I am really sorry folks. I am going to give you bad news. Research suggests that the quality of a relationship declines after marriage.The novelty wears off. The things that once excited you when you were dating no longer feel appealing. The sex life deteriorates. There are various factors responsible for it.
If it happens more rapidly in the first year of marriage, the couple ends up getting divorced.However, even if they don’t separate, the decline is the quality of the relationship is inevitable.However, this is not the worst news I am going to give you.
Research also suggests that couples become even more distant after the arrival of their first child, especially if the pregnancy is unplanned. The relationship changes rapidly. A few parents cannot handle the pressure of parenthood, of responsibility. They quickly distance themselves from the scene. The majority who stick around end up talking less, grow more business-like and the cracks appear.
The result- you become unhappy in general.
There is a small silver lining though if you can call it that. The couples who endure parenthood together for a while are less likely to end up divorced/separated. They end up being miserable together, in sickness and in health!
You may think that I am ruining your day. That is not my intention. Sorry again, folks. But, don’t kill the messenger.
Why does this happen
There are many things that contribute to the decline in the quality of a relationship. However, most commonly, it is the things the couple do that end up doing the damage. The ‘quite obvious ones’ that break many relationships are emotional and physical abuse, passive-aggressive behaviour, and of course, physical and emotional infidelity.
But besides these big devils, here are 5 everyday small things that couples do that increase the crack in the dam bit by bit.
1# Making the spouse feel insecure
When the chase is over, some say that men change. It happens in many relationships but to a varying degree. Thus, the once attentive husband/wife is now not really listening to you. He/she does not respond to your issues in the way you expect. And that adds to the strain in a relationship. This adds insecurity in the equation.
Here is a thing people. If your spouse is rock-solid in the ‘feeling secure’ department, it would not affect her even if you praise Alexandra Daddario or Justin Trudeau daily in front of her. However, if your spouse is not that secure, even talking occasionally about a colleague of opposite sex might add to the distance between you two. So, make him/her feel as secure as you can in the relationship.
2# Taking the spouse for granted
The relationship becomes lopsided when a spouse takes the other for granted. It starts off innocently and slowly reaches toxic levels. Taking someone for granted does not prove your love. Nor is being taken for granted a sign of display of affection. It just shows that you do not respect your partner’s time, money, and personal space.
3# Ambiguity in chores
A recent study shows that couples who have not divided the household chores between them are less happy. Surprisingly, couples where the chores are divided, albeit unequally, tend to be happier than the couples who go with the flow. The lack of division of chores leaves each spouse thinking that he/she is doing more than his/her fair share of work.
4# Materialistic attitudes
In another study, it was found that couples in which one or both the partners crave for material things are less likely to be happy in the long term. It does not matter if both value a particular thing equally high. The reason might be the craving for more that comes with materialistic possessions. Have you not noticed that you are never satisfied at the end of the day with the stuff you have? Blame it on the artificially created ‘want’ by the media. This is the new driver of economies of the world.
Phones take up a huge chunk of our awake time. In fact, a recent report by the research agency Millward Brown revealed that Asian users spend an average of 159 minutes each day glued to their phone screens! That is over 2 1/2 hours of your free time! They also spend over 7 hours facing a screen in some form! That hardly leaves any time for the family.
Phones are responsible for a lack of attention given to the spouse, not to mention alienation of children in the long run! Mums and dads, is playing a game or chatting with your friends on phone so important? I think not.
What should you do?
Remember the day you got married? Remember how radiant and happy your better half looked? Making her/him look like that every day should be your goal!
Even though the research points towards a bleak future, there is a chance to beat the odds. It is by being more involved in your family. Here are 11 things that every spouse should do if you value your marriage
- Listen to your partner. There is a reason you are in it together – marriage.
- Don’t instigate your partner. There are times when you feel like having a good fight. However, there are better ways to resolve issues.
- Don’t make your spouse insecure. Stop paying inordinate attention to other people. There is a tact of discussing colleagues of opposite sex with your spouse without making them feel insecure.
- Give each other some personal space. Encourage your spouse to have a hobby. Like children, distraction and involvement work wonders in adults as well!
- Divide the chores. See to it that one is not burdened.
- Start using the landline on weekends. Have cellphone-free weekends. See how the quality of life improves.
- Read books. This is how you learn about new things without being distracted by a ‘new message’.
- Enforce a ‘no screen in the evenings’ policy. Research indicates that blue screen is not that good for your family.
- Discuss your day in the evenings in front of your children. Encourage them to articulate their feelings about how their day went.
- Save up and take a vacation every 3 months. Feel free to drop the kids off at their grandparents’ place. You need some alone time with each other. Plan some fun activities.
- Plan your finances well. At the end of the day, this is quite important and this may just reduce the everyday stress.
Mums and dads, there is no reason that you should be unhappy, especially when it could be avoided, is there?
Republished with permission from: theAsianParent Singapore
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