Why are relationships so hard? 50%+ of marriages end in divorce, 30% of women are abused in their relationships, and those are only the reported numbers. And why do so many of these loving liaisons end up in a dysfunctional mess? So glad you asked...
1.) We are all relational idiots. Sorry to be so abrupt, but very few of us had any classes on how to create healthy and lasting relationships.
2.) Our role models were idiots too. Not to worry, your relational ignorance is a natural by-product of your environment. Likely that your parents and the other role models in your life had no relationship training either.
3.) The media is the biggest idiot of all, part I. Next time you go through the checkout line at your local grocery store. Look at the headlines and cover stories that you get bombarded with. And people actually buy, read and believe this stuff.
4.) The media is the biggest idiot of all, part II. Let's talk TV for a moment. Really? How many kids grow up with the Simpsons, I Met Your Mom and Sex in The City? And then, of course, there's "reality TV."
5.) The media is the biggest idiot of all, part III. Movies. Do I need to say more?
6.) We run from conflict. Conflict resolution is a must for relationships to flourish. Most people run from conflict at the first sign.
7.) We don't know how to bridge the gap of differences. Differences usually end up in unresolved conflict, and we already know that people would rather avoid conflict.
8.) We don't know the difference between, attraction, infatuation, love and sex. Our relationship maps have no true north and we have no accurate compasses. We get so many mixed and conflicting messages about sex, love and relationship that most don’t know which way is healthy or not. So people go mostly with what "feels good" (brain chemistry that tends to be highly addictive) and have no clue how to filter out dysfunction and plan for lasting, healthy and harmonious relationships.
9.) We are afraid of true intimacy. Ever have a class about what intimacy really is? No? Join the crowd. Some very creative person used this play on words: in-to-me-see. It's the willingness to be totally vulnerable and open with another person, and then to reciprocate.
Most people haven't had that modeled to them (see #1-8) so how would they possibly know how to experience this. Most people are afraid of vulnerability and avoid it, thereby missing the opportunity for true intimacy.
10.) We live in an addictive culture. You may be asking yourself what addiction has to do with this list...everything! We mistake addictive behavior (obsession, compulsion, intensity,
infatuation and impulsivity) for love and healthy relationships. We live in an addictive culture where the primary message is "bigger, better, faster, more, now" which drives
us all to consume more, do more, have more and try more, without just simply being more. Who has time to study, research and learn the truth about healthy relationships with all this pressure?
So what's the solution? We could all use some good education about life, love and relationships. Let's start with who you are: Your purpose, your values and your personal mission. Let's then create a vision for your life and map it out with goals, plans and healthy and balanced boundaries. Let's make this holistic and include all parts of your being: Work, social, family, recreational and creativity, spiritual, health, finances and giving back.
Let's start with you first. Marry YourSelf First!
Just a few thoughts. Thanks for listening.
What do you think?
P.S. You are cordially invited to the upcoming workshop:
Under the Love Addiction Umbrella: Addressing and Treating
the Insane World of Romance, Relationship and Sexual Dependencies