I believe that there are three common relationship-killing mistakes we can easily avoid. Relationships are killed by broken promises, unresolved conflict, and complacency.
We can take corrective and proactive measures to avoid relationship killing mistakes.
Relationships are killed by broken promises.
Broken promises kill relationships.
Promises can be implicitly stated or implied.
We make implicit promises to our employers. We will show up and provide quality work in return for a paycheck. If we complete certain goals, we will receive raises or promotions.
But sometimes those promises are broken by our employers. Not only are we not getting a raise or promotion, but instead, we are being laid off.
Our families communicated an implied promise to us. That they would provide, protect, and love us. Some parents kept that promise. But some did not. We can find ourselves abandoned or disinherited due to an unfulfilled implied promise.
Couples make a promise to love, honor, and obey. To stay together in sickness and health. But the rate of divorce would indicate that that is not always true.
Whether a person intended on day one to break these promises, or it was truly unintentional, our relationships are still damaged. And we find ourselves struggling to trust promises made to us by others. It can impact every relationship.
Promises kept are the lubricant that keeps relationships moving.
Broken promises can contribute to relationship killing.
Relationships are killed by unresolved conflict.
Unresolved conflicts kills relationships.
Conflict is inevitable. Even the best of friends can disagree.
I watched two coworkers argue for months. They sniped at each other daily. Their contempt for each other was obvious. Finally, one day they had a knock-down, drag-out emotional, name-calling fight in front of everyone. It was over. They never revisited the conflict.
Unresolved conflict at work impacts productivity that could often be avoided by listening well to the other party.
Unresolved conflict in families begins by tolerating the offending party, escalating to outward division, and finally separating. Lots of innocent parties suffer because two relatives can not get along.
Unresolved conflict can destroy romantic relationships. Relationships with in-laws and relatives can be fraught with peril.
Unresolved conflict contribute to relationship killing.
Relationships are killed by complacency.
Complacency can cause us to become so comfortable at work that we become ineffective, and deadweight tossed away.
Complacency can cause us not to realize what we have. We can build careers to provide for a family that we never see. Kids grow up and move away.
Taking love for granted in a romantic relationship is the quickest way to lose it.
Complacency is a factor in relationship killing.
Strategies to repair and avoid relationship killing mistakes.
Here are some strategies to address each relationship killer.
Here are some suggestions to consider in this area of life.
We need to be careful that we don’t promise what we can’t deliver. We can’t expect others to keep their promises if we don’t fulfill our commitments.
Sometimes, we are the ones who broke the promise. If it is within our control, we need to make good on our word.
We need to allow time for others to consider before committing to an action. And we need to apply that same standard to ourselves as well.
We can’t make other people keep their promises. But we can control the promises we make.
Don’t take promises made to your significant other lightly. You need to be able to count on each other in the small things to be confident in the biggest struggles of life.
How do we resolve conflict with others?
Conflict is often evidence of a failure to communicate. Listening to others is hard but necessary.
We need to learn to fight fair.
Schedule a time to talk about issues at work.
Avoid going to bed while mad at your significant other, if at all possible. My wife and I stayed up late working through issues in the first year of our marriage. Often sleepy but at peace. It was worth it.
How are some suggestions to avoid complacency in our relationships.
Value your opportunity while it is available. It may never come again. Your health is not guaranteed.
Cherish your time together with friends and family.
“There’s only one thing more precious than our time, and that’s who we spend it on. Leo Christopher.
Time is a limited commodity. None of us know anyone’s expiration date in advance.
“The trouble is, you think you have time. Jack Kornfield
Check out the Death Clock, one of the most interesting websites on the internet. Here is their description of their website.
- Welcome to the Death Clock(TM), the Internet’s friendly reminder that life is slipping away… second by second. Like the hourglass of the Net, the Death Clock will remind you just how short life is. Check it out and see how much time you have left.
Where are you investing your time? Are you investing resources in the relationships that matter to you?
The key is in not spending time, but in investing it. – Stephen R. Covey.
Call to Action
I would encourage you to join me in taking steps to address any relationship killing mistakes.
Next week we will continue this 3 part series with “How to build and strengthen your relationships.”