Reading Facebook recently I have come across a lot of friends and acquaintances who are having trouble in their relationships, in some cases it is with new relationships, sometimes it's an old one. Sometimes it is a boyfriend or girlfriend, and sometimes the husband or wife, but whatever way it goes, it always seems to come down to honesty and communication. Somebody does something that they know they shouldn't be doing and then tries to cover it up, or lie about it outright. Here's a little something I have learned over the years....
If anyone wishes to have a strong and lasting relationship, they must first be honest with themselves about what they want and what they expect from their relationships. If you don't know what you want, or worse yet, don't know what you are bringing to a relationship, then you have a terrible chance of having a successful one. Unrealistic expectations are also another problem. The world is not a romantic comedy where you have witty repartee and funny arguments, make up and live happily ever after. Don't get me wrong there really can be a happy ever after, but this doesn't mean that you don't have to work at it and grow. Many people believe in the old adage that opposites attract, and in truth they do, but in general, they aren't good matches, the same as you don't wish to have a partner who is the exact same person as you are. So what works? Complementary couples.
No, I don't mean that you have to always compliment each other, ( but it sure doesn't hurt!) what I mean is you need to find someone who fills in your weaknesses. Are you great with faces and names, but not so good with jobs and families? You need a partner who remembers those types of details but may not be necessarily good with faces. You become a team with all the details covered. Are you great with people, but have trouble standing up for yourself when you need to be a little assertive? You need to find someone who knows your limits and is willing to stand up for you when you can't, yet won't take advantage of that very same weakness. Do you like to walk in nature and look at the birds and the trees, you need someone who likes to walk in nature and look at the flowers and the critters, this way you can both enjoy nature and you will see danger from above, while your partner will see the danger from below. This way you are a stronger pair than either of you would be alone.
Of course you need to have somethings in common too, you have to be comfortable with certain aspects of a relationship. Big ones, including sex, family structure, child rearing, if you differ greatly on these then your relationship is gonna be rocky. Sex is HUGE, because if one partner wants it all the time and the other would rather not, then sooner or later the unsatisfied partner is going to look someplace else to get what they aren't getting at home. Then they lie about it, usually. This is a place where honesty is extremely important, because being incompatible in the bedroom will never be a great relationship. So if your partner is a horny little dog, and you are happy with once a month, get it out in the open and get a grip on what this really is gonna mean. If you don't want to get it on with your partner, then be willing to let them get it someplace else with the understanding and agreement about safety and discretion. This seems like an odd thing, but think about it, without the agreement there is lying and sneaking around and when the truth comes out there is harsh words and hurt feelings and a huge emotional mess. If you were upfront in the beginning, you would have a much healthier relationship in the long run. And less stress. Sexual differences cause more stress in relationships than money or in-laws!
Family structure, who wears the pants? Who makes the BIG decisions, and how are they made? Do you work together or is one person in charge of the house and the other in charge of the vehicles? Do you decide you want something and then whine and wheedle until you get it? It really doesn't matter what your particular system is, as long as it works for BOTH of you. You have to agree on this set up, because if one feels like the other is taking advantage, or working against them, they are not happy and sooner or later it bubbles to the surface as anger and again, harsh words and hurt feelings. Hurt feeling do more to damage a relationship than any other single thing. As much as we are supposed to be able to forgive and forget , we get the first one, but the latter is much less likely. It gets filed away in the hurt bank and it builds interest and you can be sure that it will come back when it is least expected. Not good.
Child rearing is another big one. A child is smart, and they can quickly learn that if mom and dad don't agree then they can be played against each other. Discipline, responsibility, chores, grades, you name it and kids will figure out how to play parents against each other when their parents don't agree. A united front by parents gives kids a solid home and that is the best thing in the world for kids. And what is good for the kids is good for the parents too.
Life is hard enough and Love is even harder, and if you want it to work, you have to go into it with your eyes open, and contrary to popular belief, you have to keep your eyes open, and keep each other honest. Without the Honesty to yourself, you won't be honest with your partner, and eventually it will all fall apart. I have heard people say that in every relationship there is a reacher and a settler. Nobody should ever settle in a relationship. You will never be truly happy if you settle for what you think you can get. Don't be in a hurry and know yourself, then you will be able to find your second half, and the person who you can be truly happy with.