By Shon Mack | UAB Community Health and Human Services Intern
I’m sure everyone has heard of the typical fairytale ending for relationships…..you know, boy meets girl, they fall in love, and live happily ever after. Sound familiar? If you’re like me, I used to that this was the ultimate accomplishment, but in reality, it doesn’t always end this way. In fact, I find it hard to believe that anything remotely close to that can occur in this day and age. Speaking from experience as an African American woman who’s been in quite a few relationships, it is common for both men and women to miscommunicate their true intentions at the start of a relationship. This can result in a major turmoil, confusion, and resentment between both parties.
But why has this become the norm? Why has it become easy for couples to split instead of staying together and working it out? Why is it so easy for me to see a future without husband? After all, I am an attractive woman, with a great job, a good head on my shoulders, with a solid spiritual foundation. So what is the problem? A few common reasons why couples are splitting in modern society involve them growing apart, constant arguments, unfaithfulness, lack of respect, different interests, money problems, domestic violence, drinking/drugs/gambling, etc.(Sussex Publishers, 2022).
In some cases, it feels like when we point a finger, there are three pointing back at us. This challenges me to think that maybe we should look more deeply into ourselves to identify any problems that could potentially sabotage future relationships. But, personally, it doesn’t make sense… I’m 45 years old, and I feel that should have some type of introspection over my life, right? I think so. I believe that I have done my dirt and I need to make amends, but sometimes taking ownership is so hard. So what advice could I give to myself and others struggling to maintain healthy and loving relationships?
• Respect and Honesty goes a long way. Make sure that you are always honest about your true intentions before entering a relationship.
• Let go of your pride and ego. No one is perfect. Be open to learning from each other’s mistakes.
• Practice effective communication. Learn the difference between “hearing” your partner and “listening” to your partner, and be mindful of how your response can make your partner feel.
• Forgive. Always be open to forgive your partner, not just for them, but for yourself as well.
Now that I’m older and wiser, I understand the importance of these things. As I stated before, no one is perfect (including me), but with these 4 tips, relationships are destined to thrive in today’s modern society.
Sussex Publishers. (n.d.). The top 12 reasons why couples break up. Psychology Today. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/social-instincts/202211/the-top-12-reasons-why-couples-break