A few scientifically based tips that may help your relationship thrive.
September 27th, 2021
For years, psychologists tried to understand why relationships fail.
They targeted dysfunction, focusing on factors like negative emotions and bad communication.
But it turns out that not failing is not the same as succeeding when it comes to relationships.
Couples who experience a lot of negative interactions are more likely to divorce in the first few years of marriage, but couples who don’t experience a lot of positive affect are likely to divorce farther down the road.
So how can we make sure our relationships thrive?
Today, I’m going to pass along four scientifically-based tips on how to keep your relationship alive.
But first: Remember-Make love frequently.
Make it serious, playful, adventuresome, and share fantasies and discuss anything.
1. Laugh and play together. Play isn’t just for kids. Playfully teasing your partner can bring you closer together (remember, the key is to tease “playfully”!). Couples who laugh more are more satisfied in their relationships. Humor and laughter also seem to have a buffering effect – using humor during conflict can help you resolve the issue. So pick a comedy the next time you’re choosing a movie for date night, come up with playful nicknames, and the next time that your partner says something that bothers you, try responding with a joke instead of getting defensive.
2. Try new things together. The key to trying new activities with your partner is that the activities should be something novel and exciting. The novelty helps you and your partner create new memories and feel like a team as you try something new. The excitement of the activity may make you feel like your relationship is more exciting. Researchers have found that trying new things with your partner can help prevent boredom, make you feel closer to your partner, happier with your relationship, and more satisfied with life in general. It doesn’t have to be as extreme as white water rafting—something as simple as trying a new type of food, or playing tourist in your own town should do the trick.
3. Cultivate gratitude. I think we’d all agree that it is important to do nice things for your partner on occasion. But it is also important to notice and acknowledge when your partner does nice things for you. A little “thanks” can go a long way. When people feel grateful to their partners, both partners end up feeling more connected with each other and more satisfied with the relationship. It’s also important to be grateful for who your partner is as a person. When you find yourself irritated instead of happy, try playing a few mind games to reset your mood – imagine what your life would be like if you’d never met your partner, or imagine how you’d feel if something bad happened to them. A bit morbid, but it works. These little exercises may* do more than just change your mood in the moment – couples who experience more gratitude are less likely to break up!
4. Celebrate triumphs. Supporting your partner through rough times is vital, but it is just as important to be supportive when things go right. Couples who celebrate achievements and triumphs are more satisfied with their relationships, experience fewer conflicts, have more fun together, and are happier in general. So the next time your partner gets a promotion, meets a new exercise goal, or just has a really great day, make sure to celebrate with them.
People who constantly engage in self talk may think everyone does the same, but that’s not true. Gerd Altmann/Pixabay
Have you ever thought about how you think?
Do you tell yourself, “Don’t forget the milk” before you leave home and then when you get home without it at the end of the day, you say to yourself, “How could I’ve been so stupid?” Is there a constant “talking to self” throughout the day?
When you choose based on intuition every shred of intelligence you’ve ever accumulated is brought to bear
With so many options bombarding us in our over-information society, we often waste time analyzing decisions when our intuition can usually pinpoint the most effective and useful choice.
The most effective decisions made often are the decisions that are made the quickest. The fastest way to make decisions involves using your instincts, or intuition. You’re already pretty good at this, if for no other reason than you’ve come this far in life.
Logging choices enables you to track the accuracy of your intuition without forsaking your traditional decision-making procedure. As time passes, you’ll begin to notice how frequently your intuitive choices were good ones, and find yourself relying on your intuition more easily and more often.
Do you have a dentist? Sure. How did you select your dentist? Did you visit the internet or open up a phone book and collect the names of twelve dentists near to you, then call each of them, and based on the call decide to visit five to seven, and in visiting their offices, discuss with them their billing procedures, background and expertise, staff competency, office hours, prices, and overall philosophy?
Then, did you whittle down the list to maybe two or three, perhaps call them back or visit on another occasion, do some background checking as to the reputation of the doctor, his or her longevity in the community, and professional standing? Then, and only then, did you decide on dentist A? Or did you choose a dentist based on who your parents or friends see, or where some referral service sent you, or simply the clever ad you saw in the phone book?
