By Lindy Earl
What does the word fragile bring to mind? Breakable? Expensive? Delicate?
I think all those words apply to relationships. I think relationships start fragile, but get stronger, but, without constant care and attention, can return to their fragile state.
For instance, when a couple first finds one another, they are often on tenterhooks – am I dressed right? Did I order the right thing? Did I say the right thing? Should I laugh? Did I laugh too loudly? Come on – we’ve all had thoughts like this at some time in our lives. The relationship may not even have been a romantic one, by the way. We can go through the same challenges with a new friend or even a new boss.
So, as time is spent together, and commonalities found, and comfort levels reached, the relationship becomes stronger. This is good! I can make plans, knowing that they will be there for me. You might find yourself speaking in plurals: “We can make it,” or “Our weekend is open.” I love catching those comments early in a new couple’s conversation, as they make the transition of me to we (even my own).
As the relationship progresses, it should get stronger. You know one another’s likes and dislikes. You’re not afraid of misspeaking either because you know what not to say or because you know that they are accepting and you can say what you really feel. Either way, it works. Life is good.
But, this is where relationships can become fragile again. Is one person so secure with the other, and in the relationship, that they can say and do what they want, or are they taking the other person for granted? I know couples who, after years of marriage, continue to date one another. The theory is that they want to continue the romance and never take advantage of one another. Just because one is a great cook does not mean that they should have to cook 365 days a year. Even great cooks enjoy a night out.
If you find yourself frustrated, or too often angry, or clueless, in a relationship, it may be a sign that your relationship is getting fragile. Are you feeling neglected? Ignored? Unimportant? How does your partner feel? Maybe the same. Even as you are thinking that they are not paying enough attention to you and your needs, maybe they feel the same. A delicate and breakable relationship has emerged.
What to do? Do your best to never allow a relationship to be fragile. Admittedly they often begin that way, but as you move into comfort zones, be careful to not get lazy. Continue to show appreciation and gratitude. Continue to perform small acts of kindness. Call or text them just to show you care. Be there for them, or give them their space, whatever they need at the moment. Be the Significant Other that you would like to have.
Breakable items must be handled with care, tended to, even fussed over. How true this is of a good relationship!
That’s Life After Divorce.
Lindy is a Speaker, Columnist, Author, and Consultant. Contact her at LMEarl@EarlMarketing.com or find her on Face Book and join her support group: Single Again . . . From Devastation to Divorce.