This week seems to be relationship week. Thoughts to be talked about it keep coming up… 🙂
Relationships have never been an easy thing to figure out. I really do not know of anyone who has got it all figured out. There are always questions, worries, faces to keep up, attitudes to maintain, everyone trying to be on their best and not appear as the weaker lover. But sometimes I wonder, is it all necessary? Doesn’t it just contribute to the quick/slow death of the relationship?
I know there are so so many factors that contribute to break-ups. “Oh (s)he is not the same person…”, “(s)he cheated”, “things are not just the same anymore..”, “the sex was horrible…” etc etc but today I believe I have discovered the worst but silent killer in relationships. Contempt! Yea contempt. Contempt is much worse that criticism, or defensiveness or stonewalling [John Gottman]. I think everyone of us or most of us can handle a defensive partner or a partner who would just not respond when confronted or gives the “silent treatment” when offended. We usually find our way around such attitudes but contempt from your significant other makes you feel worthless & a dump site for scorn and this is something no human likes to take or can even manage properly. It eventually leads to a break down and finally dissolve of the relationship.
I also think contempt is one of the primary reasons why marriages start to crumble. Contempt is a powerful feeling that messes with our emotions. Everyone wants to feel loved, feel like they matter no matter how little that feeling is. Everyone wants a pat on the back or just a little show of acceptance and importance. Remember those moments when you wanted a pat on the back? When you just needed someone to say well done, you did good. Just to get some sort of feeling of self worth. Those feelings are very important. It makes us want to work harder and put in extra effort to make things work. It makes it easier to forgive when you remember how valuable the person makes you feel.
When the air of contempt starts to blow around your relationship even friendship, its time to wake up! and take quick action. Handle it once and for all. Do not let it drag or slide. Once it starts, its time to either fix it, or walk out! because at the end, if it is not handled, it ends up with parties splitting but this time with much more hurt, pain etc. All of a sudden, the sun does not rise and set with him/her. The moon does not shine the brightest on their side of the bed. The stars do not twinkle in their eyes. Some may begin to have emotional trauma (depending on how deep the person was into the partner), trust issues and all the other things that come with the trauma begin to take shape in the life of the person.
The crazy but true thing is that these problems do not start over night! The signs are always there but the rush of emotions cause us to turn a blind eye to these signs. The signs creep up just at the early stages of the relationship. Even as early as the “getting to know you” phase. Where everyone is hinting and indicating their faults. When the whole world seems to suddenly revolve around this person.
Long and short, I believe we should stop settling for less. Life is too short for that. There is really no time to slave and hurt for one person. Sometimes staying single for a while maybe just what you need. If you are the clingy type no problem! just be very watchful else you end up trying to fix a long broken piece with missing parts! We should check ourselves also. Ask yourself “do I make my partner feel insignificant?” , “do I look down on him/her?” , “do I feel unimportant?” If you can say a tinny weeny yes, then you know what to do now… The world doesn’t need contempt, neither do you…