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Why Relationships Fail and What You Can Do to Save It

I get emails asking why relationships fail after six months or after the three year anniversary mark.

I hear this:

  • The sex has dropped off to never
  • He doesn’t get off the couch
  • She walks around in her sweats all day and talks to her girlfriends 24/7
  • He just wants to be with his friends
  • She hates my family and my friends
  • And on and on

The word here is contempt and it builds up big-time when couples fail to do the things necessary to keep a relationship alive. Contempt is like a cancer that sits in the corner of everyone’s bedroom waiting for its moment to pounce. It slowly poisons each individual until it, like our national debt, is a train that can’t be stopped.

Why does contempt build?

Communication Issues

The most common reason relationships fail and contempt builds is poor communication. Men don’t understand women and women don’t understand men. Women want a listening ear. Men want to fix your problem.

Here’s a perfect example.

After a hellish day at work, where your boss ripped you a new asshole, you confront your guy with your work issues. He replies, “why don’t you just get another job?”

Now you rip him an asshole!

Why? You wanted him to listen. Listening makes you feel better. But he is not a listener, he is a fixer. So he solves the problem. Now you are both pissed because you didn’t understand the other’s needs.

It’s not his fault and it’s not your fault – we were never taught this stuff!

How do we keep contempt out of the love equation?

One word – responsibility. Each partner needs to take responsibility for his or her actions each and every day. Think in terms of their needs and not just yours. Ask yourself, “what is he thinking or feeling?” Try to put yourself in their place so you compromise accordingly.

This keeps contempt at bay.

You are a team, remember? In the early stages things were working, why? Because you listened and respected the other’s opionion and feelings.

Sit down and talk. Not when you are fighting but when you are laughing together and getting along – that is the time to ask the other; How can we make this better?

What can I do that would make you happier with me?

Wow! That one question could change your entire relationship. You have disarmed your significant other and gotten him to think about things and come up with, what he does best, a fix to the problem.

Make sure you do not get defensive. Let him speak and then think about things. Then, provide a constructive answer. You’ll find you will be working towards a win/win if you follow these steps.

Why Relationships Fail | Guys, do This

Work on the bod

Let’s face it, a man’s body is not always a thing of beauty, especially, when let go. The hair, the gut, the love handles, oh my! Drive past the golden arches once in a while or do a friggin’ sit up or two to lose that gut. Don’t whine to me/her that she won’t go down on you anymore because she is turning into a prude – maybe it’s your floppy spare tire that disgusts her.

Give a crap

Ask her about her day when you get together or she comes home. Listen for once in your life and ask questions. You are dating her because she is interesting – she still is! It’s you who has stopped looking for her interests.

Ask her out

Do you remember how that works? Ask her out on real date. Pick her up, open the door and hold her hand. Look into her eyes and show her that you can be romantic again.

Why Relationships Fail | Girls, do This

Get decked out for him

Don’t just get decked out when you are headed off to work or to meet up with your girlfriends for a drink. That screams, “She doesn’t give a crap how she looks around me anymore” to a guy. Recharge your relationship by giving him that wow moment every now and then so he can get excited again – like he did when he first met you.

Take interest in his hobbies

If he is working on his ‘67 Camaro, instead of going shoe shopping, go out to the garage and ask him a few questions even if you don’t know a thing about cars. Learn a few things. He will welcome you into the garage so he can show off what he knows and the horsepower he owns.

Take the lead

Be the first to break the cycle and set an example. Don’t just sit there and accuse him or her of not giving a hoot.

Be the first to care and your partner may follow. Ladies, guys are stubborn! Be the grown-up and make the first move. If he doesn’t follow, maybe it’s time to dump him!

Stop being a victim, man-up (or woman-up) and take responsibility for what you are doing wrong in the relationship before it fails. The two of you were great once, remember? Remember, those great memories?  Ask yourself – what has changed?  Something has, and it probably goes back to something both of you are doing!

Thank you for letting me vent – I’m now ready for your hate mail.

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