You probably used the latter method. You didn’t stop and analyze which dentist would be best for you: You picked a dentist by hook or by crook, and if that particular dentist didn’t work out, you switched once or twice. In short, you used a combination of references and intuitive processes to come up with your dentist. Why then, do you over-complicate so many decisions at work and in the rest of your life?
No Let Up
New information will hit you faster and faster as your life proceeds. You’re only going to be able to absorb and use a fraction of which you’re exposed. Suppose you want to get information on a particular type of product. You’re not going to find five or ten articles. Chances are you can identify dozens of articles or more — more information than you can manage. You’re going to have to trust your instincts.
Suppose you want to make a decision about moving to either town A or town B. What are the factors that you would logically consider?
* housing prices * taxes, population, and population demographics * schools * crime * community groups
* resources * lakes, streams, trails, mountains * the business community * density * nearby colleges * churches, synagogues, mosques
You guessed it. There are dozens and dozens of factors that you could analyze and compare. In the end, your decision will probably be based on some combination of data (though not too much) and intuition (probably a lot).
Blasting Through Procrastination
When faced with too many decisions, your natural inclination is to procrastinate. Don’t beat yourself up; lots of people face this today. Decisions that would normally roll off your back become more involved when there’s too much on your plate. Here’s a list of ways to creatively break through the procrastination that stops you from effective decision making:
* Face Procrastination Head-On – What is blocking you? What is the real reason you don’t want to choose? Write it down or record it. This exercise alone may dislodge something and help you to decide.
* Choose to Easily Begin – Make a positive affirmation: “I can easily make this decision.” This powerful affirmation is often enough. You can easily maintain a list of daily affirmations that help you make decisions you might otherwise have delayed.
* Find the Easy Entry Points – Ask yourself, “What are three to five things I could do to progress toward the final decision, without actually tackling it head-on?” Then initiate these “easy entry” activities. Often, they are enough to get you fully involved.
* Set Up Your Desk for a Decision – Set up your desk or office to enable you to focus on the decision at hand, and ignore other less important matters. This might involve neatly arranging papers, file folders, reports and other items, while working at a clear desk, with only the issue at hand in front of you.
Move Forward Intuitively
When you choose based on intuition every cell in your body and every shred of intelligence you’ve ever accumulated is summoned and applied to the solutions you develop. Pay attention to your small voice; it will support you, if you listen to it.
“Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others.Emotional intelligence is generally said to include at least three skills: emotional awareness, or the ability to identify and name one’s own emotions; the ability to harness those emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem solving; and the ability to manage emotions, which includes both regulating one’s own emotions when necessary and helping others to do the same.” -Psychology Today
(9)She Supports And Cares For Her Boyfriend/Husband.
You want to be with a woman that deeply cares for and supports you.
And as I mentioned earlier a feminine woman will show her strength if you dont show her the same warmth.
Next time you go on a date or start a relationship and you get the feeling that the woman you are with only cares about herself then you should walk away.
Even if she is the hottest woman in the world you should walk away.
You dont need that type of person in your life.
You will be pulled into a bottomless pit of drama and emotional instability so avoid it at all costs.
Having high standards as a man is a good thing.
Some people will criticize you for having high standards but those are people who live in a different reality.
As a high-value man, you have to have high standards and live by a code.
This will make your choices and direction in life a lot clearer and simple.
You have a right as a high-value man to have high standards and make choices based on those standards.
“There is no evidence to support this claim.” It points to a 2014 study that found wearing a bra was “not associated with breast cancer risk,” and theorizes how this claim came about.
What covers America’s butts at night?
I got a taste of both sides of this debate when I asked my social media connections how, exactly, they liked to sleep.
Josh Bridge, 23, is adamantly in favor of wearing boxer briefs — and nothing else. It becomes a problem when he’s traveling for work and sharing a hotel room. “When forced to wear a shirt for society’s sake,” Bridge said, “I am very uncomfortable.”
Even if it’s cold, Melissa Radzimski won’t wear anything on the lower half of her body. She argues that it keeps her vagina “pristine.” “It is so refreshing because she needs to be aired out!” Radzimski said, echoing my poor, ridiculed summer-camp friend. “And if you’re cold, you can wear, like, a hat and/or wear a sweatshirt.”
Melissa Radzimski won’t wear anything on the lower half of her body.
She argues that it keeps her vagina “pristine.” “It is so refreshing because she needs to be aired out!”
