The Most Common Reason Relationships Fail (And 3 Secrets to Success)

Meghan Rooney

When it comes to relationships, there's usually a long list of expectations in terms of what both men and women are looking for in their respective partners. And though it's only natural that you'd want to find someone who complements your personality or lifestyle off the bat, these externalities may be keeping you from maintaining a successful relationship.

How so? A recent article published by Mindbodygreen explains that the foundation, or the core of compatibility and character, must first be established in order for these externalities to naturally fall into place. As explained by Albert Ellis, who developed Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, how people react to events is determined largely by their view of the events, not the events themselves. So it's imperative to establish the foundation and core of the relationship in order for expectations to align.

As a solution, the article mentions Steven Covey's idea of maintaining an "emotional bank account" from his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. According to this theory, constant relationships require consistent emotional deposits, which keep the account full, meaning both partners are giving and receiving in a balanced effort to avoid overdrawing or depleting the account.

Below find three the most important deposits—tied to perception—that will ensure a healthy reserve is left in the relationships shared emotional account:

  1. Unconditional love: In this case, it's about gestures and actions that come with no strings attached. By avoiding feeling indebted or owed the same act of love or kindness, "you help your partner feel secure and safe and validated and affirmed in their essential worth, identity, and integrity."
  2. Sincere apologies: By making superficial apologies out of pity or justifying your own transgressions against your partners, you'll create insecurity and imbalance, which will be reflected by your relationship. When you do need to apologize, do so sincerely.
  3. Clear expectations: When couples are not open about sharing their expectations, communication and trust are violated, causing even the smallest misunderstandings to become compounded. This leads to serious turmoil as opposing perceptions concerning roles and goals can lead to serious emotional conflict.

For more expert relationship advice, check out the "I Do" podcast, and share your thoughts about the reasons why relationships fail or succeed below.

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