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Do Relationships Really Need To Be A Lot Of Work?

 
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trudawg View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jan 18 2014 at 6:32pm
How much work is "too much" work? Should a relationship feel like a second job? This article intrigued me because when I feel like I'm carrying most of the burden I tend to let it go. What say you?


Do Relationships Really Need To Be A Lot Of Work?


By Blair Glaser for YourTango.com

A client came to me distraught.

He had been struggling in his relationship. His fiancée was non-responsive to his needs. She was consumed with and depressed about a touchy situation at work and wanted to stay home, enjoy take-out and watch TV, preferably with but even without him. He accepted this for a few weeks, but it had been dragging on for months.

He tried to coax her into fun. He tried talking to her about getting focused on the wedding plans, but she wasn't very responsive to his enthusiasm. Eventually, he would get frustrated with the situation and they would have a fight. This drove her further into withdrawal. Then, the cycle would repeat.

He confessed to his mother about having serious doubts about the relationship. His mother told him, "Relationships are a lot of work."

This is a popular belief that holds some truth: Relationships can be a lot of work, especially when they're in transition. Whether it's a transition phase for the relationship as a whole, or for the individuals in them, these times tend to stir up drama and are ripe for sorting things through. Some examples of relationship transitions are:

  • The testing period after the relationship becomes "real," 3-6 months after falling in love
  • After moving in together and/or getting engaged
  • The first year of marriage
  • The birth of a child, etc.

Examples of transitions sparked by one partner within a relationship are:

  • Location changes
  • Major success or failure
  • Major loss: job, parent, etc.

This couple had a double whammy: the relationship was in a transition at the same time the woman was in one.

The work that's required in these times is about sorting through expectations and setting up the appropriate structures that will help each partner get their own needs met while attending to the needs of the team. A relationship that's too much work, i.e., filled with disharmony, fighting and processing about the relationship for a prolonged period of time, has probably crossed a line that has not been articulated, and something is not working that may never work.

People begin relationships with conscious or unconscious deal-breakers and non-negotiables in mind: "I can't be with a smoker;" "I need someone who is financially solvent." But living with someone can reveal non-negotiables you didn't know you had.

Once a non-negotiable has been articulated — for this man it was being with someone who wanted to withdraw for extended periods of time — it's time to take a stand and put structures in place that will shift the dysfunction and enable your relationship to be about something other than suffering and hard work. Or, it could be time to make a break.

It's a big risk to tell your beloved that you've found a deal-breaker in the midst of an established relationship. But consider the alternatives.

It is also an act of leadership. If he risks sharing his deal-breaker with his fiancée, it gives her an opportunity to do some real work on herself and join him in love.

Does a relationship need to be a lot of work? Unless you're the type who likes to work on yourself and your relationship all the time, I say no. Transition phases should be temporary and ultimately strengthen the couple as a team, and give way to the joy and camaraderie that brought the couple together.

How does this resonate with you? Join the conversation and tell me about it in the comments.

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iliveforbhm View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote iliveforbhm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 18 2014 at 6:33pm
No it should feel natural and both parties should not carry the whole load. She a lazy woman.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PurplePhase Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 18 2014 at 7:16pm
yesLOL

Edited by PurplePhase - Jan 18 2014 at 7:38pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (5) Thanks(5)   Quote khivey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 18 2014 at 7:17pm
Everyone wants to be in a relationship with the person they met and fell in love with. Situations can change people and people can go through different moods. I think relationships are definitely work because you never know what circumstances can/will come into play. Patience is key...but if it seems like a never ending cycle and you've been patient, supportive and understanding and it seems like things aren't changing...I do believe some serious evaluation needs to come into play, especially if the issues have been communicated on more than one occasion. Everything happens for a reason. It is a team effort, but it takes two mentally healthy individuals to make a relationship work. Each party is responsible for their part ...and at some point you may have to realize that this union was more of a lesson than a destiny.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (4) Thanks(4)   Quote sunshine321511 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 18 2014 at 7:35pm
One thing I have learned as I have gotten older is EVERYONE has their "OWN" definition of a GOOD RELATIONSHIP.  For me, my belief is a good relationship is peaceful and drama free.  Life events happen to everyone, death, loss of a job, illness.  But the base of the relationship should be peaceful.
 
But I have observed a lot of women and I have noticed that some of US...our standards are so LOW, some of us accept so much abuse, so much of the constant drama.  Also some of "OUR" men really don't value relationships and commitment so that also adds drama when one party has one goal...while the other party is just looking to do something else.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote petiteone29 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 18 2014 at 8:09pm
I wouldn't say "work" but it takes alot of commitment and patience. And most people are only going to invest that into something they think is worth holding to.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote PurplePhase Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 18 2014 at 8:12pm
why do people say the first year is the hardest? Shouldn't that be the easiest year since you are newly married and still 'hot in love/lust?'
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mizzsandra00 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 18 2014 at 8:22pm
Originally posted by PurplePhase PurplePhase wrote:

why do people say the first year is the hardest? Shouldn't that be the easiest year since you are newly married and still 'hot in love/lust?'


Everything that year runs high......lust passion and irritation.....for us thats the year we learned each other quirks and learned which battles weren't worth it.....and long relationship take some degree of mutual work imo......whether it be your bf or bff
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (5) Thanks(5)   Quote smaison Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 18 2014 at 8:37pm
no.
the minute it starts to feel like a second job is the minute i bounce. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PurplePhase Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 18 2014 at 8:48pm
Originally posted by mizzsandra00 mizzsandra00 wrote:

Originally posted by PurplePhase PurplePhase wrote:

why do people say the first year is the hardest? Shouldn't that be the easiest year since you are newly married and still 'hot in love/lust?'


Everything that year runs high......lust passion and irritation.....for us thats the year we learned each other quirks and learned which battles weren't worth it.....and long relationship take some degree of mutual work imo......whether it be your bf or bff


It just  Always seemed backwards to me. Seems like you would resolve things easier in the beginning when you're still in the honeymoon phase. 
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