Meanwhile, Katie Puccio, 22, opts for a crewneck sweatshirt and underwear, no pants. I asked how she didn’t sweat to death, sleeping in a sweatshirt every night.
“My apartment didn’t have heat for a lot of this winter, so I didn’t really have another option,” she said.
My soon-to-be sister-in-law, Hilary Gray, 23, was straight-up shamed for wearing underwear to sleep — so she never did it again.
“When I was younger — first grade, I think — I had a sleepover, and my friend told me it was weird to sleep in underwear,” she said.
“Ever since then, I haven’t.” Now, Gray sticks to comfortable pajama bottoms and a big T-shirt. Going underwear-less, she said, is “without a doubt more comfortable.”
The people have spoken.
So what’s actually better for you?
Arguments about comfort aside, I still wanted to find out which option is best for your health.
So I called up Shawn Stevenson, author of Sleep Smarter: 21 Essential Strategies to Sleep Your Way to a Better Body, Better Health and Bigger Success.
Health-wise, it’s important to let your body cool down during sleep, Stevenson said.
Cooling down will lower your blood pressure, which in turn helps your body activate its “rest and digest system” — otherwise known as the parasympathetic nervous system.
Cooling down also helps the body release certain hormones and reparative enzymes, he said.
Sleeping naked is obviously more conducive to cooling down than, say, a thick flannel pajama set.
But some pajamas are OK, Stevenson said — “we just need to keep it simple, light and loose-fitting.”
Theresa Fisher, science editor at Casper’s sleep news site, Van Winkle’s, also spoke of the physical health benefits of sleeping naked. (Fisher is a former contributor at Mic.)
Your body temperature lowers when you’re falling asleep and when you’re in deep sleep, Fisher told me. “If sleeping naked helps with thermo-regulation, if it helps keep your core body temperature low when it’s supposed to be low — it would help you fall asleep and sustain deep sleep,” she said.
It’s important to let your body cool during sleep — so go ahead and strip down.
A 2014 study found that sleeping in colder temperatures helped activate “brown fat,” or “good fat,” in adults.
Brown fat helps burn calories in order to generate heat, and you want “as much of this type of fat as possible,” according to Women’s Health.
That being said, when it comes to sleep health, you should weigh your physiological and psychological needs, according to Fisher.
“If you’re not comfortable sleeping naked, the anxiety it produces will probably override the physiological benefits,” she said.
Sleeping naked may also have benefits for couples.
Being physically close to other people makes our bodies release oxytocin, a seemingly magical “cuddle hormone” that helps us maintain healthy relationships. Neuroeconomist Paul J. Zak, who goes by “Dr. Love,” has famously declared oxytocin is the social glue holding society together.
“If you’re sleeping in bed with a partner, skin-to-skin contact could foster the release of oxytocin,” Fisher said.
“There’s at least an argument to be made for both partners sleeping naked, for the sake of their relationship.”
Sleeping naked, or at least in minimal clothing, seems like the way to go. But sleeping with undergarments proved to be a more complicated issue. Bras, I learned, are a major point of contention.
Can wearing bras at night prevent sagging? Probably not.
Products like the lingerie line Nightlift claim to protect your breasts from “sagging and drooping” while you sleep.
But experts say wearing a bra can’t prevent sagging; it’ll happen naturally, whether you like it or not.
“A bra will hold up your breasts to give you the shape and look you want, but it can’t prevent further sagging, which is caused by age and gravity,” Dan Mills, vice president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, told Health.
And then there’s the matter of underwear.
For people with penises, (They use to be called men long ago) it could be a good idea to lay off the tight underwear at night.
“Though it’s a matter of personal preference, from the perspective of breathing and airing things out, you should sleep without underwear,” Dr. Donnica Moore told the Huffington Post.
And if you absolutely have to wear underwear, be sure to opt for cotton, which absorbs secretions while still being breathable. “Silk and synthetic fabrics are not breathable,” Moore said, “which increases the risk of moisture being trapped and retained, which can create a yeast or bacterial infection.”
With divorce rates spiking, some couples want to know their options for separating in 2020.
All relationships involve a degree of conflict—and it’s normal to argue more during stressful times.
From worrying about your health and the health of your loved ones to facing increased financial uncertainty, all of the classic marital stressors have been amplified by the events of 2020.
