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Relationships take Effort to if they are to Work

What makes a good marriage go off rails? We're not talking about relationships that have been troubled from the start. We're focusing on couples who been happy together, (often for years), who find themselves drifting apart. The less time they spend together, the more distant and resentful they become. The little time they do spend in each other's company is spent bickering and sniping.

 When resentment and anger set in, I partners begin avoiding each other. He spends more time at work; she's
busier with the kids or her friends
- he stays up late watching TV; she pretends to be asleep when he finally comes to bed. Less time to fight? Sure, but less time to love as well. There's got to be a better way to solve the problem.

Falling in love

We fall in love by spending time together, by talking, by sharing experiences and feelings. Often love sparks between the most unlikely pairs simply because of proximity. A good example is the "Stockholm syndrome". This is where kidnapped captives fall in love with their kidnappers and vice versa. Closeness, intimacy and mutual dependency grow from being near each other. The opposite is also true. Spend less time with your partner and watch your closeness and warm feelings evaporate. Can you recognise any of the following symptoms of spending too little time together?

Have you stopped working together as a team?
Most contented couples work together towards shared goals, supporting each other along the way. He cooks dinner so she can get her assignment done. She drives the kids to school twice a week so he can go to the gym. To coordinate teamwork you have to spend time talking so you can understand your partner's goals and express your own. When you stop talking, you stop cooperating.

Do you argue more often?
Couples who don't give their relationships adequate attention tend to fight more. While the issue may seem mundane (such as who takes out the garbage, or whose turn it is to wash up), the underlying feelings are loneliness, isolation and grief. Every misdemeanour, no matter how trivial (he forgets to call when he's running late, she doesn't mention she's taking the car over the weekend) becomes a symbol for lack of caring and the arguments escalate.

Is your time together dwindling?
Are you always busy? Got more important things to do than hang out with your partner? Do your careers, children, personal interests, friends, hobbies and community involvements take a higher priority than your relationship? Could it be that you're avoiding fights and tension by leading separate lives? Closeness creates love, but neglect and distance will eventually kill it. Couples who spend too little time together lose sight of each other's good qualities and forget why they fell in love
to begin with.





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