By Robert K James
“Love is something that we wait for imagining our first kiss, our first I love you, our first time to consummate the relationship but we never imagine our first heart break,” a line I borrow from my first book entitled ‘Tales of Love and Relationships’ that will soon be hitting the market.
Breakups are very common today in not just starting relationships but also marriages that have seen the light of day for years, may be even a decade and beyond. Oftentimes, when we talk about breakups and their causes, many think about the cheating of a partner, breached trust among many other reasons that could spark off a very bitter quarrel between a couple.
However, according to Bahati Hilda, a relationship coach, “a relationship can die without a single slammed door, cheating, fighting or raised voice. Even when there is no cheating, no screaming, no irreconcilable differences, relationships can end. It happens slowly, subtly and silently. Distance left unaddressed is a leading cause of separation.”
The relationship or marriage begins to die out slowly like a green plant at the start of what is going to be a long dry season. Emotional distancing is what kills most relationships yet this can be very hard to recognize in a couple especially amongst themselves. However, the warning signs may include; the absence of affection, humor, curiosity, excitement and empathy in daily interactions.
“If you have a huge fight with your partner, it would be strange for both of you not to notice. Those conflicts are usually addressed. It is much more difficult, however, to recognize that the two of you have been holding hands less frequently or having fewer interesting conversations,” Bahati adds before giving an example to further back her opinion.
“Your partner asks you a question when you’re in the middle of something. You let him know now isn’t a good time and you both move on with the day, leaving no one hurt or offended. But when attempts at connection are pushed away over and over again, people naturally reach out less and less… eventually stop altogether.”
Such a life under which many couples live without recognition is what causes the breakup of many relationships today. Emotional availability and connection is very important for a relationship to thrive. Kissing your partner goodbye or good night, complementing their smartness among many other small things they do is part of such connection. Attending to their small concerns or curiosities and being reliable as friend to your spouse is the other way of keeping that emotional connection.