For some couples, pandemic friction has involved a few more fights about the laundry or the savings account.
For others, lock down has exposed issues that run deeper and offered ample time for reflection, leaving them to wonder about their options for pursuing separation during the pandemic.
Covid’s Impact on Relationships
Relationship counselors consistently rank financial stress, boredom, disagreements about parenting, and arguing about household chores as the most common sources of relationship trouble.
With many couples stuck in the house, homeschooling children, and facing added financial uncertainty, it should come as no surprise that the coronavirus pandemic is placing additional strain on relationships that were already struggling.
Additionally, support systems have become more difficult to access.
Venting to friends over coffee or spending a night out on the town just isn’t an option right now. If you’ve been using these outlets to manage stress—or, perhaps, to avoid dealing with deeper problems—-you may find yourself suddenly in the position of having to confront your difference head on.
It’s no surprise that given this, many marriages have reached their breaking point.
Although the recognition of real, substantive problems in a marriage can be a sobering moment, it is also a necessary and hopeful turning point on the road to a healthy future.
One of the pandemic’s brighter spots may be that it may prompt a refocusing on values and on what really matters, clarifying when the healthiest and wisest path forward for two people involves separation.
The Pandemic and Divorce Rates
The evidence that the pandemic might lead to an uptick in divorce rates came early this year.
By April, the interest in divorce had already increased by 34% in the US, with newer couples being the most likely to file for divorce. In fact, a full 20% of couples who had been married for five months or less sought divorce during this time period, compared with only 11% in 2019.
Some predict a continuation of this trend, anticipating that divorce rates will increase between 10% and 25% in the second half of the year.
One way of understanding this timeline is through the collective disaster response curve, a model charting the phases through which a community moves in the wake of trauma.
The curve shows increased energy and a sense of community cohesion in the period of time immediately following a disaster —it’s the “We’ll get through this together!” phase of disaster response.
After a few weeks, the energy wears off, and disillusionment and depression can set in. During this period, couples may begin to struggle.
Experts also observe that when people are experiencing greater stress from sources external to a relationship, they struggle more to problem-solve within their relationships, and may inadvertently take out this stress on each other.
In the most serious cases, tensions can lead to violence, and 2020 saw a 9% increase in outreach to the National Domestic Violence Hotline compared to the same period last year. If you are experiencing domestic violence, there’s help just a phone call away with the National Domestic Violence Hotline here.
Can I still get divorced during the pandemic?
If you’re wondering whether or not you can still get divorced with everything going on, the answer is yes.
Deciding to end a marriage is never easy, and with the pandemic altering the rhythms of life, it may feel particularly daunting. But there are many options to start the divorce process in 2020, and finding which path is best for you and your family is essential.
There is nothing new under the sun. I know, I know.
But , there are new ways to see the same old stuff. In the Love and relationship arena, there are old ways and new ways.
More importantly, there are healthy ways and unhealthy ways. Let’s talk about some healthy ones!
After meeting with Victor Granville, The Relationship Strategist, I learned some new ways to attract Love and not pain in my life. I want to share them with you!
Victor works from a place of knowing. He has felt the pain of unhealthy relationships. Instead of becoming a casualty, he chose to become a coach.
Without a doubt, no one can teach us more about survival than a survivor. Survivors are uniquely equipped to show us how to attract Love instead of pain.
Why Do We Attract Pain?
I asked Victor what he thinks is the main reason for failed relationships. He quickly answered, “making someone else responsible for our sense of lovability, our sense of adequacy.” He continues, “when someone else holds that kind of power in our lives, it necessitates control”. Instead of offering a place of acceptance and Love, we find struggle.
I learned a new application for the old truth; we cannot share what we don’t have. We all need to feel we are enough.
If we don’t stop the cycle of looking for validation in others, where will it end? In a dead heat and in a big Loss That’s my prediction anyway.
What Is One Secret To Attracting Love?
When I asked Victor what the ONE THING he wishes someone had told him before he had started to date. ONE THING he would suggest every parent tell their child, the answer was a gift of freedom to us all.
We need to know we are not responsible for anyone else’s happiness.
We can attract Love and not pain by understanding what Love cannot do.
Victor clarifies the difference between contributing to someone’s happiness and being responsible for it.
