For most people personal relationships have a huge effect on our business. Understanding the psychology of relationships can take us a long way in guiding them into calm waters. By purposely creating stronger relationships with those closest to us in our lives, our business success will flourish along with being a great example for others to follow.
Most of us want to meet and settle down with the “right” person, and most of us want such a relationship to last. At the same time, the majority of romantic partnerships end in dissolution. What are some of the major causes? Below are ten reasons why relationships fail.
Of course, every couple is unique. The longer two people share life together, the more likely complex factors become involved. The list of reasons below is not meant to be a comprehensive one.
These reasons simply represent some of the most common and damaging factors behind relational breakup and aren’t in any order.
1. Money Issues
The longer a couple has been together in a committed relationship, the greater the possibility of financial incompatibility.
According to research, differences over money is one of the top reasons for marital dissolution. A couple also doesn’t need to be married to have money challenges.
Money issues and disputes tap into some of our deepest psychological needs and fears, including and not limited to trust, safety, security, power, control, and survival.
2. Communication Issues
This one is huge. Many studies have identified communication, or lack of, as one of the top reasons for couples therapy, as well as one of the top reasons for break-up and divorce.
After over twenty years of research at one major university this finding was concluded. T
he single and best predictor of divorce is when one or both partners show contempt in the relationship.
Contempt, the opposite of respect, is often known as negative judgment, criticism, or sarcasm regarding the worth of an individual.
This is known as being “tough on the person, soft on the issue”. Contemptuous communication works like poison – it destroys the health and well-being of a romantic relationship.
3. Control Issues
The Mayo Clinic research group defines narcissistic personality disorder as “a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration.” Narcissism is usually caused by a lack of true intimacy in a relationship.
Signs of narcissism may include (and are not limited to) superiority complex, grandiose self-image, entitlement, conceit, boundary violations, false charm, the Don Juan syndrome, manipulation, irresponsibility, rule breaking, extreme selfishness, negative emotions, and contempt towards others. Modern research indicates high narcissism is related desure for infidelity.
4. Trust Issues
Lack or loss of trust is one of the most harmful contagions to a couple’s long-term success as with any relationship. Without trust, a relationship misses two key attrubutes to a strong bond: security and safety. As we know in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs these are a basic need.
Trust issues may include jealousy, possessiveness, unreasonable decisions, physical and or sexual infidelity, mental game playing, lack of dependability, lack of support emotionally, lack of financial compatibility, and lack of common goals.
If you believe trust is a major issue in your relationship (or was in your former relationship), examine whether the lack of trust is based on a pattern of evidence (such as significant broken promises), or mostly subjective emotions (such as jealousy without proof). Consider honestly whether the lack of trust is based on something real or unjustified fears.
5. Different Expectations
It’s never been easy for a couple to walk a journey together for a long time and that’s never been more true than today.
The elements that frequently draw two people toward one-another at the beginning of a relationship – physical attraction, sexual passion, common interests, personality connections, socio-economic backgrounds – often become less central as the realities and demands of day to day life sets in.
Overtime, a couple’s expectations in the relationship may differentiate, as they begin to see their respective life plans as “what I want,” instead of “what we want.”
Some of the reasons relationship divergence occur between a couple include:
-Change in Physical Appearance
As we know men are mainly visual. They married for what the woman looked like then. As the body ages and medical conditions arise such as hormone imbalances, the woman may look very different than she did the day they married.
If you’ve been to your 10 year high school reunion you already are beginning to understand what I mean
-Is The Other Person Still Seen as Mr. or Mrs. Right?
Does your partner see you as the right person in their life at the present moment? In other words, how serious is your partner about being in a long-term committed relationship with you? What about you with your partner? Are you making sure you are on the same page in life and meeting each other’s expectations in the current moment and charting a course to continue with that in the days ahead?
Your partner has different priorities and expectations regarding the relationship.
For some, the significant-other relationship (and family) is the primary center of gravity of life. Nothing else comes close in its importance.
For others, a romantic relationship, even a committed one, is but one facet of life. There are many other aspects of life which, in their perspective, can justifiably take higher priority.
6. Moving Through Life at Different Speeds
When one partner is learning and growing at a rapid pace, while the other is stagnating, this may be a source of relational divergence. One example of this would be a partner advancing quickly in her career and society, while her significant other is stagnating at home.
The professional and social circles of the couple begin to diverge, and soon the couple themselves differentiate. They have physically, intellectually, and socially grown apart.
7. Compatibility Issues
Relational compatibility is a large topic worthy of full volumes of its own. In my books, relationship compatibility is explored in detail from several perspectives, including compatibility in intimacy, compatibility in personality types, and compatibility in attachment styles.
8. Relational Abuse
For the purpose of this writing, relational abuse is defined as the repeated mistreatment of an individual. Examples of relational abuse include: Verbal, emotional, physical, and/or sexual abuse. Pathological manipulation. Pathological Narcissism.
Pathological passive-aggressiveness. Excessive control and dominance. For more on this subject, see my books “How to Successfully Handle Manipulative People”, “How to Successfully Handle Narcissists”, and “How to Successfully Handle Passive-Aggressive People.”
9. Bad Habits
Bad habits may or may not directly involve the partner (such as a secret gambling addiction), can affect the relationship in a destructive way. Examples of bad habits are: Drug addiction. Alcohol addiction. Gambling addiction. Sexual addiction.
10. Grown Apart and Became Bored
If staleness or caught in a rut resonates with your relationship experience, there are a couple of elements to consider:
If you have been in a relationship for two years or less, and you and your partner have “grown apart”, it could be due to a lack of commitment, different expectations, lack of compatibility, or the natural process of trial and error when you were looking for your partner.
If you are in a long-term relationship, it is possible that life obligations (such as school, work, and especially child-rearing) got in the way of couple connectedness and mutual evolvement.
The “empty nest” syndrome is a very common example. It’s where the children have grown up and left the nest. Now the parents feel like strangers to each other. This is caused by not being focused on each another for so many years.
Want to go more in depth? Join the small handful of people who have learned to have a fantastic long term relationship with each other. Select your relationship category. Learn what goes wrong and how to fix it or how to avoid it in the first place.
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