reasons Your Relationship Might Be Breaking Down Right Now

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:

  • You think your problem is that your husband works too much. Nope, it’s actually one of the 5 forces.
  • You think your wife is selfish and spends too much money on clothes. Think again: it’s one of the 5 forces at work.
  • You think everything would get better if only you had more sex. Again, blame one of the 5 forces.

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.

Stop Wasting Your Time Arguing Over The Wrong Problem

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.

Couple smiling at eachother

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.

By focusing on the 5 forces, you’re targeting the underlying operating system of your relationship.

And that requires two steps:

  1. Figuring out which of the 5 forces is at work
  2. Addressing it together to eliminate it

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.

When you subscribe to our FREE Relationship Advice Newsletter, you get access to more articles like these, from an accomplished community of carefully selected experts (like me!).

You’ll also learn:

  • How to “break-up proof” your relationship by getting to the bottom of WHY you feel dissatisfied, resentful, unloved or bored with your partner, and the specific tools to help you reconnect and fall deeply in love again.
  • How to address the underlying issues related to almost any relationship problem you’re experiencing, whether it’s your partner being inconsiderate, or growing apart in your relationship, or dealing with financial issues or a lack of passion.
  • Specific things you can do on your own to improve your marriage, even if your partner is not on board, or you can’t seem to be able to discuss your concerns with them right now.
  • Get specific tips on how to improve your connection with your partner without having to engage in long, drawn-out discussions or even couples’ therapy.
  • What research has shown to be the single greatest predictor of divorce, and what you can do today to reverse this if you recognize it in yourself or your partner.

Simply enter your name and email address in the box, and you’ll get all this plus much, much more.

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,

Pat Love

Fall Deeply In Love All Over Again

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