“No matter how much I love my partner.” “If they are not caring for themselves, what I give them will not land deep enough.” Victor explained that other people can not feed our addiction to “Love and “approval.”
We will attract pain and not Love until we accept that we alone are the appraiser of our value, our worth. I
n our worldview, we find why we matter and why no-one else has the right to give or take away from that reality.
Avoiding abuse is easier when we take the time to inventory our own value.
A Practice to Avoid Abuse & Pain
The question that draws my heart the deepest is this last one, “What is one practice you think could help prevent Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)?”
Clearly, Victor doesn’t miss a beat, and it echos the answer above.
“Take care of your emotional Integrity.” He boldly states that as long as we let others define our value we will be susceptible to abuse.
Furthermore, “People who abandon themselves will attract people who abandon themselves.” Is there any clearer picture of the kind of pain abandoned hearts would attract into our lives?
We can take a lesson from Victor’s playbook. When we are healthy, when we know our value, and we recognize the same in others, we will be able to identify when people come from what He calls an’ empty place.’
How we practice self-care has ripple effects in the lives of those we Love the most. If we want to attract Love and not pain, we need to take these suggestions and make them a lifestyle. Then and only then we can pass them down to the hearts who will follow us.
Attract Healing and Love
It goes without saying, when people are sharing the kind of wisdom Victor shares there is much hope for ourselves and for the little hearts in our care.
Let’s rethink Love, let’s share what we learn, and let’s spare some hearts! You can find the interview in its entirety below.
Lastly, thank you, Victor, for your work and for the wisdom and compassion you share it with! You can find Victor here on Instagram and Facebook
No matter who you are in a relationship getting over past relationships can be more than challenging for many.
The best suggestion I can offer is to “Not look back,” live in the present and when you feel like it put yourself out there again.
Remember, don’t take your last relationship with you.
What role did the Four Horsemen, relationship phases, flooding, and perpetual problems play in your past relationships?
People who are single and are wanting to heal from past relationships should be reflecting on this so that they can learn and grow and look at their patterns as well as the patterns of past partners.
Below you will find a starting point to begin reflecting.
This is just a starter kit to embark on the journey, knowing there are perhaps many more things to consider on your path to healing.
What role did the Four Horseman play in your past relationship?
It will be crucial to think about which of these 4 behaviors: Criticism, defensiveness, contempt and stonewalling led to the demise of your partnership.
If you don’t know much about the concept of the horsemen, please read more here.
For me, in my most significant past relationship, I was overly defensive.
I felt like I always needed to be right and perfect, so if my partner asked me to do something differently I would come up with a reason to defend myself rather than just saying, “Ok, that makes sense” or “yeah I could work on that for sure.”
I know that being more able to accept responsibility would have gone a long way in making that relationship better.
Of course, if you are healing from a past abusive relationship then I would not ask you to consider your role in the abuse, but rather be able to see how the other person’s contempt was degrading and harmful.
Then you may be able to see how the antidote to contempt (having a culture of appreciation) is what you deserve in a healthy future relationship.
Phases of Relationships
There are three distinct and natural phases that occur in a lifetime of love. Dr. John Gottman describes that there are choice points in the course of a relationship when love will either progress to a deeper place or deteriorate.
Also called the honeymoon stage, limerence is that feeling of overwhelming infatuation that occurs when you first start dating someone that you feel a spark with.
We often call this feeling “having chemistry” with someone, which makes literal sense: at this phase of love, there are tons of love chemicals coursing through your body.
This is a beautiful phase.
This phase is also when you can miss red flags because you are more trusting and more likely to focus on their positive traits while avoiding the awareness of negative traits or red flags.
After limerence comes the trust phase.
This is the state that occurs when you know that your partner is acting and thinking of ways to maximize your interests instead of only their own interests.
In other words, trust means knowing that “my partner has my back and is there for me.”
We build trust by being there for one another and repairing poor communication. In this phase, couples are trying to figure out,
“Does this person have my back? Am I important to them?”
This phase is where the most fighting occurs since people are trying to decipher if they can count on their partner to have their back.
Commitment means believing (and acting on the belief) that this relationship with this person is one’s lifelong journey, for better or for worse.
This means that if things get difficult, both partners will work to improve it.
