Sunday, March 30, 2008

"Reasons Why relationships Fail"

Why Most Relationships Fail

As I spent incredible amounts of time and effort learning how average guys can attract incredible looking woman, I also began learning some interesting things about people in relationships. I learned some incredibly common “mistakes” almost all of us make, and I learned what 4 things seem to be the key to having satisfying and lasting relationships.

I want to make it absolutely clear that I am in no way implying that I am a relationship expert. The following is simply interesting information on what I have found to be the difference between satisfying and lasting relationships, and why most relationships fail.

It is an opinion only and should not be taken as advice.

As you may already know, it turns out that a very large number of people get into a relationship to avoid being alone. Loneliness can be a very powerful thing, causing people to commit to someone they look back on later and wonder “What was I thinking?”

Have you ever said one or more of the following about a break-up?:

  • “We just grew apart.”
  • “He/She cheated on me.”
  • “She became a real bitch/nag!”
  • “He became a real asshole/jerk!”
  • “It got physically/mentally/emotionally abusive.”
  • “They were too controlling.”
  • “I got into the relationship too soon.”
  • “He/She became too jealous/suspicious/insecure.”
  • “They were not/stopped being the person I thought they were.”
  • “They said they were not in love with me anymore.”

I was no different; I have said some of this myself. I was also one of those people who tried to appear responsible and would say, “I was just as much to blame for the break-up as she was” but I usually still felt the woman was more to blame than I was.

Something very interesting began to happen however, as I worked on myself and my life; I began to realize why most relationships either fail or cease being satisfying.

The short answer is: People seek happiness through another and want it to result in happiness within themselves, when it should be the other way around!

Can you remember a relationship, maybe a current one, where you became drawn to someone because they made you feel special, or saw you like no one else had? I sure can!

I remember attaching so much importance to their opinion of me, their approval, even though at the time I would deny such a thing. I would justify it by saying, “They see the real me” but the truth is that they made me feel like the person I wanted to be not who I truly was. I thought their belief in me would motivate me to become that person. Again, I would have denied that at the time. The truth is that I had become attached to being seen as someone great by her, because I did not feel great about myself on my own. You might feel you do not relate to this, which maybe you don’t. Take a very serious and brutally honest look at your last/current relationship and if nothing in it sounds like what I just shared with you, congrats on having avoided a trap that millions of people have fallen into.

If you look to someone else to show you your beauty, or your worth, then you are making them the authority on who you are, no matter how much you may try to deny it. As such, you become dependant on them to approve of you, you do things to keep their approval or to get more of their approval, and you truly begin to feel that no one else “gets you” like they do. You make excuses for why you stay in such a relationship, like:

  • “No one is perfect, so I accept them; flaws and all.”
  • “Couples argue; that’s normal.”
  • “They were betrayed by someone and I’m not going to be yet another person who betrays them by leaving them.”
  • “Relationships take work; if you love someone you don’t bail at the first sign of trouble.”
  • “He/She has seen me at my worst and is still with me, so I know they love me.”
  • “He/She would be great, if they just fixed this ONE thing.”

I have a friend who was living with her parents, but it just wasn’t a very happy situation for her. She had started seeing a guy and things became intimate, so she moved in with him. She felt she had finally become free, had become more of an adult. Things were good at first; she was starting to feel happy. But eventually she realized that she was still not free; she was still living under someone else’s roof and ultimately living by someone else’s rules. They fought, made up, fought, made up, etc. When we would talk about her relationship, she gave almost ALL of these above excuses for why she kept going back to him. What I found most interesting was the polar opposite statements she would make about the relationship. When things were going okay, she would say things like, “I’ve never been happier” and “He is so amazing.” When things were not okay, she would say things like, “I think I got with him more out of pity than out of love!” and “He is so controlling!” She remained in that relationship for almost a year, and when it was over for good she admitted that a large part of why she had stayed was because she would have had to move back in with her parents and admit that she had “failed” and also because, as she put it, “I’ve been shit on almost my entire life, so I thought being treated like he treated me was what I deserved. I actually thought it was normal!”

I have another friend who did the “moving in with the lover” thing. She did find the strength to move into her own place after their second “break-up” but she still went back to the guy and made the same excuses as my other friend. He was a heavy drinker, and many of their “battles” happened when he was drunk. Since he would not stop his heavy drinking, she would be more careful not to do or say the things she knew would set him off when he was drunk. In her mind she felt that the relationship would be great if he just stopped drinking as much. Not surprisingly, the relationship eventually failed.

