Last weekend, as I had my regular girls' night out with a couple of friends, I discovered that often, we pollute our relationships through our behaviour and the methods we use to get what we want. I'm sure we can all agree that no relationship is perfect, and all relationships need maintenance so they can stay healthy and on the right track. But how far is too far?
Relationship specialist and sexologist Sidney McGill shared with Flair that though most times our objective in relationships is to become one with our partners, ego and self-defensiveness may get in the way. He also highlighted that it is human nature to look out for oneself - thinking solely of the things you deem important, emphasising that while you might have a lot in common with your partner, you two are still two individual human beings with your own personal goals, passions, and desires.
"Even in loving relationships, conflicts will arise because of the difference in personality and wanting to fulfill one's needs over the other, but the relationship will not survive if you do not observe yourself and become consciously passionate. You have to be patient and be willing to give emotional support at all times," McGill said.
With a number of polluters floating around in relationships, we decided to have our readers share some common ways in which they have damaged their relationships and how they cleaned things up.
Laziness is never a friend of relationship. It was only natural that my boyfriend and I became comfortable as our relationship matured. The more time we spent together, the less concerned we became with staying on our toes and impressing one another because we trusted that we both loved each other. We hung out in the comfort zone for so long that we no longer found ways to excite each other in and outside of the bedroom. After I realised we were drifting apart, I got up and got active. I found ways to spice up our sex life and visited new places.
- G. B., female, six years
Arguments were not a problem for my wife and I, but it was how we argued. We had often handled arguments in a negative manner, and before we knew it, what was supposed to be a constructive and learning experience ended up being a fight of me versus her, with the goal to win and be right, rather than to work together in finding a compromise. I also realised that in order to get what she wanted, she would sabotage our sexual relations. This only created more problems in the relationship. When it became consistent, I spoke and motivated her to let us have a productive conversation that would attack the problem and not each other.
- D.W,. male, five years marriage, 10 years relationship
Money was never an issue for me as I was raised to budget and to manage my money wisely. On the other hand, my boyfriend whom I had lived with for two years, was mean and a bit irresponsible with money. When we would get our pay at the end of the month, he would spend it on parties and travelling around the island for different reasons, forgetting our bills and other expenses. After I became tired with the issue, I started to neglect him
sexually and emotionally. This created bigger problems and caused us to argue and argue until the problem was understood. With a discussion on the source of the problems, he tried and his money management improved.
- Y.R., female, three years
Denial is a polluter that caused the love of my life and I to break up. We had a lot of problems and obstacles in our relationship and we failed to identify and talk about them. I think we thought sweeping it under the rug would solve them, but they festered and created bigger issues. When they became unbearable, we had a big argument that resulted in bad things being said that could not be taken back. She left me, and now I know to do better in my future relationships.
- J.W., male, four years