In this phase, you should avoid comparing your partner unfavorably to others. It involves cherishing your partner’s positive qualities and nurturing your gratitude for them.
When thinking about these phases, please reflect on the following questions: At which stage did your most recent or most significant relationship conclude?
What contributed to why it ended at that stage? What red flags might have been missed in the limerence phase of that relationship?
One other thing that is crucial is to see if there were any issues with what we call ‘flooding’ in any past romantic partnerships.
Flooding is a sensation of feeling psychologically and physically overwhelmed. When your partner’s words or actions seem so intense that you feel completely defenseless against further attack.
Our bodies are finely tuned to be ready to ward off an attack, and they are not very good at distinguishing subtleties.
We know that if your heart rate goes above 100 BPM, and you’re not exercising, that your body is releasing the stress hormones.
When this is occurring, it’s nearly impossible to think creatively or access your sense of humor.
At this point, you are in fight, flight, or freeze mode and you are physiologically overwhelmed. Flooding leads people to become so overwhelmed that they reject incoming information.
The first step in dealing with flooding is to take a break and temporarily end the discussion. The break should last at least 20 minutes to calm down.
Many people find that the best approach to self-soothing is to focus on calming the body through deep breathing or meditative techniques.
Please consider the following questions to reflect on this issue. What makes you feel flooded? What are your body signs when you feel flooded?
(Example: vision narrowing, chest tightening, fists clenching) What role has flooding played in your past intimate relationships? How might you manage this issue in the future?
One last thing to think about here.
All couples have ongoing issues that they tend to fight about. Even the Masters of Relationships have ongoing, perpetual problems, but what separates them from the Disasters of Relationships is that they manage to find ways to dialogue about their problems instead of letting them become entrenched and painful.
Perpetual problems center on either fundamental differences in your personalities or your lifestyle needs, whereas perpetual gridlocked issues have been left unhandled and have calcified, leading to tension and quarrels.
The issues are based on differences in how you view handling money, disciplining children, cleanliness, etc.
These are the problems that a couple will return to over and over. Within each person’s position is a core need or a dream.
The Masters of Relationships can talk about these and honor each other’s dreams.
Read more about these issues here. Be willing to consider:
What were your perpetual problems? Were any of them gridlocked?
Think about your need within that issue, and what might you need on that issue in future relationships.
There are more things that you can reflect on in order to heal from a past relationship, but I do hope you have found a starting point and gained some insight from this.
“What Makes Love Last” by Dr John Gottman is another very helpful resource if you are in a place of healing, and wanting something more in a future relationship. I highly recommend that book.
The term ‘codependency’ is often used casually to describe relationships where a person is needy, or dependent upon, another person.
There is much more to this term than everyday clinginess. Codependent relationships are far more extreme than this.
A person who is codependent will plan their entire life around pleasing the other person, or the enabler.
In its simplest terms, a codependent relationship is when one partner needs the other partner, who in turn, needs to be needed. This circular relationship is the basis of what experts refer to when they describe the “cycle” of codependency.
The codependent’s self-esteem and self-worth will come only from sacrificing themselves for their partner, who is only too glad to receive their sacrifices.
Fast facts on codependency:
Codependent relationships can be between friends, romantic partners, or family members.
Often, the relationship includes emotional or physical abuse.
Friends and family members of a codependent person may recognize that something is wrong.
Like any mental or emotional health issue, treatment requires time and effort, as well as the help of a clinician.
In codependency, one person has their needs prioritized over the other’s.
It is important to know the difference between depending on another person — which can be a positive and desirable trait — and codependency, which is harmful.
The following are some examples that illustrate the difference:
Dependent: Two people rely on each other for support and love. Both find value in the relationship.
Codependent: The codependent person feels worthless unless they are needed by — and making drastic sacrifices for — the enabler. The enabler gets satisfaction from getting their every need met by the other person.
The codependent is only happy when making extreme sacrifices for their partner. They feel they must be needed by this other person to have any purpose.
Dependent: Both parties make their relationship a priority, but can find joy in outside interests, other friends, and hobbies.
Codependent: The codependent has no personal identity, interests, or values outside of their codependent relationship.
Dependent: Both people can express their emotions and needs and find ways to make the relationship beneficial for both of them.
Codependent: One person feels that their desires and needs are unimportant and will not express them. They may have difficulty recognizing their own feelings or needs at all.