You can change “heavy drinking” to almost anything else, and chances are we can all relate to this last story, or at least know multiple people who can relate to it.

So what is going on here?

Part of what is going on here is what is called:

Commitment and Consistency

When we are first faced with having to make a choice or decision, we are tentative and uncertain. Once we’ve made the choice or decision however, we convince ourselves that we made the right one; we commit to it and then have to behave in ways consistent with why it was the right one to make. We as humans have a near obsessive desire to be and appear consistent with what we have already committed to, and will endure internal as well as external pressures to behave consistent with our choice/decision. It is as if we knowingly fool ourselves from time to time to keep our thoughts and beliefs consistent with what we have done. In his book “Influence” Robert Cialdini tells the story of his neighbor, Sara, and her live-in boyfriend, Tim. Sara wanted Tim to stop drinking so much and she also wanted Tim to marry her. Tim resisted doing either and they eventually split up. Sara soon got involved with an old boyfriend and they eventually had set a wedding date and issued invitations. Then one day Tim called Sara, said he had repented and wanted to get back together with her. She told him of her marriage plans, Tim begged her to change her mind. Sara refused, saying she did not want to live like they had before. Tim offered to marry her, but Sara said she preferred the other boyfriend more. Finally, Tim promised he would stop drinking if she would come back to him. Under those conditions, Sara broke off the engagement, cancelled the wedding, retracted the invitations, and let Tim move back in with her. Within a month however, Tim said he didn’t feel he needed to quit drinking; a month after that he said they should “wait and see” before getting married. Two years passed, Sara and Tim were still living together exactly as before. He still drank, there were still no wedding plans, yet Sara stayed with Tim. She stayed even though the conditions for why she chose Tim again had never been fulfilled.

When I first read that story, I was puzzled why Sara was still with Tim two years later, since he failed to honor the promises that made her get back together with him.

Years after I read that story, I got my answer after I met a woman named Jennifer who’s relationship was remarkably like Sara’s;

  1. Both had ended relationships because the boyfriend resisted changing a couple of things important to the women.
  2. Both got back with previous boyfriends.
  3. Both were enticed back to the other boyfriend because he promised to change the things that made her leave.
  4. Both stayed with the boyfriend even though he was not changing what he promised to change.

And after a few conversations with Jennifer, it finally made sense to me why Sara had gotten back with Tim and stayed with him even two years after he failed to honor the promises that convinced her to get back together. It is something that I call:

“Hoping In Time”

One of the most common reasons people remain in relationships that do not fulfill them is; hope that the other person will improve/change if given enough time and effort.

Time to “trust again.”

Time to “see that I’m not going to abandon them.”

And the biggie: Time to “become the person I sense they can be.”

On the surface it looks like we are being noble and being selfless and showing love by behaving this way. But it appears to me to actually be a very selfish and dare I say arrogant behavior to have; not to mention rooted in insecurity. We want them to change, so we will be happy, which is the very definition of selfish and arrogant behavior. And the fact that we need someone else to make us happy is the very definition of insecurity; we feel we can’t get there alone.

If not you, then someone you know has spent months or perhaps even years with someone who they are never fully happy with in the relationship.

As I reflect back on some of my own relationships, I painfully recall having fallen into that trap a couple of times!

In many ways, we are not responsible for behaving this way. Society and the teaching of our authority figures has ingrained in us that if we give up on a task without completing it to our satisfaction, we have failed. We are taught that “life is tough, and quitters never win.” Who in their right mind would want to keep failing? Who in their right mind would want to feel like a quitter? I certainly wouldn’t, and I’m guessing that you don’t either. So when we begin the “task” of a relationship we combine that commitment and consistency that I mentioned a moment ago, along with being taught that you’re a quitter and a failure if it doesn’t work out, and so we engage in that “Hoping In Time” behavior and our personal happiness be damned.

As you let that information sink in, notice how it makes so much more sense now why we place the majority (or all) of the blame on the other person for what went wrong in the relationship. You didn’t fail, they failed. You didn’t screw it up, they screwed it up. You might have been partly responsible, but THEY were worse.

It’s interesting that the thing we fight to get closer to (the relationship) we expend even more energy distancing ourselves from it when it “fails.”

We want so much for things to work out, we want to know that the time and effort and devotion we gave was worth it. But in the face of realizing things will never be what we want in the relationship, we go into self-preservation mode by believing that we did our best and the other person just didn’t appreciate it.

