THE 83 YEAR MARRIAGE
I recently read an interview with John and Ann Betar, from Connecticut, who have been married for 83 years. He’s 104, she’s 100, and they still hold hands. They met in 1932.
When asked about their secret to a lasting loving marriage, Ann said, "It’s a lifelong thing. How do you define LOVE? Through actions, understanding, little things…," and John said, "I wish I knew! It is natural. An understanding."
After 83 years of marriage, Ann’s advice for keeping things fresh, new, and entertaining is touching, "We hang onto one another! Just a few little hugs and we’re fine."
After an argument, Ann said, "I say, 'Oh go do what you want.' Nine out of ten times he doesn't!" John says, "We never hold grudges. Most arguments are about food," and Ann added, "Yeah, like 'You bought the wrong kind of cucumber!'"
It’s an inspiring, hopeful example of the kind of loving, accepting, lasting relationship many aspire to have for themselves.
Ann and John make it sound effortless, natural, uncomplicated.
"THE MOST DIRECT PATH TO TRUE INTIMACY IS SELF ACCOUNTABILITY" Dr. Randy Gunther
PREPARING FOR COMMITMENT
As a commitment minded selective single woman and man you will appreciate that searching for the same deep, genuine, lasting, connection like Ann and John doesn’t just happen- it can and does, but for many reasons it has become more elusive and harder to obtain in today’s dating world.
You may be pro-active and dating actively, with the hope and anticipation of attracting that one diamond.
The truth is, many of us are not trained or taught how to have lasting, committed relationships; and underestimate the self-preparation needed to date smart, chose selectively, and to navigate the normal ups and downs of sharing your life with a partner
ARE YOU PREPARED FOR LOVE FROM INSIDE OUT
One of the biggest fears single men and women face, is having to change himself or herself for a new partner. They know who they are, what they want, and they want to find someone who accepts them as they are and who meets their needs.
We shouldn’t have to change who we are at our core, but dating successfully and maintaining happy, lasting relationships requires skills, knowledge, self-awareness, adaptability, COURAGE AND RESILIENCE.
Unfortunately, many singles enter relationships blind; with limitations which are suppressed, and hope for the best. The results are often disappointing short-lived relationships when the initial chemistry has settled, or worse divorce.
ARE YOU SABOTAGING YOUR CHANCE OF RELATIONSHIP SUCCESS
or you have dated or married a relationship saboteur.
Either way having this knowledge and self-awareness is important to ensure you are laying a strong foundation for a lasting, happy, loyal relationship, beginning with your selection process, and the early dating phase of the relationship.
In her book, Relationship Saboteurs- overcoming the ten barriers, which undermine love, Dr Randi Gunther P.h.d highlights the 10 most common behaviours, which sabotage relationships.
These are unknowing, unintentional behaviours, not the game playing kind that manipulators and players often use deliberately.
“Unresolved issues, unconscious destructive patterns of behaviour and not knowing how and when to act differently are sure ways to erode a potentially great partnership.
It takes courage to bring a more honest, authentic, aware partner to the table. It means dating and relationships have a higher chance of success”
Do your relationships
- Start positively but over time deteriorate
- Do you partners become less tolerant of your behaviours that seemed fine when you first met
- When your relationships end, are you surprised, confused and unable to understand what went wrong when things seemed so right?
If you can relate, according to Dr Randi you may unintentionally be sabotaging your dating and relationship success, and your relationship status, gender, social background, age makes no difference
SURPRISING CHARACTERISTICS OF SABOTAGING BEHAVIOURS
1) They are tolerable even attractive in the beginning of the relationship but will eventually destroy its chance to survive
2) They are not meant to create the disruption they do
3) Their negative influence on the relationship evolves over time
4) They are often subtly hidden and are expressed as different problems in the relationship
5) New partners often refrain from telling you what they don’t like and hope the good qualities outweigh the negative ones if they hang on long enough
6) It leads to partners leaving the relationship and giving reasons that often don’t have anything to do with what actually caused the relationship to break up
THE 10 BEHAVIOURS WHICH SABOTAGE RELATIONSHIP SUCCESS
1. INSECURITY: “WILL YOU LOVE ME FOREVER?”
Anxiety, possessiveness, and jealousy are the constant companions of people who suffer from insecurity in their relationships.
