Ask any couple who has been married, for a length of time, and they can attest to the fact that marriage takes work. Building a successful business also takes work. If you want the best of both worlds, it’s important to respect each area of your life and identify the warning signs that precede a failed marriage before irresolvable challenges arise.
The signs are always subtle at first. We are so involved and invested in our businesses and relationships that we often fail to see when trouble arises. Sam Nabil, the founder of Naya Clinics, recognizes the effort that goes into maintaining a relationship but believes every marriage has the potential to be everlasting. The only hurdle comes from a couples’ commitment and readiness to put in the effort to make their relationship work.
Over the years, he has discovered three common warning signs that indicate a happy couple may soon be on the brink of collapse.
Different ideas of what a relationship means
“It’s funny, but many people carry delusions of what their relationship truly looks like,” says Nabil. To one party, the relationship might be completely fine, but to another, they may view their relationship as oppressive, for example. This is one of the reasons why couples struggle to find solutions, such as seeking online therapy, “when one party thinks everything is fine, how do you convince them it’s not?”
Other examples include one party believing they are a team, whereas the other person believes they are the leader or follower. Defining your relationship is a critical step in creating a stronger marriage.
Undefined expectations that often lead to unhappiness
Some people believe a fully committed relationship means they don’t talk about their problems because they want to spare the other person of stress or concern.
If you find that you and your partner having differing views on your relationship, it could be a source of perceived unhappiness due to a lack of fulfilled expectations.
Nabil explains that one’s spouse might feel neglected or left out when the other refuses to talk about the problems they are facing while building a company. However, the spouse withholding the information may believe they are shouldering the burden for the collective good. Aligning ideas and expectations are important in a relationship, and it’s one of the more common problems married couples face.
Unable to communicate freely with one another
Have you wanted to say something to your partner, but couldn’t because you’re afraid of how they may react? It’s potentially a sign of a toxic relationship or, at a minimum, a breakdown in communication.
Good communication is the crux of any relationship, business, or personal. Communication and conflict resolution flow naturally when two people are open to learning about themselves and each other. This means that it is more important to learn from the situation than it is to be right. It is impossible to communicate effectively when a couple is not open to learning.
When you’re in a happy relationship, you shouldn’t be afraid to say what’s on your mind in fear of the outcome. You should feel safe communicating without fear of repercussion or emotional abandonment. That being said, “knowing how to say certain things is a learned skill. Being honest doesn’t equal being harsh,” Nabil adds.
Take the first step
If you find that any of the above-mentioned scenarios crop up more often than you’d like, take the first step and acknowledge that your marriage needs help. Admit that things aren’t perfect as you’d like to believe, but that’s okay because when you accept outside help from couple counselors, like Naya Clinics, your relationship can soon be on the road to recovery.
Craig Lebrau is the CMO of Media Insider, a Wyoming-based PR company that aims to disrupt the way companies communicate their brand in the digital era.
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