Relationship Breakdowns Are Underrated
Fall down, get up.
Posted Jun 14, 2018
The exemplary marriages we know of have been earned. These relationships are true partnerships, built on foundations of hard-won trust that accrues over time. The struggles and efforts to reconcile what can often appear to be impossible differences create the groundwork for these marriages. While compatibility and shared interests bring us together initially, they are not enough to keep us together over time. If there are no breakdowns, there is not enough friction and agitation to prompt development.
We don’t need to seek stress; life brings it right to us. Invariably, obstacles arise that lovers have to overcome. Challenges vary from a family’s disapproval of the union to health problems or financial difficulties to differing styles, values, and belief systems. As the committed couple meets these challenges with their combined resources, the relationship becomes stronger and more resilient.
Meaningful events link together and accumulate over the years: a gentle touch to comfort us when we are agitated, an intimate conversation, shared laughter, a cup of tea when we are exhausted, a bowl of soup when we are sick, special care to make the sexual experience extra thrilling, a show of pride in our partner’s achievements, acts of forgiveness, and all the precious moments of connection, insight, compassion, and understanding. These interactions are the building blocks of a great love erected over time.
One of the most important things we can do to keep our relationship strong and healthy is to build the bond of affection. It starts as a thin cord and grows ever thicker and stronger. When the inevitable stresses of life befall us in the form of differences and disappointments, the cord can become frayed.
Creating a storehouse of goodwill in the relationship is like putting money in the bank. These deposits can take many forms—a conversation, an episode of working out differences, a lingering gaze, or a sincere expression of gratitude—but they all have the common end of reaffirming our love and commitment, and they accumulate into a big tally. When there is an abundant account, you can make withdrawals when times are hard, and you live life with peace of mind, relishing a growing emotional wealth.