5 Relationship Killers in the first 3 years
My husband and I have been married for 25 years. It’s now pretty rare to celebrate a silver wedding anniversary. And it wasn’t always easy. A marriage, a relationship costs a lot of work, but it’s worth it!
Basically, one can say that the relationship follows an emotional curve:
(Times vary: For some couples the first fall in love phase lasts only half a year, for others 3 years. And the crisis can last between half a year and 2 to 3 years.)
The first 1 to 2 years are characterized by exuberant infatuation. And that’s great. This infatuation is a gift from God. This is what gives us the strength in the first place to intensively give ourselves off to a completely different person.
After the infatuation phase, however, a fight for the borders usually begins. Suddenly you realize the other one isn’t perfect after all. The partners must now decide whether or not they can cope with the “mistakes” of the other. I have seen this time of crisis with almost all couples in my environment and in consulting. And that’s not bad. Cause now you’re gonna make up your mind. The great emotional basis from the infatuation phase allows you to go through it. Or you realize that this is not the right partner after all.
But if the two of them fight their way through this crisis, deal with it constructively and find compromises, then things will go uphill. Then the actual love begins to grow, purged of the ideals of the infatuation phase. This love is not only great but also sustainable.
Of course, that doesn’t mean there will never be crises again. There are the so-called 7-year periods, after which changes occur again and again. In addition, every child is a great challenge or a serious change in life circumstances. And later, midlife crisis and menopause.
But from my experience in accompanying and advising couples, this first crisis, if managed well and constructively, is already half the battle.
So we should differentiate the relationship killers according to phases:
Let’s assume that everything is still going well in the first time, then we start in the Crisis:
Relationship killer No. 1: Too little time
Anyone who invests too little time in the relationship in this crisis has already lost. There is so much to discuss, conflicts to endure, discussions to finish. Couples need time.
Also to create positive experiences. If you have only little time for your partner, and there is only arguing, then that is counterproductive. You need time together: Time for beautiful activities and loving attention, and also to say the things that are fermenting.
Relationship killer No. 2: missing attention
Just spending time together is of course useless if other people are there or if we only watch TV together. This time should get full concentration. If the cell phone keeps vibrating while I’m arguing, I don’t focus on my partner. I make him understand that the relationship is not so terribly important to me. Because getting through a conflict costs me something. And I only pay these costs if I really want to.
The partner, for his part, is hurt by the lack of attention and shut himself off accordingly.
So take your time, get something to eat, go for a walk, sit in the garden or in a café. Focus on your partner. AND turn off your cell phone.
Relationship killer no. 3: I don’t dare
Now is the unique chance to call a spade a spade. Don’t be afraid to tell the truth honestly if something doesn’t suit you. If you wait with it until you are married and live together, you will have a problem.
Speak your mind. Either the other loves you and you find solutions, or the differences are too big. Then it’s better to recognize it early. I know too many couples who were afraid to raise certain issues. Today they are married and unhappy. You now have a chance to set the course for your life.
And as I said, if your partner loves you, together you will find solutions, compromises, a third way.
Relationship killer no. 4: My partner should satisfy my emotional needs
I think God deliberately made several emotional holes in our hearts. One of them is filled by the love of the partner. No best friend and no great hobby can fill this hole. The love of the partner is unique.
But with our really big emotional need every partner is overwhelmed. We need unconditional and infinite love and recognition. Only God can give us this love and recognition that fits in. No man can love absolutely unconditionally, and infinitely not at all.
Up to the age of 20 I always thought that my boyfriend would have to fill this love deficit for me. And after some time I was always disappointed and separated from the respective partner. Only when I understood that I was completely overtaxing the poor boys because only Jesus could give it to me could I build a healthy relationship.
Relationshipkiller No. 5: Superficiality
Make sure you get to know each other really well as a partner. If you don’t know how to build deep communication, not tragically! I also need tools to do that. There are very good books and communication games. Questions you’d never even think of.
Speak about your goals and dreams, too. Where are you going? What are your goals in life? Here you can quickly find out if your partner is not the right one! And that’s extremely important!