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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Cardinal Sins Couples Commit

They say love is blind, but surely we can fall out of love if love is taken for granted. 

Some friends tell me they end relationships because feelings were gone. What makes feelings last a lifetime and what is the recipe to long lasting marriages that takes little effort to maintain? 


1. Invading Bathroom Privacy
When you live together, it is inevitable that there'll be times you're in a rush or impatient to use the bathroom. In some way, you've achieved the highest level of comfortability in coupledom if you're able to take his/her shit. I had an ex who told me his then-girlfriend wouldn't stop talking even while he's on his golden throne. Lavatory time is sacred time, most people meditate in there. Or, check illicit messages from mistresses. Unless both of you are into the golden shower fetish where its actually a turn-on, i'll say stay out of each other's bowel-time. There'll be chances later on in life, in old age, where either of you have to help each other move bowels. Until then, if you must invade bathroom privacy, make sure its to surprise him/ her in a steamy hot shower. 

2. Criticism Overload
While you are your partner's greatest fan, you will also be his/ her biggest critic. I've seen couples who in their "harmless teasing" hide invisible knives that cut. A friend's husband is always teasing how unfit his wife is. I pointed out that while she isn't as fit as he is, he should be glad he found a partner who joins him in every outdoor activity with much gusto. A relationship still needs tact. 

3. Forgetting "Please" and "Thank You"
The more comfortable we are with someone, the less formal we become. The Japanese have a very sweet tradition where a couple greet each other when one or the other steps through the door with this phrase; "its been hard on you". Its a show of appreciation for the other, hard at work. It could be not entirely sincere because of habit but remember that successful people cultivate good habits. 

4. Disapproval in Public
In relation of #2, it is easy to lose your temper quicker with someone close. Especially when you know you're being loved unconditionally (assuming that's why you're both together). My parents are married for more than 25 years. I dislike the manner they frown, chide and demonstrate their disapproval of each other publicly. My longest relationship was 3 years, everytime there's a behaviour i disapprove, i consciously bite my tongue and keep a pokerface. My mistake though, is not revisiting and talking about it when we get home. It isn't healthy letting the unspoken or forgotten eat you up. 

5. Not Sharing Common Interests
In my opinion, common interests is a pre-requisite before committing to a relationship. However, i've seen couples who are total opposites who remain attached. I can't fathom a partner who doesn't love travelling, trying new things and doing sport like i do. My partners often have opposite thoughts and beliefs which offers friendly (sometimes challenging) debate, but we will always share common interests. Couples who share common interests have a better chance at growing old together. Don't lose the partner who can match your pace in said interest. My parents both like being outdoors but my dad is alot fitter and faster than my mum. This often leaves mum biting dad's dust, which then makes them both feel very alone. 

6. Forgetting Self
When we are comfortable with each other, we stop being vain. There's no need to put on nice lingerie when its more comfortable to hang lose. There's no need to put make-up on because he's seen me without. There's no need to put any clothes on because its coming off. Ok, maybe the last example isn't a bad thing. 

A woman ought to continue putting on matching (and sexy) lingerie. A man ought to continue keeping trim without a belly. When a woman becomes a mother, take time out to love herself. If a woman becomes a housewife, find activities that makes her interesting. Find friends to use the 10,000 word quota than offload it on the husband the moment he steps in. A woman tends to forget herself the moment she becomes a mother. Don't, because you'll grow old resentful as i watch my mother become. When children have grown out of their nest, when your husband will never be able to be as sacrificial as you are (its a different sort), you become resentful at old age. 

7. De-prioritizing Each Other
I'm guilty of lying on a partner's lap and texting while he's also texting above my head. We occassionally share text stories and joke about our friends. This is a special moment, as its only what couples do. 

We've passed the formality stage where a person on his/ her mobile all the time is a deal breaker. However, this couple activity is breeding the habit of seeing your partner less important. When the mobile phone becomes more interesting, when the children demands more attention, when your job/ deadline seemed more important. Today, we see ever more couples on their mobiles at dinner in a restaurant.

Since their children were born, my friend haven't been out with his wife alone since he-can't-remember. His daughter is 16 now, so i asked him what's stopping him from taking his wife out on a date? He gave excuses like, "Naaah. We're too old for that", "I'm not in the mood today." But he did take her out that night, and he messaged me a word of "thanks" after. 

Know that your partner IS human, and unconditional love is something only God or Mum can give. 


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