ARE YOU TOO INSECURE IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS?
- Are you likely to focus more on whether your relationship will last than on enjoying it as it happens?
- Do you find yourself obsessing on the slightest change in your partner that might signal a decrease in interest?
- Are you threatened by your partner’s other close relationships?
- Do you find yourself often seeking reassurance?
- Do you constantly worry that your partner may leave you?
2. NEEDING TO CONTROL: “I RUN THE SHOW”
People who have a compulsive need to control others believe that they are not only entitled but also obligated to do so.
DO YOU NEED TO CONTROL YOUR RELATIONSHIP?
- Do you only feel comfortable when you make the rules?
- Are you resentful if your partner argues with your decisions?
- Have past partners complained that you dominated the relationship?
- Are you ever able to let your partner tell you what to do?
- If there is a conflict over a direction in the relationship, do you insist on having your way?
- If your partner doesn’t do what you want, do you punish him or her?
3. FEAR OF INTIMACY: “I NEED YOU, BUT NOT THAT CLOSE”
Everyone has some fear of too much physical or emotional closeness because all intimate connections require surrendering some personal independence.
They are often labeled “commitment phobic,” partners who can only love with one foot out the door.
DO YOU FEAR BEING TRAPPED IN INTIMATE OBLIGATIONS?
- Are you only able to be open and passionate when you’re in control?
- Do you find yourself retreating from your relationships when they seem too close?
- Have you become an expert in convincing your partner to re-enter the relationship after he or she has given up on you?
- Do you feel sincere in your desire to connect, but later become surprised when you feel trapped?
- Do your partners tell you they don’t trust your love anymore?
4. NEEDING TO WIN: “I DARE YOU TO CHALLENGE ME”
Verbal competition in relationships can be fun. But if a partner needs to keep winning, the result may be destructive.
They are usually poor losers if their opinions don’t triumph. Once the battle is over, they often act as if nothing were wrong, and are offended if their partners aren’t interested in reconnecting. “It was just a disagreement,” “What’s the big deal?”
Their partners have only three choices: fight, accept defeat or leave the battlefield.
DO YOU CHOOSE WINNING OVER CARING?
- When your partner gets the upper hand, are you able to make a gracious retreat, or must you have the final say?
- To what extent will you go to prove that you’re right and your partner is wrong?
- Will you risk intimacy just to win a point?
- When you’re challenged, are you quick to assume a fighting stance?
- Are you a sore loser?
- Is it easy for you to be close again after the battle is over?
5. PESSIMISM: “IF YOU DON’T EXPECT ANYTHING, YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED”
Mistrust and pessimism are magnets for optimistic people who thrive on bringing joy into darkness. But even the most positive people can’t stick around forever when their partners won’t believe in a more hopeful future.
ARE YOU UNABLE TO TRUST GOOD OUTCOMES?
- Do you often invalidate your partner’s devotion because you don’t think it will last?
- Have past partners complained that nothing they do makes you believe they care about you?
- Do you reject hopeful outcomes as if they could never happen to you?
- Does too much happiness make you uncomfortable?
- Do you seem to attract partners who are consistently more hopeful than you?
6. NEEDING TO BE CENTER STAGE: “PAY ATTENTION TO ME”
Some people just can’t seem to stay involved in a conversation unless they are the main topic of discussion and are superb at turning every conversation back to themselves.
ARE YOU A CENTER-STAGE PERSONALITY?
- Do you get bored when people divert their attention away from you?
- Is it hard for you to get interested in someone else’s conversation unless it pertains to you?
- Do you find yourself verbally monopolizing situations?
- Do you feel neglected when your partner doesn’t put you first?
- Do you have tantrums or withdraw if you can’t have your way?
Do you want to have an audience or an interested lover?
