Yes, relationships are a challenge and if you want a successful one, you absolutely must let go of the notion of the fairy tale. We're all familiar with fairy tales and know that the prince always gets the princess, rides off into the sunset, and lives in a castle without any problems forever. True love does not conquer all. Love is not all you need, and "happily ever after" is going to take a tremendous amount of time and effort. When you start getting real about your notions of love, you will be able to find real solutions to some of real problems that ALL real people eventually face.
There are many factors that affect our romantic partnerships. Overbearing families, social pressure, money problems, you name it, it can have a huge impact on an otherwise loving commitment and unfortunately, the notion that unconditional love can weather any storm is a big fat myth. In 2001 the National Center for Health Statistics reported that 20 percent of all first marriages ended within five years, 33 percent within ten years, and 50 percent after twenty years. The results are even worse for second marriages yet, we still believe that "happily ever after" is real. Suffice to say, relationships are a challenge!
If you feel that you have exhausted all of your resources and need to make a significant change, make sure to read Improve-The-Self's article on the various ways to end relationships.
It's said that up to 93 percent of communication is non-verbal. Just being open and honest, while crucial, isn't always enough. What we say isn't always as important as how we say it or even when we say it. On the flip side, listening to the words of your partner isn't always enough either. To be an effective communicator, you must learn to listen for what is not said. Opening up different channels of communication between two people will go a long way towards resolving issues that might otherwise go unnoticed until they fester up and destroy a healthy couple.
Yes, people are capable of undergoing massive self-improvement and making drastic changes in their life. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean that change is simple and easy but it is possible. Understanding the nature of how people grow and change and how to properly utilize a personal development plan is absolutely essential for dealing with problems of the heart.
A caveat is that you must realize that change is a two way street and if one partner is willing to change for the better, the other partner must be equally willing to change for the better. Couples can and often do grow together and make positive changes to their relationship, provided both parties are invested and committed to personal growth.
If you are to live the life of your dreams and achieve self-actualization and ultimate fulfillment, then an interdependent long term partner will be your greatest asset. With an interdependent couple, both parties feel necessary without being overburdened. Each person has a sense of both security and freedom. Both are happy on their own merit, able to think independently, and participate on their own volition. Interdependence is nurtured through a mutual commitment to personal development, self-improvement, open communication, and respect for personal boundaries. Ultimately, the interdependent couple is working together to build something bigger than the sum of the parts.
While sex is not the building blocks of a successful couple, it certainly is the cement that holds the building blocks together. If one or both partners are dissatisfied with their sex life and are not willing to fix the problem, it is highly likely that one person is going to leave the partnership for a more fulfilling sex life. Yes, that person will cheat!
Exhaustion, stress, and age all take a toll on human libido. If your sexual chemistry isn't what it used to be, take some time to figure out the cause of the problem. For some, a low sex drive may be a health issue. For others it could be the result of an excessive amount of emotional stress. If you're highly ambitious and success oriented, you may simply need to make some time in your busy schedule for sex. No matter what you're up against, working to build a better sex life ALWAYS pays big dividends!