Written by Gay Hendricks, co-author of Hearts In Harmony .
Here's How To Know If Your Relationship Is Doomed
You were in love once. There was a time in your relationship when you couldn't wait to see your partner.
When, just like Tony and Maria in West Side Story, the minutes apart seemed liked hours, and the hours like days.
And when you did come together, nothing else in the world mattered. You were blissfully oblivious to everything else.
Your beloved's touch felt electric.
Conversation between the two of you was easy.
You couldn't imagine there would ever come a time when you didn't feel this connected, this passionate, this complete.
But now here you are...
Your relationship has taken a backseat to all the other little things in life: work, kids, the house, in laws.
You'd rather check your email then get into bed early with your mate.
Or there's animosity and tension.
You bicker and snap at each other all the time.
You don't see eye to eye like you used to.
Every little thing seems to set one of you off.
Maybe, you can't even stand your partner sometimes.
Tony and Maria were doomed because their intense love was prematurely cut off.
You feel doomed in a different way - powerlessly stuck in a relationship where the love has slowly died.
And your story can indeed end that way. If you let it.
Is Lasting Love Just A Thing of Fiction?
We never get to see what would happen to Tony and Maria if a gang brawl hadn't turned deadly.
But we can venture a pretty good guess. Here's how it would go:
Tony and Maria get married in a joyous bilingual ceremony with lots and lots of dancing.
They declare their deep gratitude for each other and pledge undying (of course) love before jetting off on a Caribbean honeymoon.
Upon their return, Maria discovers she is pregnant, and a year later the entire town gathers for Tony Jr.'s elaborate Christening, with more singing and dancing.
The family is complete, and all of Maria and Tony's friends start to get self-conscious about their own relationships. How come they're not as happy as Maria and Tony?
But they don't know.
They're not aware that Maria feels overworked around the house, that she wishes Tony would help out a little more with the baby.
They have no clue that Tony feels like his wife isn't as attracted to him anymore and never seems to be "up for it" like she used to.
And they have no idea that, now that Tony and Maria are paying their own New York City rent, they're quibbling over money.
These two once-star crossed lovers now find themselves at odds with each other more often than not, and before they know what's happening, they wake up in a completely different story nobody wants to watch.
When Your Story Has Taken A Wrong Turn
The pain of withering love is intense.
So gripping, that we are often taken over by our fear of losing it. Often, we're not even aware of this fear - of our vulnerability. Instead, it shows up in other ways:
We point fingers at each other, trying to find some cause - and remedy - for our pain.
The subconscious logic goes like this:
"I'm in a relationship with this person, and I'm not happy anymore. So it must be my partner's fault."
This starts a cycle of blame, where each partner is trying to pin the problem on the other.
Nobody wants to be the victim, and nobody wants to be the cause of a wonderful relationship gone sour.
So you know what happens next - both people in the relationship are desperately trying to rekindle what they once felt, but by casting blame they're actually creating more of the distance and discontent they don't want!
This is what would have happened to Tony and Maria if they had expected that love alone would carry them through.
While love is necessary to establish your relationship, it is not enough to sustain it.
In fact, believing otherwise is a recipe for relationship disappointment and for that initial love to wither.
Lasting, happy relationships need good relationship skills - the kind that turn a relationship into a partnership and allow you to joyfully share a life together.
Even if your love feels eternal, as if you've finally found "the one," life presents many challenges - from the mundane like day-to-day chores to the difficult, such as illness or hardship.
You need to be ready.
Skills That Make Love Go The Distance
Even though Maria and Tony are fictional characters, their story is not. Sadly, we've worked with thousands of couples who were once wildly in love. Yet fast forward a few years, and things have taken a very different turn.
And it's all because they were completely unprepared for what it takes to go from falling in love to staying in love.
You can feel happily in love with your partner for a lifetime, but you need the right relationship skills to do it.
If you don't learn and practice these skills, the positive feelings between you and your partner will take a nosedive - chipping away at your connection.
Your relationship will feel like a constant struggle rather than a joint adventure.
These aren't skills we "know how to do" on our own.
Most of us just imitate whatever we witnessed in our childhoods.
We are completely unprepared for the inevitable challenges that come with just being alive.
Your Happy Ending Starts Here
Most relationships don't end because of one big event. It's small infractions that snowball over time.
The connection loosens and arguments escalate.
Perhaps you are already well down that path of frustration with your partner, and you are questioning your own relationship.
Whether you are in love and want to stay that way... or struggling to keep your relationship together, you need to know this:
No matter how much distance exists between you and your mate right now, you can still write a whole new ending to your story by learning and implementing the skills that make relationships last.
We believe this, because we've witnessed transformation after transformation in the couples we've worked with.
That's why we write our Advice Newsletters and developed all of the content you’ll find in our eBooks and programs - so that you can learn these same relationship-changing skills right at home.
If you're not experiencing the happiness you know you can have in a relationship, our advice and techniques will help you create real transformation.
And if you're just beginning your life together, this program is like a relationship manual that will prepare you for the joys and challenges ahead:
You learn how to handle the day to day situations that can bring you closer together, or wear away at love and connection.
- How do you react when your mate does those little things that get on your nerves?
- Do you tell them and risk being seen as high maintenance and demanding, or do you go with the flow, but let the frustration and anger build over time?
- What do you do if your partner flirts with someone else?
- Do you confront them?
- Interrupt them?
- Ignore it so it will "go away"?
- How do you express yourself without making your mate defensive?
- You don't want to make them feel attacked, criticized or judged, but there are things that need to change.
- How can you give constructive feedback without starting an argument?
- After a fight, how do you "kiss and make up"... beyond the bedroom?
- How do you make sure you don't carry bad feelings forward, and feel trust and connection again?
- What do you do about money? One of you wants to spend it, and the other wants to save it. How do you resolve these problems before you find yourself arguing over trivial things like the cost of the toilet paper you buy or whether or not it's worth it to buy organic?
We've road tested every single technique in our own marriage.
We wouldn't be married today for over 33 years if we didn't.
Rewrite Your Relationship Story
No couple is immune to losing their love.
But EVERY couple can learn what it takes to make sure that doesn't happen. Here's your chance.
Katie & Gay Hendricks
- The common ways partners unwittingly project past hurts onto each other - and end up fighting about the wrong thing.
- How to turn an entanglement into a harmonious relationship - one that is free of blame and criticism.
- The two fears most people bring into a relationship (if you've ever had a partner pull away from you after things were going well, you'll want to pay close attention)
- How successful couples create deep intimacy AND maintain their sense of individuality.
About Katie and Gay Hendricks:
Gay and Katie Hendricks have been leaders in the field of relationship transformation and body mind therapies for more than 45 years.
Gay holds a PhD from Stanford and was a professor of counseling psychology at the University of Colorado for 21 years.
Katie holds a PhD in transpersonal psychology and has been a pioneer of mind-body integration for over 40 years.
Together, they've authored 35 books, including some used as primary textbooks in universities around the world.
They've appeared on over 500 television and radio shows, including Oprah, CNN, CNBC, 48 hours and others.
They've co-facilitated countless seminars and workshops around the world for both individuals and couples looking to experience more ease and flow in their relationships.
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We’ve Been Doing All The Wrong Things To Solve Our Relationship Problems…
And It’s Been Making Them Worse.