IN­TI­MATE SAVVY

Salome Mit­ter warns you against the signs that crop up reg­u­larly when a re­la­tion­ship is de­te­ri­arat­ing

Savvy - - Contents -

Fix the chinks in your mar­riage

When

a re­la­tion­ship or a mar­riage de­te­ri­o­rates, it does so over a pe­riod of time, years and years, in fact. There are warn­ing signs that crop up reg­u­larly; un­for­tu­nately most cou­ples sim­ply ig­nore them. Re­sent­ment keeps build­ing and re­al­ity bites only when things go from mar­i­tal to pos­i­tively mar­tial! Con­stant feel­ings of be­ing dis­par­aged by your spouse, fac­ing crit­i­cism, fight­ing all the time… It’s only nat­u­ral that love flies out of the win­dow. As does af­fec­tion and re­spect. Of­ten it’s when it’s too late, when a mar­riage has al­ready bro­ken down and a cou­ple splits, that re­al­i­sa­tion dawns that the prob­lems were per­haps not man­aged and sorted out as they should have been.

The re­grets emerge… If only we had read the dan­ger signs, and acted on them in­stead of sweep­ing things un­der the prover­bial car­pet, things might not have got so out of hand. For­giv­ing and for­get­ting is dou­bly chal­leng­ing when weighed down by long-held re­sent­ment and bit­ter­ness to­wards the spouse. Bot­tling up feel­ings of rage or sad­ness re­sults in sup­press­ing and numb­ing our feel­ings. It is in feel­ing se­cure enough to show our vul­ner­a­bil­ity and share our deep­est feel­ings and wishes – even the neg­a­tive ones – that a mar­riage stays healthy. Prob­lems and is­sues will keep crop­ping up; it’s equip­ping our­selves with the tools to deal with them that mat­ters.

READ THE SIGNS

Point­less and end­less ar­gu­ing. Are you and your part­ner locked in a cy­cle of con­tin­ual ar­gu­ing? The sort of quar­relling that never re­solves the is­sues, but ends up mak­ing you feel like a fail­ure in­stead, as you strug­gle to de­fend your po­si­tion? This is not a healthy sit­u­a­tion at all. If you end up feel­ing con­stantly crit­i­cised by your spouse and made to feel not up to the mark, it leads to a build-up of hurt and anger. Crit­i­cism is cor­ro­sive and is known to be a key cause for ru­in­ing re­la­tion­ships.

Be­ing in a re­la­tion­ship, our part­ner of­ten sees us at our weak­est, our fears, warts and all. If a spouse uses rev­e­la­tions, shared by the other in vul­ner­a­ble mo­ments, to strike back, it nat­u­rally leaves the part­ner feel­ing wounded and cheated by this emo­tional back­stab. Equally, the in­abil­ity to deal with emo­tional bag­gage from a past re­la­tion­ship can wreak havoc years down the line. Even harm­less things that your spouse says or does will then have the ca­pac­ity to throw you, as you per­ceive it in the light of those un­re­solved is­sues. Dis­tance can sneak in be­tween a cou­ple be­fore they even re­alise it. If ei­ther doesn’t like the other’s friends and fam­ily and prefers to

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