Marriage Help: The Dangers of Relationship Complacency

Couple spotlight

Jennifer wants a divorce…

Well, she did once, but that was two years ago, when her marriage was in pretty bad shape and she wasn’t sure if she could ever trust her husband Michael again. But slowly the trust returned and in many ways their relationship is stronger than before the crisis that almost led to a divorce.  What positive impact followed their marital crisis?

~They no longer take each other for granted (sounds simple, but anyone in a long-term relationship realizes how pervasive relationship neglect can be);
~Each is working to overcome his/her own emotional vulnerabilities that can sidetrack the relationship (Jennifer has the tendency to retreat and let resentments build rather than directly communicate; Michael is a master at denial, acting like everything is OK while ignoring his wife’s messages to the contrary);
~They now make a conscious effort to prioritize the relationship even though both have high-pressure jobs at a local hospital.

Why did it take a relationship crisis of epic proportions for Jennifer and Michael to make the changes needed to rebuild their relationship?

Unfortunately, for too many couples it’s the panic and desperation that comes with the possibility of losing everything they’ve worked for that finally leads to lasting, meaningful change.

Relationship Help: Does Size Really Matter?

What’s interesting to note is that Michael and Jennifer didn’t have to actually change that much in order to create a relationship that’s more stable and fulfilling—in fact, often smaller is better. Smaller changes are more realistic, and are more likely to lead to success and follow-through.

What can we learn from Jennifer and Michael?

Complacency is the enemy of many marriages and long-term relationships—allowing your relationship to idle for too long has caused too many to live parallel lives while living under the same roof. And small changes can make a big difference in the long run.

Will you be ruled by relationship complacency, failing to make the small changes needed to strengthen your marriage/relationship? Or will you celebrate the positive aspects of your relationship every day by paying close attention and allowing those small changes to solidify your bond?

Do you require a relationship crisis to cause havoc in your and your partner’s life before making the sustained effort needed for a stronger union? Or will you make the decision to be proactive and to strengthen your relationship before you ever reach a breaking point?

Until next time,

Dr. Rich Nicastro

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