^ Heide Banks (May 12, 2010). "Does It Matter How Many Frogs You Have Kissed?". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2010-12-08. Disappointment can create discouragement affecting other areas of our lives. Too many one-off dates that go nowhere can leave the best of us ready to hang up the little black dress in exchange for a pair of pjs and a pint of you know what.
Marriage researcher John Gottman has built an entire career out of studying how couples interact. He learned that even in a laboratory setting, couples are willing to air their disagreements even when scientists are watching and the cameras are rolling. From that research, he developed a system of coding words and gestures that has been shown to be highly predictive of a couple’s chance of success or risk for divorce or breakup.
But trust goes much deeper than that. Because when you’re really talking about the long-haul, you start to get into some serious life-or-death shit. If you ended up with cancer tomorrow, would you trust your partner to stick with you and take care of you? Would you trust your partner to care for your child for a week by themselves? Do you trust them to handle your money or make sound decisions under pressure? Do you trust them to not turn on you or blame you when you make mistakes?
These fails could be genuine lack of interest, or the inevitable fallout the moment an overexcited man's mind goes into adrenaline-charged overdrive. In those panicked situations, we're sometimes our worst enemies. Like some part of our brains is adamant on keeping us forever alone as long as possible. Just hope whoever it is that might experience your inability to act on an obvious hint, meets it with patience. If you feel like more dating fails, check out these cringe-tastic worst first date stories, over here.
The common theme of the advice here was “Be pragmatic.” If the wife is a lawyer and spends 50 hours at the office every week, and the husband is an artist and can work from home most days, it makes more sense for him to handle most of the day-to-day parenting duties. If the wife’s standard of cleanliness looks like a Home & Garden catalog, and the husband has gone six months without even noticing the light fixture hanging from the ceiling, then it makes sense that the wife handles more of the home cleaning duties.
But the problem is when all of the relationship’s happiness is contingent on the other person and both people are in a constant state of sacrifice. Just read that again. That sounds horrible. It reminds me of an old Marilyn Manson song, “Shoot myself to love you; if I loved myself, I’d be shooting you.” A relationship based on sacrifices cannot be sustained, and will eventually become damaging to both individuals in it.
The same cannot be said for other kinds of relationships. When it comes to work colleagues, or friends, we are not especially interested in dealing with people who are very unlike ourselves. We are most comfortable with those who have similar interests and perspectives, and we do not show a lot of motivation or patience for dealing with our opposites.
There's something wonderful, I think, about taking chances on love and sex. ... Going out on a limb can be roller-coaster scary because none of us want to be rejected or to have our heart broken. But so what if that happens? I, for one, would rather fall flat on my face as I serenade my partner (off-key and all) in a bikini and a short little pool skirt than sit on the edge of the pool, dipping my toes in silence.
If something bothers you in the relationship, you must be willing to say it. Saying it builds trust and trust builds intimacy. It may hurt, but you still need to do it. No one else can fix your relationship for you. Nor should anyone else. Just as causing pain to your muscles allows them to grow back stronger, often introducing some pain into your relationship through vulnerability is the only way to make the relationship stronger.
She knows I've been through some traumatic stuff, regarding home intruders when I was a child. My parents had some drug issues and owed someone money and he broke in with a couple other guys. Some scary stuff happened that day to say the least. So... I don't like being surprised by strangers in my living space. Alexis and I actually have a guest policy because of that. Just that we'll ask before bringing guests over. It goes both ways, I ask her too, just to be considerate.
It’s economics 101: division of labor makes everyone better off. Figure out what you are each good at, what you each love/hate doing, and then arrange accordingly. My wife loves cleaning (no, seriously), but she hates smelly stuff. So guess who gets dishes and garbage duty? Me. Because I don’t give a fuck. I’ll eat off the same plate seven times in a row. I couldn’t smell a dead rat even if it was sleeping under my pillow. I’ll toss garbage around all day. Here honey, let me get that for you.
The moral here is twofold: first, there’s no one right direction for your relationship to go. Whatever is going to be healthiest and happiest for both people involved is what’s best to do. Secondly, everyone goes through hard times. It’s not the presence of conflict or hardship that determines the workability of a relationship, it’s the commitment and willingness to grow.
My husband and I have been together 15 years this winter. I’ve thought a lot about what seems to be keeping us together, while marriages around us crumble (seriously, it’s everywhere… we seem to be at that age). The one word that I keep coming back to is “respect.” Of course, this means showing respect, but that is too superficial. Just showing it isn’t enough. You have to feel it deep within you. I deeply and genuinely respect him for his work ethic, his patience, his creativity, his intelligence, and his core values. From this respect comes everything else—trust, patience, perseverance (because sometimes life is really hard and you both just have to persevere). I want to hear what he has to say (even if I don’t agree with him) because I respect his opinion. I want to enable him to have some free time within our insanely busy lives because I respect his choices of how he spends his time and who he spends time with. And, really, what this mutual respect means is that we feel safe sharing our deepest, most intimate selves with each other.