Relationships don’t fail overnight.
Relationships don’t end from a fight.
Why am I rhyming?
Possibly because it’s 4am and I can’t sleep because this thought “why do relationships fail?” has been going round and round in my head for months now and after many conversations, workshops, coaching sessions and friendly debates, I just can’t sleep until I get this out for those who may need this advice right now.
In my experience, after working with thousands of people in the area of relationships (at work and at home), I’ve found two common answers to this question.
A relationship doesn’t end because you had an argument.
Or because someone cheated.
Or because they forgot your birthday.
Or because you no longer had anything in common.
Although those are all pretty upsetting things to experience, they are symptoms, not causes of relationship failure.
A relationship doesn’t fail because of one bad experience.
It’s often a combination of things, and what I’ve found is that the most common causes seem to be one (or both) of the following:
1. Not knowing, understanding or speaking each other’s “love language”,
2. Not growing together – there’s either a lack of growth or you’re growing at different rates or in different directions.
I’ll explain what I mean one point at a time.
Firstly – Not knowing, understanding or speaking each other’s “love language”.
What’s a “love language”? It’s the way someone expresses or speaks and receives or understands love.
If you know anything about the DOTS Communication training I coach people in, you’ll know that there are different ways people prefer to communicate with each other. We’re all a little different (and that’s a good thing), but what that means is that we often speak different “languages” (not just French or English) but different styles or ways of interpreting and conveying information.
And what that means is that we often don’t understand each other if we’re speaking different ‘languages’ or in different styles.
I coach people in love languages a lot because I believe it is one of the absolute simplest yet fundamental ways to make a relationship work.
I see way too many people waste so much time, effort and money on the ‘wrong’ things in their relationships (I see it in a lot of businesses too) simply because they’re speaking the ‘wrong language’ for the person they’re dealing with.
Have you ever brought an expensive gift for someone, only to have them not appreciate it?
Or perhaps you’ve gone above and beyond for someone, only to have your effort not reciprocated?
I have, and it sucks, right?
You feel totally unappreciated and then you think to yourself “I’m not doing that again” and some part of you closes off to that person in some way, and if you don’t deal with it at the time, it starts to spiral until eventually molehills become relationship problem mountains.
If you don’t want this to happen in your relationship then I suggest you learn your partners’ love language, understand it and start to speak it, and watch what happens.
I’ve experienced this personally in my relationship, when my partner and I learnt each other’s love languages (which were quite different, mine is mostly quality time and his is acts of service), it totally transformed our relationship in ways I didn’t even expect.
Secondly– Not growing together – there’s either a lack of growth or you’re growing at different rates or in different directions.
As Tony Robbins says:
“if you’re not growing, you’re dying – it’s one or the other, there’s no staying still”
and it’s the same for relationships.
I believe we should never stop growing – ever.
You’re never too old to learn something new and life is constantly changing so constant growth is a must.
The issue I have found in relationships that are ‘failing’ or have ‘failed’ is that the couple’s growth was either:
- Almost non-existent (neither were growing and so they came to a stalemate)
- One person was growing and the other wasn’t (in essence we’re all growing, either by choice or by default, the problem is when one person wants to grow, and the other doesn’t)
- They were both growing but heading in different directions (they were both on their own personal journey through life, but as an individual, not as a team and eventually went separate ways)
In order to maintain a healthy relationship, it’s important to grow as a couple.
Think about it – you’re not the same person you were 10 years ago.
Neither is your partner.
Everything is temporary, and everyone is changing.
Same thing with relationships.
Who knows where we could be in another 10, 20, 50 years?
Life is always going to throw different challenges your way, you can’t avoid that. But what you can do is learn to deal with it. Learn to adapt, grow, change, and evolve as a person and as a couple while finding new ways to connect with each other in ways that work for you both.
Why is this so important?
Because the quality of our relationships alters our quality of life.
If your relationships with the people closest to you (at home and at work) aren’t great, it’s going to heavily impact your quality of life / your happiness.
The reason why I couldn’t sleep this morning and had to share this message is because I’ve seen far too many relationships end for reasons that could be totally avoidable.
I’ve witnessed far too much heart break, loneliness and suffering in this world because of failed relationships, and I want to be part of the solution.
The reason I started my business is to help people improve the relationship they have with themselves (the voice in their head) and everyone around them, through their communication – so that they always feel loved.
That’s why I do what I do. And I love it!
I work with individuals, couples, teams and businesses to help them become ‘people experts’ while coaching them in an advanced communication skill that gives them a next-level understanding of human behaviour and why we think and act the way we do.
I help people learn how to connect with anyone around them on a deeper level and instantly get along better (no matter how different they are).
How can I help you?
If either of these two causes of relationship failure are something you’re experiencing – here’s some advice.
1. Not knowing, understanding or speaking each other’s “love language”.
Simple – learn your love language, and learn your partners too. There’s a free love languages test you can take here and I highly recommend buying their book.
If you’d like to know more about different love languages or communication styles, let’s chat.
You can also take the free Speed Dotting quiz here to find out what your preferred communication style is (and your partners), send me a message with yours and your partners results (your DOTS) and I’ll send you some tips.
2. Not growing together.
This is a tricky one. It depends what you really want.
If you and your partner are both growing together – awesome! Learn things together, go to classes, workshops, read books, listen to podcasts, watch documentaries, talk to each other about what you’re learning and have healthy debates (it’s OK to not agree on everything!).
I’m running an online workshop on how to Connect the Dots in your Relationship. If you enjoyed this article you’ll find it really interesting. Find out more here.
If you’re not growing together, that’s a bit more difficult.
You can’t ever force someone to grow or change or do something they really don’t want to do.
People have to WANT to change or grow themselves.
That’s something I’ve learnt the hard way.
All I would say here is be honest and be open. Talk to each other about it.
Tell them how you’re really feeling and be upfront. Don’t expect them to read your mind or know what’s going on inside your head.
Keep your communication open and explore what you both want to achieve in life and in your relationship. Understand each other’s goals and priorities and try to find compromise where you can.
I hope you found this advice helpful in some way. If you did, please make someone else’s’ life a little easier and share this article with them.