This week, we bring you a post on Midlife Relationship Encounters.
The Midlife Encounters series highlights 12 midlife encounters we will experience as we go through various stages and ages at midlife. The midlife relationship encounters try to highlight the unique experiences that all types of relationship will experience at midlife.
Now, talking about marriage relationships at midlife can be a very unique and sensitive conversation. Working with individuals and couples has helped me define 7 relationship dynamics as “silent relationship killers” because they start attacking couples softly, slowly, invisibly, and powerfully until the roots of the relationships are dead.
It is essential to learn how to identify, acknowledge, and respond to these issues with early interventions based on the unique circumstances of the relationship.
Maybe you’ve been married for about 15-25 years, gosh that’s a pretty long time to be actively in a relationship. You may also have experienced separation, divorce, and a new marriage, giving you a new perspective to relationships.
Relationships and love go hand in hand, right?
Many couples stay together even though the love either faded away long ago or they were never in love to begin with.
It could be a living situation, fear of being alone or possibly even children being involved.
Whatever the reason, is it really worth staying in a loveless relationship?
You might think it’ll be alright to start with, but over time, it only tears you down. A couple without love is destined to fall apart or live their lives in the most miserable way. It’s better to remain single than deal with that type of emotional torment day after day.
The question is what factor can sustain or kill the relationship slowly?
First is the new scale of selfishness and selflessness
Partnership, relationship or marriage is about giving, sacrifice, sharing, communication, considerations, forgiveness, and forbearance.
If you are now spending more time with each other, you suddenly realize that there are growing levels of selfishness occasioned by new thinking or a personal experience. Maybe the children are now out of the way and your new resolution becomes “I need to focus on me and put myself first. I won’t do things for you anymore.” It seems this is your revenge window to also be selfish.
It’s time to discuss a new commitment to selflessness after resolving the underlying issues.
You stop having conversations. If you used to share details of your day with your partner and ask their opinion of things, but have stopped, it could be a sign of a lost connection.
Your attitude has changed. If you feel like you're treating others the same but your partner differently than usual, it may be a sign that your attitude toward them has changed.
You make yourself less available. You feel like you’re withdrawing from your partner, or you’re not physically responsive to them.
You ignore your partner. If you used to ask about their schedule or check-in during workdays but feel like you have lost interest, it could be a sign that things have changed.
You don’t argue anymore. Maybe you feel like it isn’t worth your time to argue. Or, you feel like you aren’t affected by the issues that get brought up.
Being in a relationship is like having a 24-hour job and/or like having a house that requires constant maintenance and repair.
Therefore, it is important to identify early these relationship killers and prepare to respond to them in an effective way to keep your relationship in balance.
If you feel like you have noticed some signs of silent relationship killers in your relationship and you need some guidance to manage them, I will be more than happy to help you with that.