⌛ Why Open Relationships Fail

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Why Open Relationships Fail

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Couple in Open Relationship Secretly Share Their Story

In fact, according to recent data from the American Psychological Association , as many as 50 percent of marriages in the United States eventually end in divorce. But how can you tell whether your relationship will survive? Well, there are surefire predictive tells like your bedroom habits, the way you argue, and how often you communicate. Even the way you carry your day-to-day conversations can shed light on your relationship's longevity. Keep reading to discover some of the most common reasons why relationships fall apart.

In his research published in the journal Psychological Assessment , Keith Sanford , PhD, a psychology professor at Baylor University, found that partners who admitted that they withdrew often during arguments reported being unhappier and more apathetic about the relationship overall. When Virgil wrote that "love conquers all," he had clearly never been in a serious relationship.

Yes, love can overcome many things, but if there's one thing that it can't overcome, it's not being on the same page. At the end of the day, you and your partner need to be clear about fundamental decisions like where to live, when and if to have kids, and how to save and spend money—otherwise, the relationship will fall apart. According to Lesli Doares , a certified relationship coach in Cary, North Carolina, "67 percent of disagreements in a relationship never get resolved and they don't need to, but the other 33 percent, if not resolved, can lead to the end of the relationship.

Your partner is likely doing the best they can—but like any human, they're going to mess up and make mistakes sometimes. And while a supportive spouse handles these slip-ups like an adult, an unsupportive one will treat their partner like they should be perfect percent of the time, leading to frustration on both ends. Many people will avoid conflict and pretend that issues in their relationship don't exist simply because they live in fear of being alone. However, this strategy backfires, as all conflicts will rear their ugly heads eventually—and by then, it's usually too late to solve them. At the beginning of a relationship, couples tend to be honest and open about their feelings and emotions. But as things progress, many people doom their relationships by assuming that their significant other can—and should be able to— read their body language and just know what's on their mind.

The worse things are in your own relationship, the better everyone else's is going to look. But by comparing yourself, you are only going to feel worse. You're ultimately sabotaging whatever of your relationship there is left to salvage. The grass is greener where you water it and no relationship is as flawless as it looks on Instagram. Compromising isn't just about letting your spouse choose which restaurant you go to every once in a while. In a healthy, committed relationship, to compromise is to make "the conscious choice to accept each other for exactly who you are ," writes Laura Schlessinger , a relationship expert and the host of the Sirius XM radio show The Dr. Laura Program. Have you ever found yourself crying in a fit of rage while your partner hasn't so much as shed a tear?

This may be a sign that your relationship is on the rocks. A couple's meta-emotions—that is, how they feel about emotion—need to be on the same page. As marriage researcher John Gottman , PhD, discovered, meta-emotion mismatches were 80 percent accurate in predicting divorce. Basically, it's not about the conflict itself—it's about handling it in a complementary way to how your partner handles it. Having contempt for your partner is one of the four behaviors that Gottman says is a telltale indicator of an impending divorce.

In his research, he polled couples on how often they behaved with contempt, criticism, defensiveness, and stonewalling. Then, he measured perceived relationship satisfaction and found that the behaviors were over 90 percent successful in predicting divorce. According to Gottman, seeing your partner as inferior in particular is the "kiss of death" for any relationship. And this makes sense, given that another study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family found that couples who showed contempt for each other within their first year of marriage were more likely to divorce before their 16th wedding anniversary.

Feel like things are past the point of no return? In a study published in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science, researchers determined that the people you love most are also the people you're most likely to take your anger out on , given that you interact with them more than anyone. But unfortunately, what they also found is that "aggression is harmful to individuals and to relationships," meaning that the more you hurt the people you love , the more you risk pushing them away.

It's hard to focus on the present when you're busy living in the past. And this is especially true in a romantic relationship , as your complete and undivided emotional and physical presence are required in order to make things work. If you want your current relationship to last, leave the past in the past and let go of the things that are holding you back. Trust is not an easy thing to build with someone especially if you've been betrayed in the past , but you should have faith in the person with whom you intend to spend the rest of your life. Should you build a partnership on a foundation of mistrust, you risk lacking both physical and emotional intimacy.

Plus, you can almost guarantee that eventually your partner will get fed up and walk away. If you love a good nightcap before heading to bed, then you should be sure that your life partner enjoys one as well. One study from the University of Buffalo found that around 50 percent of married couples with differing alcohol habits got divorced before they hit the year mark.

On the other hand, partners who had similar drinking habits—whether they indulged, abstained, or consumed alcohol moderately—only had a divorce rate of about 30 percent. Secrets are no fun, especially in a long-term relationship. And what's even worse is lying about them, like when "your partner keeps secrets from you and blames you when you call them out on their secrecy," says Terry Gaspard , MSW, LICSW, a relationship expert and therapist in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

If you notice your partner lying to your face and then holding you responsible for their loathsome actions, it might be time to sit down with them and address the problem directly before things escalate further. Every couple fights, but healthy ones end them with both parties apologizing and taking partial blame for what has transpired. But in a relationship that's reaching its breaking point, you might find that either you or your partner refuse to accept any of the blame, with one of you painting themselves entirely as the victim. A healthy and happy relationship should revolve around how each person is feeling.

However, partners in unstable relationships often find themselves fighting with their significant other, with little to no regard for how the other person feels. A couple will never understand each other when there is a lack of reverence in the relationship. And if one partner has a blatant disrespect for the other's life choices, neither partner will ever feel comfortable talking about their day, let alone their feelings or beliefs. Such behaviors give an adrenaline rush to the individual with ADHD, but they may lead to serious consequences, such as divorce, fights at school, or being fired from a job. This game is not planned. The individual with ADHD senses vulnerability in others and works on them until something gives.

When I teach parents, siblings, and spouses to become less reactive, the individual with ADHD may step up the bad behavior. It seems that the they go through withdrawal as others become more tolerant. When he can no longer get the adrenaline-anger rush, he goes after it full force. Relationships require tact. This may be the most dangerous ADHD game of all. Here, the person with ADHD reasons that he or she is not responsible for the problems in his or her life. People who play this game do not perform properly at school, on the job, or at home because of the lousy boss, the ineffective teacher, or the mean brother or sister.

Playing this game too much can ruin a life. When you blame someone else for your problems, you become a victim of that other person, and you give up the power to change anything. Opposition seems to increase adrenaline in the ADHD brain. Some people with ADHD are argumentative and oppositional with all the people in their lives. People who play this game take the opposite position of the other person in the conversation, whether they believe the opposite or not. The need to oppose seems more important than the truth. Many people with ADHD are experts at finding negative thoughts and focusing on them for long periods of time. They need the negativity to generate the mental energy to get work done.

If 10 good things and one bad thing happen, this person focuses on the bad thing. Brain imaging specialist Mark S. George, M. Whenever someone has a complaint or criticism, the player of this game takes on the complaint as his own. Many couples have described this fascinating game: There is an intense fight, then a period of making up, which includes making love.

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