Why Relationships Fail

Why do relationships fail? You felt amazing when you first fell in love? Is it possible to keep that spark? Or will love disappear or fade over the long term? Relationships change over time, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. Yet, over 50% of marriages end in divorce. Some relationships last, and get even better. What are the secrets of success? We start out with such good intentions. So, why do relationships fail?

The topic for the month: Why do relationships fail?

Over 50% of marriages end in divorce and who knows how many of those relationships are happy ones. We start out with such good intentions, so what happens? Why do relationships fail?

The most important ingredient we put into any relationship is not what we say or what we do, but what we are. - Stephen R. Covey


Be Patient










Q & A

Next Month:

Here are some tips to help you build a rock-solid foundation, and if the relationship is crumbling these tips will help you rebuild and strengthen it:

Be Patient If your partner has a meltdown or says something hurtful, bite your tongue-- but don’t brood. Ask yourself if it is a recurring problem and what you both can do to prevent it. Do you feel your partner doesn’t understand you? Talk about it when you’re both calm you can resolve it.

Expectations Don’t depend on your partner to make your life complete. This can become codependency
Maintain your own friends and interests. Healthy relationships don’t demand that you sacrifice your identity for the other person. Each of you brings something to the table and this creates a more fulfilling union.

Togetherness So she’s a golfer and you like hockey. Surely there are also activities that appeal to you both. You do not have to share every interest. This is especially important as the two of you navigate from courtship to parenting to middle age to seniority.

Respect People have emotional and chemical differences. Don't feel threatened if you don’t agree on everything. You can enrich each others lives and expand your horizons with your differences. Don’t pressure, nag or /be judgmental or demanding.

Surrender Is it so important to be ‘right’ all the time? Many couples bicker about trivia and become stubborn, angry and judgmental, demanding to have their way. Ask yourself: if this a crucial issue? Will I care about this next year? If we separate, would this argument still matter to me? Diplomacy Being brutally honest can be hurtful, but don’t lie. Ex. If she says, ‘Does this dress make me look fat?’ Consider your answer carefully. You can say – I’m not too keen on that dress or if you want my opinion, I like the blue one better. If she’s insistent about wearing the dress, don’t argue. She likes the dress? Let it go.

Humor. Nothing lightens an ugly mood or a tense situation like laughter. You can always find ‘light at the end of a tunnel’. Humor and irony puts fun into your days and help you to endure in difficult times. Communication. The take-home advice is that couples should talk it out. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. The tendency is that men say too little; women, too much. The key is for both of you to listen, and respond to how the other person is feeling when you express your opinion – but no enabling Romance Sexual demands are consistently cited as one of the top reasons for divorce (money being another). When you take care of your health, and appearance, you’ll feel more desirable and be more in the mood. Make time for intimacy, not only sex. Holding hands and hugging goes a long way. Money: Do you have the same financial goals and strategies? If you are frugal and your partner is a spender, you must discuss your joint obligations. Don’t wait until the credit-card bills become the third person in the room – discuss finances and make a joint plan. You can also discuss this with an adviser.

So why do relationships fail? If you expect that the spark of the honeymoon period is lasting you may be addicted to the high of the new relationship – and you’re not being realistic. Relationships change over time. The spark of the honeymoon period is just the beginning. A good relationship evolves over time, but like anything else that’s worth doing, it takes work.

Q & A


I have lived with my boyfriend and his children and for two years now. He is recently a recovering alcoholic I have sworn to encourage him and be there for him in every way possible. He recently went on a one week trip with a group of recovering alcoholics. It was hard for me but I dealt with it...it's like some secret group in his life that I'm not allowed to know about.

Now, we have no friends and are secluded from everything social because he isn't drinking and they are all drinkers. My girlfriends don't invite me to do anything with them and I go months without talking to them. I have told my boyfriend many times that we need to find non-drinking new friends but all he says is "yeah" and then that's that. I don't think he realizes that this has affected my life too.

I don't know where I would find new friends. We are not religious but live in the bible belt. Here it seems you either party or spend all of your time in church. I feel so isolated and lonely.

I love him with all my heart but I no longer have any fun. We seem to be stuck in a lull that doesn't bother him but leaves a very lonely life for me. Any ideas?


When you are in recovery and go to meetings, you form close bonds with others who have a shared history and the members become a safe group. There are also weekend retreats and conferences, and other social events for members. Your boyfriend is developing a new community of non-drinking friends, but this is a lonely life for you.

Keep encouraging him in his sobriety, however it's important for you to also have a network of friends.

I encourage you to go to Al-anon meetings in your area. You'll find that there are many family members of recovering alcoholic/addicts who are going through similar problems. You might develop couple and family friends there.

Joining interest groups or courses is another way to develop another network of friends. You don't have to be a church member, to participate in what these groups offer. However, you'll have to avoid the members who pressure you further.

It seems that your present friends have an issue with your boyfriend's sobriety. As your husband becomes more comfortable in sobriety, he'll be able to socialize without drinking, but right now it sounds like he's not ready. However, if he does, the old friends may not be the best choice of people in the long run. I hope this information is helpful.

counseling or coaching Asking for help can be difficult, but it forces your commitment to change.

Start now – not Monday, not the beginning of the month. If a moment of resolve comes and goes, you’ll lose momentum and a potential opportunity to advance your agenda. If you jump the gun by even a few days, you’ll be that much closer to your objective. So why wait? Like Nike says "just do it".

Negativity: Don’t be negative enabled

Do you have a question? Here's where to ask.

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Relationships -- Tips to make them work

Return from Keep Your New Years Resolutions to stop being addicted

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