7. ADDICTIONS: “I’VE GOT TO HAVE THAT”
You can be addicted not only to substances but also to relationships, materialistic acquisitions, or even ideologies. Do you hide your behavior when your cravings erupt?
- Are you likely to get defensive when your partner holds you accountable for your choices?
- Do you give in to desires that keep you from being the person you want to be?
- Do your relationships fall apart because of your addictive behaviour?
- Are your behaviours self-destructive?
- Are you unable to stop your relationship-destructive behaviours even when you know you risk losing your partner?
- Do you cause others heartbreak but feels unable to stop?
8. MARTYRDOM: “MAYBE IT’LL BE MY TURN SOMEDAY”
Being with a martyr is like having a credit card you can never pay off. They are self-inflicting victims, giving away personal power as an emotional dowry.
ARE YOU A MARTYR IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP?
- Do you feel used and unfairly discarded when your relationships end?
- Is it hard for you to ask your partners for what you feel you deserve?
- Are you proud of yourself for asking so little in a relationship?
- Do you consistently attract selfish or self-centred partners?
- Do you wonder if you will ever be taken care of by anyone?
9. DEFENSIVENESS: “IT’S NOT MY FAULT!”
When partners are defending themselves against a perceived emotional attack, they cannot listen, learn, or change. They are driven to invalidate what they feel as a critical challenge. Their typical responses are:
- Reversing the blame: “What about you? You do that, too.”
- Insulting the other person’s intelligence: “That’s a really stupid thing to say.”
- Making an excuse: “You’re being so unfair. You know how much I had to do today.”
- Exaggerating dramatically: “Why don’t you just tell me I’m completely worthless and get it over with?”
- Citing one exception to the accusation: “I don’t always forget to call you. I did a couple of months ago.”
- Arguing by picking apart each point and countering it: “That’s totally untrue. You don’t have your facts right.”
- Withdrawing: “This is so ridiculous, I’m not even going to talk to you about it.”
Defenders often attract partners who are critical and controlling. It will go on until one partner gives up and either sacrifices him or herself to the relationship or gets out to survive.
ARE YOU A CHRONIC DEFENDER?
- When your partner finds fault with something you’ve done, is your first response to challenge the accusation?
- Are you ever able to listen to a complaint without invalidating what your partner is telling you?
- Are you open to seeing yourself through your partner’s eyes, even if it feels critical?
- Is there any way your partner can approach you with a grievance without your defending your actions?
10. TRUST BREAKERS: “I NEVER REALLY AGREED TO THAT”
Betrayal is the worst of all relationship-sabotaging behaviors. People who make a practice of breaking promises, rewriting history, ignoring agreements, or denying their partner’s reality break hearts and destroy faith.
When adult trust breakers are busted, they will do whatever is necessary to get out of being held accountable.
Many partners continue to love their trust breakers even though they know that more betrayals lie ahead. Trust is the foundation of everything that matters. When it’s gone, all agreements become invalid.
ARE YOU A TRUST BREAKER?
- Do you blame your partner when you are clearly responsible for a relationship problem?
- Do you keep your partner from knowing information that would cost you options were he or she to know?
- Do you consistently choose to do things that betray your partner’s trust?
- Are you willing to take advantage of your partner’s gullibility by telling him or her things that aren’t true?
- Would you stay in a relationship with someone who behaves like you?
(from Relationship Saboteurs by Randi Gunther, Ph.D. Dr. Gunther )
If you don't want to settle for less than a loving, respectful, happy, loyal relationship, it’s important that you are prepared by being honest with yourself and having the courage to recognise and eliminate all the ways you may be limiting your chances of dating and relationship success.
Ensure you are also selecting a partner who has consciously invested the effort in understanding and learning how to maintain a healthy, happy relationship with the right partner from the inside out.
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If you would like clarity about your dating strategy, how to attract and date quality potential partners, or support to overcome barriers holding you back from moving forward in your dating life. Book a FREE initial 30-minute dating strategy review Skype call with me to ensure you are on the best path for dating and relationship success