Ok it is a bit late, but never too late to discuss your resolutions! During my holidays I had some time to think about all the divorce cases I had successfully finished the last years. When couples come to me, they come for a divorce solution and it is in almost all the cases too late to solve the major issues and avoid a divorce procedure all together. If it is possible to avoid a divorce, we refer them to a relationship therapist. However, most of my daytime is spend on solving divorce procedures in a positive way, keeping both spouses in mind and supporting them in making a positive new start separately.
But for my first blog in 2014 I found it important to think about the deeper cause of all divorce procedures I have so far experienced. Where did it all go wrong in the first place? Are there similarities, which we can use for our resolutions in our future relationship and so perhaps avoid a divorce?
During my stay on that warm Island a lot of cases went through my mind each with their different divorce reasons. Some couples spoke about cheating, some about different expectations in life and 'bad sex' I had heard often. Aren't all those reasons though not 'sub-reasons' from a deeper more general problem?
One specific case I will never forget was with a couple whom I asked to describe their average weekly schedule. They didn't eat together (sometimes in front of the television), they didn't like to sleep together, they hadn't gone on a holiday together for the last 4 years and the woman didn't even know her husband had recently received a fantastic promotion. But they shared their important events in life with their best friends instead. So they lacked a profound general interest in each other and each other's lifes. There was a clearly severe lack of communication, and basically a lack of everything a healthy relationship needs. This couple was unfortunately beyond saving of a divorce procedure and this is of course not the only example of a couple that has been starting to live alongside each other a long time ago.
When I did some research on the Internet I find a Huffington Post Article with a referral to a Lifestyle website called "YourTango.com" that basically confirmed my findings of the last years. Poor communication often has a long-term snowball effect and is the main reason why couples in the end split up. For a lot of people this is off course nothing new, but how come that when I ask couples about the reason of their divorce they always start to talk about bad sex, different expectations in live, irritating behavior and many other reasons? Also in the media people talk less about the actual lack of communication, rather they talk about cheating or any other juicy detail, which seems much more interesting and always works for easy 'finger pointing'.
Isn't it so that all those sub reasons are really a derivation of the main cause in a lot of relationship problems, which is a general lack of communication. If you are for example not interested in the expectations in life of your partner, it is not a coincidence that different expectations and also problems will arise soon.
So now talk about your relationship resolutions for 2014. I know a lot of people think that there is nothing new to read here but that is exactly the problem. It is a little bit similar with people who live unhealthy. They start to use medications for solving the side effects while in practice they have to focus on the root of problem which can be solved by visiting the gym a couple of times per week and eat more healthy food.
So make your own relationship resolutions for this year and remember to communicate more! Express yourself! Ask your partner to tell you what is important to him? What are your values and expectations in life? What is important to you in making our relationship successful? And also create more quality time with your partner, eat at the table, put away your cell phone and switch off the TV. Book a holiday together, ask about your partners day experiences, just ask, ask a lot actually! But ask real questions, real questions that are about her and you. And make sure you listen, really listen... Because that is where communication goes awry too, you don't really listen. You have your answer ready while he is still talking to you, or you have blocked her half way out while she is midsentence. So communicating and listening really go hand in hand. They are the essence of a good relationship, as a matter a fact they make or break one.
So let's see what you will bring to your relationship this year! Wishing you all a wonderful and fantastic year with lots of opportunities to talk, listen and grow together!