Do relationships take a lot of work? Is marriage hard work? No, Marriage and relationships should not take a lot of hard work. Jobs take hard work, careers take hard work. Why would you want to be in a relationship that takes hard work. I am not going to be friends with someone that makes our friendship seem like work. Why would I? It doesn’t make sense. If it feels like work to be with that friend I am not going to be their friend. I have have a lot of things in my life that require work. I want a friend to have fun with, go out to lunch, drink wine, go to concerts stuff like that. I definitely do not want to be around someone that picks at me, comments on my actions, doesn’t appreciate the things I do for them and isn’t
reciprocal in our interactions.
I recently ended a one-sided friendship like that. It turns out this person was a grudge holder also. I looked back over our friendship and saw that it was me that did most of the buying dinner, driving, gift giving, and giving compliments. It wasn’t worth it to me to resolve differences or solve problems. People change, but they don’t change very much or as in my case you didn’t really know the person or choose to overlook serious character flaws. I said character flaws. That is a real thing. Some people lie. Some people cheat. Some people steal. Those are not mental disorders. They are character flaws. Especially, if they make a habit of them. And those are things people can only change if the want to.
What makes a relationship work?
Empathy, You honestly care how the other person feels and extend compassion and love. An example is when a parent dies or there is a misunderstanding . A lover doesn’t try to fix those feelings or say they are wrong, they give them time and space to grieve or resolve the problem in the relationship.
Intention. There is an intention for the relationship to be a priority in both of the people’s lives. There is an intention to behave in a loving manner. Love isn’t a feeling it is an action.
Consciousness. The actions within the relationships are ones of conscious choice about everything, children, homes, jobs, and there is a continuous dialogue about dreams, emotions, life and in that dialogue both people are equal.
Intimacy. This includes emotional intimacy and sexual intimacy. I often get emails from men saying they miss the intimacy in their marriage. What they really mean is they aren’t having sex. Sex and intimacy are not the same thing. Sex is an act of the body. It can connect us intimately, but it doesn’t always do that. If you don’t have an intention for sex to connect you it won’t. Too many people use sex as a way to relieve stress or to manipulate. Sex is for pleasure and intimacy. Emotional intimacy also needs to be encouraged. Your lover is the one that needs to hear your dreams, your hopes, your fears, not just the problems but also the wonders
Love. You have to love the other person and act with love in relationship to them. I am not talking need, or desire, or want. I am talking love.
Empathy, Intention, Consciousness, Intimacy, and Love makes a relationship happy, but it should never feel like hard work.