One or both parties can be codependent. A codependent person will neglect other important areas of their life to please their partner. Their extreme dedication to this one person may cause damage to:
their everyday responsibilities
The enabler’s role is also dysfunctional.
A person who relies upon a codependent does not learn how to have an equal, two-sided relationship and often comes to rely upon another person’s sacrifices and neediness.
A transactional relationship is an interesting term. The first thing that came to mind is something like an arranged marriage or selling off your daughter to gain favors for the family.
A transactional relationship is when couples treat marriage as a business deal. Kind of like someone brings home the bacon, and the other partner cooks it, sets the table, wash the dishes, while the breadwinner watches football.
Traditional gender roles are excellent examples of transactional relationships.
Difference between a transactional and any other marriage?
What is a transactional relationship in the first place, and why are new-age love guru’s trying to demonize the relationship millions of old couples had without divorcing.
In any business deal, a transactional relationship is focused on benefits. Generally, the people inside the partnership are thinking what the hell am I getting out of this.
So let’s compare transactional relationship characteristics.
Focus on Self-benefits
Positive and Negative reinforcement
Expectations and Judgement
Partners compete against each other
Transactional relationships are more of a frenemy than an alliance.
Couples in transactional relationships give and take, but they care about getting more than what they bargained for. True marriages don’t care about those things.
Transactional vs. relational
A true partnership is one unit. Spouses are not against each other; they are considered as one entity by God and State. True couples don’t care what they give to their partners; in fact, true couples enjoy giving to their partners.
There’s also the problem of people changing once they are in a relationship. It is what makes things so complicated.
So how does one deal with giving to their partner without them taking advantage of their benevolence?
Transactional relationships are more or less symbiotic and fair. There are forms of relationships that are more like slavery than a partnership.
Transactional relationships are at least on the side of a “healthy” form of relationship. It is not ideal, which is why it is receiving some flak from modern love theorists.
But a give-and-take relationship with sex sounds closer to prostitution than a marriage. That’s the main issue with transactional relationships.
True marriages are about going through everything together as one entity. There’s no giving and taking.
You and your partner are the same; taking from your partner is the same as taking something from your pocket.
Giving to your partner is no different than investing in yourself. It’s more like giving your partner sexy lingerie or viagra.
To keep things simple, a transactional personality is someone who never acts (positively or negatively) if there’s nothing to gain.
It sounds like common-sense unless you think about all the charity and bullying that goes all over the world.
A lot of things in this world are done on a whim or do not follow the usual logic and common sense — things such as infanticide, genocide, and non-alcoholic beer.
A person with transactional behavior will only give if they can take. They apply this to all their relationships, including their romantic partner.
A transactional romantic relationship is when someone keeps tabs of what they give and receive from their spouse.
It is a behavior, meaning it’s deeply rooted in a person’s subconscious and personality. It is not entirely negative, which is why it escapes the notice of holier-than-thou new-age psychiatrists.
For a person with a transactional personality, they view all relationships, including romantic ones, as a transactional relationship.
Evolving transactional relationship into a true partnership
If you are in such a transactional relationship, and you want to evolve your relationship into a true partnership. Here is a list of things you can do to change it.
Don’t mention past mistakes
Don’t account your contributions to the family
Don’t consider your spouse as a rival
Don’t look at your partner as a burden
Don’t let a day pass by without giving to your partner
Do solve things together
Do everything (chores included) together
Do sacrifice for your partner’s happiness
Do understand your partner’s misgivings
Do offer your life to your partner
All responsibilities are shared
All liabilities are shared
If you took the time to read a marriage contract, it says that you’re supposed to share those things.
Following all those tips is easier said than done, but behaviors are formed from habits. Habits are formed by repetition and practice.
It won’t happen overnight, but if you and your partner consciously practice it, then it can become a habit. According to studies, it takes at least 21 days to turn conscious practice into a habit.
A month is not too long for supporting each other and avoiding the things that you must. It is especially true if you’re already in a long-term relationship. It’s even more critical if you plan to stay in that relationship for years to come.
The hardest part of evolving transactional relationships to true partnerships is the willingness of both partners to change. It is even harder since transactional relationships are symbiotic, and people may consider that there’s no need to fix something that’s not broken.