Failed Relationships - my take on Sir Isaac's question
This blog continues some of the thoughts/provides some of my opinions to the question about why relationships don't work posed by Sir Isaac's blog below. Certainly, I agree with many of the comments, already made.
I have about 3 thoughts (and probably a more concise analyst might combine two, or all, into the same underlying reason - but, they are distinct in my mind). While my reasons are focused upon a marriage relationship - some of the topics, easily apply to any relationship:
Let's get the most volatile out of the way first: Children. (I recognize there should be a commitment by each partner - and one has to accept the inevitable sacrifices, but, the items I mention, I believe are too "overboard" to fall within a generally accepted norm). (Please pardon the way I begin, Ladies, - I'm afraid I can only speak with a male's view. I'm sure a similar critique of the change in male's attentiveness, can be made by females) For the male - loss of priority in the female's eyes. Female - transference of a majority of emotion (and dare I say, perceived love) to the child (otherwise known as mothering). Where it does go awry, is when the mother acts as though the children are the ONLY thing of value in her life. Where the father (when trying to contribute toward the raising of the child - is found to be lacking in everything attempted - never good enough). When discipline is needed - that only the mother's variety will do. There is no acceptance or desire for (although previously discussed about the joint raising of the child) a father's views, decisions, or contributions. End result, resentment, perceived lack of love, relationship discord. (And I know, there are far too many fathers unwilling to contribute, or perhaps, even acknowledge some responsibility - but those who are trying, can get soured pretty fast).
Perceived Change of Priorities (take children out of the picture, since they are not involved in many strained relationships). What once brought us together, now no longer is of interest to both parties. Now that things are "comfortable" (and the "courting" supposedly doesn't require energy) - people gradually become more honest about what they would prefer doing. No longer is it necessary to feign interest. And yes, now one can finally "get back" to the things they did before courtship (night with the boys, shopping with the girls, reading off on their own, watching their own TV shows, they do their own hobbies - separately, etc.). They get lazy. Guess what, the relationship goes on the rocks - nobody seems interested on "working on it". Even though, one party tries to offer this activity or that activity, the other "isn't interested". Complaints about never doing anything, being bored, etc. ensue. Yet, two and two can't be added. There is no light bulb going on. And pretty soon one partner tires of "pushing water up hill" - and just gives up on trying to make it work. Sounds like there is no interest in the "communication" that is critical to keeping relationships, together.
Control: Relationships, usually are about giving up control - or at least sharing it. Control has to be recognized as one of the principal concepts that needs to change, in order to have that relationship. If you don't want to relinquish some control - stay by yourself. And it has to happen on both sides of the relationship. Perhaps, it is "good marketing" during courtship to talk about "sharing", and all that - but, when things start getting more serious, if there was no real intent on being "open" - and allowing the other person some of your here-to-fore private descisions, it is soon going to hit the other person, square between the eyes. They may be "giving", but, they aren't getting any rights to their own destiny in return. The "share" was, perhaps, ficticious - never intended, and their partner still intends to exert all the control they previously did. In some relationships or cultures, that might work (maybe for somebody who just wants "taken care of"). In most relationships, it won't work. It can be typified by the often mentioned TV control, to being allowed to choose an item while shopping or pick a color of paint, to having every offer of help around the household chores being rejected (and then listening to the woe is me - I must do it all). Everything must be only done one way - no room for discussion (or the "demanding" partner refuses to complete the task). Most often communication is stiffled since the demanding person "doesn't want to hear it". Is it any wonder, that at some point - either a person's "will" is broken (and how dull that person can then become) - or they give up trying to please a thankless taskmaster. People start spending more time trying to avoid each other, than being together, isolationism, separate lives, secret lives, etc.; and there is usually not much capable of salvation at that point.
Don't get me wrong. Everyone has a right to their own destiny. But, when you've made a commitment to share that destiny with somebody else, both need to constantly work on it, with true open communication. Otherwise, any (crippled) "relationships", if they survive, will be sad representations of the beauty which could have been. Maybe this whole diatribe of words can be summed in: Relationships come apart because of (lack of) "Sharing", and "Communication".