Which brings up another common thing in relationships!

One thing that is an “elusive obvious” in relationships, is also one of the hardest things for many people to admit. That being:

IN A RELATIONSHIP, ONE PERSON IS ALMOST ALWAYS MORE IN LOVE THAN THE OTHER PERSON IS.

Ideally we want our partner to feel just as much love for us as we do for them. In the beginning, most of us get to experience that. But the very same time we give toward hoping the other person becomes who will truly deeply satisfy us long term, is the same time that often causes one partner to feel less in love. This is not to say the other person is falling OUT of love, just that they have grown “comfortable” with the relationship, less challenged, and as a result less motivated to expend the same amount of energy as they used to. We all sense it when it happens, but we either dismiss it as paranoia or insecurity, or we use it as motivation to do even more for the other person; hoping they will “catch up” in a manner of speaking. But the hard truth is, once the “magic” starts to lose it’s glitter I have yet to find a case where it ever gets close to that place again. Most of us “settle” on the closest we can get to finding that “magic” again, since we did invest all that time and effort already and don’t want to feel like we did it in vain.

Go to any place where there are a lot of people, like at restaurants, bars, or clubs, and pay attention to the couples that are there. You will ALWAYS find that the majority of couples has one who is showing more affection, one is pulling away from the kiss sooner almost every time, giving less passion or affection in the kiss or hug, being less touchy-feely. One could try and argue that this could simply be a case of some people being uncomfortable with frequent public displays of affection. I could accept that, if not for the fact that the majority of these “not affectionate in public” people were much more publicly affectionate in the beginning of the relationship. Plus, you have to wonder why if someone is not into public displays of affection, why is their partner still being so publicly affectionate? Would they not have already had the discussion of one not being into such displays, so the partner out of respect for their lover’s comfort would be less publicly affectionate?

If you said “because opposites attract” then let’s get into that area, shall we?

Opposites Attract: Another Angle

There is the old saying that “opposites attract.” I do agree with that, but there is a certain kind of “opposite” that I have found to be much more beneficial to your life and to the relationship. The typical person is attracted to “opposites” who have personality traits that they wish they had. However, the “opposites” that seem to have the most fulfilling relationships together, are the ones who are “opposite” in their approach or habit of a productive goal.

For example:

TYPICAL “OPPOSITE”

Jim is a “calls it like he sees it” kind of guy, so he is very blunt and doesn’t care if you’re offended. Kim is an “express things in a positive light if possible” kind of girl, so she is very careful not to offend people and remain encouraging.

In most cases, the “Jim” in relationships does have moments where he will show the “Kim” a “tender” side, so she holds onto hope that she can be an influence on him being that way more and more often. The “Kim” in relationships admires that “Jim” can be so confident and bold, and hopes that by being with him it will help her hone her own ability to be that way, hoping to balance it with her more diplomatic demeanor. The problem however is that there is no equality in such a relationship; dominants that get into relationships with people of a submissive type, do so because they want to remain the dominant. “Jim” may promise to “Kim” that he will work on being less abrasive and more diplomatic, but a dominant personality will always resist such a thing, and either give excuses for not doing it and persist until “Kim” either gives up trying or leaves the relationship. Sure, if “Kim” leaves, “Jim” will exert some “tenderness” to get her back, but he will be doing it mostly to have a sense of “winning” than a sense of “realizing what I almost lost” and in a very short time he will be back to his “old ways.”

If this does not sound like any of your relationships, then you at least know a few people that this sounds very much like. And keep in mind that the gender can be different; there are plenty of female “Jim” with male “Kim” relationships, it’s not always the man who is the dominant, my friend.

PRODUCTIVE “OPPOSITE”

Jim is a “calls it like he sees it” kind of guy, so he is very blunt but has the social skills to know the difference between playfully teasing someone and flat out offending them. Kim is an “express things in a positive light if possible” kind of girl, so while she would most often be very encouraging, she will be honest even if what she says may not be completely positive.

This “Jim” and “Kim” are opposites, but who they are enhances each other. “Jim” is more the dominant one, but notice based on his social skills he does not cross over into being domineering. “Kim” is more the submissive but notice based on her social skills she is not a “rose colored glasses” type. They take different “roads” in how they present things, without contradicting each other. You get the impression that Jim would command a room with his knowledge and humor, while Kim would command a room with her “down to earth” quality that is not afraid to point out where someone needs to correct something.

