Almost no one is foolish enough to imagine that he automatically deserves great success in any field of activity; yet almost everyone believes that he automatically deserves success in marriage.” ~ Sydney J. Harris
In my capacity as a Relationship Coach, I think it’s more difficult to succeed in relationship/marriage than it is to succeed in business [a lot of people, however, believe otherwise]. At least, more people fail in marriage than they do on their jobs.  Moreover, there are many powerful, educated, and renowned successful people with failed marriages.
Not until you had your first relationship, perhaps the second one, you always believed it was a piece of cake. And if you’re married for at least three years, you will understand that the most challenging, and perhaps, the most demanding thing in your life is your marriage.
It doesn’t get better:
People in second marriage should not have marital hitches, at least they’ve had the experience, and normally they should learn from it, right? It looks logical, but studies have shown that, the divorce rate for second marriages is higher than that of the first marriage, and the figures of divorce for third marriages is unsettling – it’s about 80%! You see that, it really doesn’t get better.
One of the contributing factors to the massive relationship and marital failure is that people are not trained to handle relationship and marriage [As they are properly trained to handle their jobs]. I’ve asked quite a number of persons if they think they could have marital challenges and their response was always no! Yet it was based on assumptions, how dangerous!
The big question is…
Why do marriages fail? There’s only one answer to this, however, with many variants – marriages fail because people lack the ability to easily resolve conflicts. Yeah, inability to resolve conflicts is the number one reason marriages fail.
Ask yourself, why did you move from one relationship to another? I know you’re going to blame your ex. I know you’ll tell me how your ex got it all wrong and messed things up. The bottom line, however, is; you had issues that ultimately became unresolvable, and you resulted to walking away.
Here’s the real lesson:
If you’ve had more than one relationship, you will begin to see patterns in your lifestyle and how you handle certain key things, like relationship conflict. In addition to that, if you’re the type who loves to dot every “i”, then you will also understand the unique differences in those relationships and how your exes responded or reacted differently to different situations.
You will see differences in what triggers conflicts, how long it takes to resolve conflicts, who usually make moves to end your conflicts, how easily you connect after conflicts, and how you always feel [closer or far apart, more connected or less connected, understood or misunderstood, etc.] after conflicts.
Get insight:
These will only lead us to one vital truth: every relationship have its unique dynamics. And what’s good for the goose may not always be good for the gander.
This truth will only lead us to an undeniable fact: the only thing that determines the fate of every relationship and marriage is the knowledge of its dynamics and how well couples are adjusted to it. Unless couples learn almost everything about each other and treat themselves as individuals, relationship and marital struggles would be endless.
Marriages are not sustained by logical thoughts and dogma, but by their uniqueness and dynamics, which is regulated by the beliefs, backgrounds, likes, dislikes, exposure, personality, character, past relationship experiences, etc. of the people in that relationship. And more importantly, the couple’s definition and understanding of the concept of love.
Here are the golden rules:
Don’t compare your relationship /marriage with another. Don’t try to fix/mould your spouse into being like any other person. Don’t treat your lover/spouse the way you treated your ex. It’s important you also understand that you cannot handle your relationship the way your friends, relatives, mentors or even the way your parents handle theirs. If you miss it here, you will need a miracle to find happiness in your marriage.
 Learn, unlearn and relearn:
Everything you know about relationship and marriage ends with you. When you meet a new person, your duty is to learn the person’s uniqueness and figure out your relationship’s dynamics.
You don’t have the same upbringing and exposure, therefore, you can’t think the same way, you can’t always see things from the same perspective, and you can’t believe the same thing. More so, you can’t respond and react the same way to the same thing. Hence, you have to discover your differences, figure out what works for your relationship, then live by it.
It’s easy
You don’t have to change your lover or spouse [it won’t work], all you need is change yourself. You don’t need special knowledge about love, you only need to know your spouse more! You don’t need to learn different ways to resolve different conflicts, you only need to learn how to love more.
Most times, the problem is that you try to handle your relationship the way some people [those you respect] handle theirs.
Engage in healthy discussions: Healthy relationships are built on healthy discussions, and conflicts are best resolved when discussed, rather than being expressed. Ask your spouse what s/he dislikes about you: ask her/him to tell you some of the things they want you to change or stop doing. You will be amazed by what they will say and how much it will change your relationship/marriage.
Let’s hear from you: How do you think relationships should best be handled? Should they be based on generalised principles or couples should find their unique dynamics and live by its guidance? Use the comment box below.

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