Developing and Sustaining Relationships…Part II

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In the previous article I had discussed the factors which bind a relationship, in this part I will bring out some issues which may hinder healthy growth of any relationship. If love, trust, respect and space help in binding a relation together than what are likely threats to it. An understanding of the causes leading to breakups, may help in taking precautionary measures, if one wishes to take.

In my view, one of the main reason which adversely affects relationship is the ownership right or in simple words a tendency to control a person emotionally and physically. No sooner we get into a relationship; marriage or friendship, we have a tendency to exercise our ownership rights, we don’t feel comfortable to see our partner with somebody else. He or she is not expected to enjoy (in most cases) same relationship with other people, which they enjoyed before marriage or before getting into friendship. There is an evident dislike towards any person who is trying to get closer or just wanting to be friendly with my friend. This dislike, more often than not is a result of fear of losing control and may be due to lack of confidence in one self as also in the friend / relation (husband / wife). This behaviour can be seen even in so called short term friendships, one may develop in a social networking sites by virtue of being part of same group or having common interests. This tendency to exercise control on another person gives rise to the emotion of hatred, anger which will definitely be harmful for any relationship. 

Opposite to the habit of exercising control is the tendency of one partner to be totally dependent on the other specially in the area of decision making. Total dependency on making decisions concerning one’s life, may at times, lead to ruining of a relationship. Tendency to exercise control or being dependent on someone else for decision making is very evident in Indian households, where usually the father (in some cases the mother), exercises total control. I have come across many married ladies and children who have given up their hobbies like dancing, singing, just because the husband or the parents do not like it. 

The tendency to call a partner (husband or wife or friend) as ‘mine’ to show the authority was always there and is still going strong. More often than not boys and even girls now can be seen stamping their authority on their friend by calling him or her as ‘only mine’. Same holds true for some husbands, who after marriage think they have owned yet another property. Yes, he or she is yours, your relation or friend, but certainly not your property. In any relationship, all partners have same rights, all are equal. No one is, or should be treated as subservient, if the relation has to be long lasting. Everyone has a mind of their own, consultations and discussions can be there to come to a decision, but one individual’s decision cannot be forced on other partner(s). 

Why should a lady become just a surname after marriage? How can she be expected to give up the identity she has lived with, till she got married? She should always retain her identity as an individual, as a human. This feeling of ownership further leads to encroachment, that is not leaving any free space to each other. Wanting to know everything happening in spouses or friends life; both professional and personal. Snooping in your partner’s (even your children’s) mobile and other gadgets to find out with whom he / she has been talking, is not love, it is pure jealousy or over possessiveness which has a potential to kill any relationship. These encroachments are best avoided. 

Expectations that one of the partners has to change him or herself to make the relationship sustaining, is actually damaging. Relationships are not about changing yourself as per convenience but it is about respecting and loving the person the way he / she is. Relationships are about complementing each other. Complementarity helps in growth of a relation, If one is looking to filling the voids in life through a relationship, then it may become counterproductive. 

Conflicts, due to differences of opinion are bound to happen, but these should not put a relationship in danger of a breakup. Handling the differences in a mature manner, understanding the other persons view point and may be finding a middle path, if need be, to resolve the differences is what is important to make any relation strong. Differences of opinions are to be respected and in no way should lead to loss of respect. 

Mis-communications and lack of communication (or complete breakdown) can lead to major problems, even ending in divorce; separation, suicides. Communication is not just verbal but reflected by actions and emotions as well. You may not talk but yet convey the right vibes by your actions and emotions. 

The ill effects of breach of trust, lack of respect for each other’s habits, views, hobbies, friends and relations, is well understood by everyone and needs no elaboration. 

Separation (in any relation), how so ever compelling may be the reason, and whatever deliberations partners have gone through, before taking the final call, will still cause pain. The two partners and their relatives / friends should try and make the separation process as smooth as possible, with minimum scope for dirty issues rising again and causing heart aches. Smoother the separation process, easier it is for the wounds, if any, to heal as also the chances of recurring pains due to bad memoirs are also lesser. 

It has to be understood that relationship is between two humans or two souls and not between two appointments or father – son, teacher- student etc. Two humans only meet each other because of a particular relation or appointments in office or schools etc but the relation can only further evolve based on the human (e) behaviour of the two individuals. Without human factor no relationship can survive. A strong relation is built around the bond established by love, respect and trust and is very difficult to break. The following quote of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, American author, aviator and author of the popular inspirational book “Gift from the Sea” sums up the essence of a relationship: –

“The only real security (in relationship) is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not even in hoping. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what it was, nor forward to what it might it be, but living in the present and accepting it as it is now”



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