In the beginning, generally, everything is fine. We meet, we like each other, we never leave each other. We get to know each other by gradually surrounding ourselves with a bubble of love and idealization that makes us see the other as the one we have been waiting for for years. And in many cases, it is the truth. The stars in the eyes intensify as the first times pass by: first kiss, first sexual intercourse, first I love you, first trip plan for two, first meetings with friends, family. The butterflies in the belly hold up. Even when the routine sets in. We tell ourselves that it will not happen to us to “fall” in love.
And then after a while, we begin to discover fads that annoy us more than usual. We are surprised to raise our eyes to the sky while receiving one of his texts, and to respond more dryly – say, less joyfully – than usual. We have less the reflex to call him to tell him the slightest twist (which went from a scramble to the job with our colleague rerouted to a very precise description of the chocolate eclair engulfed at noon). Sweet words no longer resonate in the apartment, neither at home nor at home, neither is good humor. One morning, we go to the obvious: we like it less. Or even? We are slightly lost and we risk a crash at every moment. It makes us sad to no longer feel as much as we did before, and to guess that he or she is suffering from it silently. So what to do?
The atmosphere is gloomy, of course, but our relationship is not necessarily doomed. At least not if we decide to do everything – in pairs – to go up the slope. They say that a relationship is work. And by “on”, understand the countless number of books stored in the “personal development” department of Fnac. It’s worth trying. To communicate and work on his desires, his own to save (or not) the furniture. In three stages, it gives that.
1- Study the origins of doubt
Before automatically putting the blame on your partner’s back and what bothers you about him or her on a daily basis, be a little honest. What makes you doubt, exactly? Is there a specific event, a trigger, that made you ask yourself so many questions? What is important to analyze is also if the other has changed since these sweet moments of honeymoon. If there is a common carelessness or if it is more about character traits that you had not noticed – or rather, appreciated – before. Perhaps you have changed, perhaps you have met someone who is wreaking havoc in your head. Do not feel guilty but remain sincere: the problem always comes from both sides. And the better you have identified it, the better you will be able to resolve it.
2- Accept each other’s faults and leave room for their qualities
“One of the most important choices you can make in your relationship is to focus on what you value about your partner – which is probably what you fell in love with – rather than what you don’t don’t like, “says Dr. Margaret Paul, relationship expert, in a column for MindBodyGreen . A list could also help you to see more clearly. A sort of sentimental pros / cons which, if not romantic, is likely to extricate you from a complicated situation. Same process, rather than pointing at what swells you, emphasize what you like about the other. The scholar thus gives some examples of aftershocks which we would replace with positive comments:
- “I like your laugh,” rather than “I can’t stand your mood swings.”
- “I like our moments together”, rather than “We never spend time together.”
- “I like it when we laugh and we are so close to each other”, rather than “You are always so distant”.
- “Thank you for being ready to resolve this conflict with me”, rather than “Why are you always on the defensive?”
The communication is obviously essential, but the fact of knowing that one is two to take it seriously, too. So make sure that your partner is as involved as you, explaining that it is precisely in your best interest both.
3- Know how to make decisions
Whatever the outcome of this unpleasant phase, there must be one. It sounds easy said like that, but to realize that there is a problem is one thing, to act accordingly – by deciding to give yourself a chance or by stopping the costs – is another. There is no time indicator of when is the right time to make a decision, just make sure it is what will make us both happier. Or in any case less unhappy than by pulling the cord of a relationship that is waning. In either case, there must be a renewal. A new start, together or separate. A frightening step, sometimes, but necessary. And if you change your mind, there will always be time to fix your mistakes.