While these are just examples, they represent real people that I have actually met; many different couples over many years. And the one thing consistent about all of them is; the latter “Jims” and “Kims” that I have met have all had long lasting and fulfilling relationships with each other, while the first “Jims” and “Kims” always had problems of one kind or another.

I realize that right now you may disagree with some or much of what I am sharing here. It may be because you want to think your relationship is different, or that YOU’RE different. That’s fine, I’m not here to force anything on you, I’m simply here to share information.

Since you’ve stayed with me up to this point, I invite you to come with me just a little bit farther. I want to share some information on how I have helped people improve the quality of their future relationships.

If you’re ready, please read on.

One of the biggest realizations I had in my personal growth was when I discovered that the people happiest in their relationships, are people who did four things FIRST:

  1. Made their path and their purpose in life a priority.
  2. Aligned their life to fit that path and purpose.
  3. Had satisfaction with themselves and their life a single person.
  4. Knew what they wanted in a partner and did not settle for less than that.

On the surface this sounds like selfish behavior, and for the most part it IS. You have to admit though that if you don’t commit to getting yourself together first, on getting yourself to a place where you are happy with yourself and your life as a single person first, and knowing what specifically you want in a relationship, you’re just going to bring insecurity and stress to a relationship. It is incredibly common to hope the relationship will change or improve that, but it is OUR OWN responsibility to make that happen BEFORE getting into a relationship. Otherwise you have two people, each bringing their personal insecurities and stress to a relationship, going from having bliss with each other to being pissed with each other.

By focusing on yourself FIRST, before committing to a relationship, getting yourself focused and productive with your purpose in life and integrating it into all the areas of their life, many powerful and positive things will happen.

For example, you will be able to more easily recognize someone who is also already on their path and satisfied with their life as a single person. So when you and they meet and fall in love, you bring “enhancement” to each other, instead of having to build a “tolerance” for bad habits, bad behaviors and insecurities that you hope will change in time.

You’ve probably heard “people like people who are like themselves.” That is very true!

What is interesting however is, you will notice that the people you feel are “like you” will begin to change. You will find yourself no longer attracted to the same kinds of people, you will find yourself more easily able to walk away from potentially bad encounters before they become unfulfilling relationships, you will find yourself attracting the kind of people you may have never thought you could; or maybe used to think you didn’t DESERVE!

It starts with YOU before it can continue with THEM.

One obstacle that is quite common in relationships is, not knowing what you really want.

That is why I want to give you something that I personally created, which will better ensure you have the kind of relationships that lasts. I call it “The 10-Point Must System” and I want to give it to you for FREE! It’s in one of my other articles, which you can get to by going HERE.

I have spent a very large amount of time and effort getting myself to where I can feel fulfilled and completely satisfied with my life. I spent a very large amount of additional time figuring out how to create a product that ANYONE can use to get the same results.

If you would like to take advantage of my time and effort, I invite you to check out my “Unleashing The Phoenix” program at new-alpha.com/products.htm

In this program I show you how to finally and easily clear away all that stuff that has been getting in your way; and how to build a personal life that brings you what you truly want. Do you have a habit or behavior that you have no idea why you do it that way or where it started? I discovered what that is all about, and show you how to fix it so it never happens again if you don’t want it to. If you want people to take you more seriously, I cover that! If you want to be powerfully more confident, I cover that too! Want to have a job or career that makes you financially secure, I cover how to do that as well! And of course I cover how to become the kind of person who is completely satisfied with your life, both as a single person and in the relationships you get into!

I realize I’m making a lot of claims, so I want to prove to you that I really have put together something that will work for you. To give you that proof, I invite you to read a sample chapter of “Unleashing The Phoenix.” Sometimes just a small change is all it takes, so what could be better than to get that small change from something you got for FREE!

To read the sample chapter, go here: SAMPLE CHAPTER

Once you decide that you believe I can help, I invite you to grab your copy of “Unleashing The Phoenix” by going HERE.

Thanks for coming with me on this little adventure, my friend!

Be well, and Live Unleashed!

Michael “Bishop” Emery

new-alpha.com

1 comment:

Michael Emery/Bishop said...

Thank you for posting my articles so more people can have the information available to them. I would to offer you a "thank you" by way of providing a link on my alphaunleashed.com blog to your blog here. If you would like to take advantage of that offer, simply send me whatever image you want to use to represent your blog, and my team will take care of the rest.

Thank you again, and Live Unleashed!

Michael "Bishop" Emery