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Cornell Student Articles on Topical Affairs

Communication breakdown in relationships are the leading cause of divorce

Relationships are the epitome of what it means to be human – forging and maintaining connection with those around us is what keeps us grounded and centred. This goes for all kind of relationships – the ones with family, the ones with friends, and the ones with partners. There are countless books, programs, websites, and courses all devoted to teaching individuals the keys to grasping (and keeping hold) of their partner – and their happiness. But what none of these books or programs happens to mention is that all the content in their how-to guide is common sense mixed with a little intuition. It is human nature – and the nature of love, for that matter – to become exposed to fragility when one falls in love.

Like most things in life, there will always be hurdles to jump and bumps in the road, but relationships can not only enhance happiness in day to day life, but they can completely magnify quality of life. Relationships are hard – nothing worth having comes easily. Some people might find themselves caught up in a verbally abusive relationship that gradually progressed into one filled with domestic violence and ending with expensive lawyers that specializes in family law. But the right relationship, with the right person, is entirely worth all the cracks that may form along the way – after all, the most ancient cities in the world are riddled with cracks, but that only enhances their exceptional beauty. Cracks do not have to cause the foundation to come apart, but rather they can set the foundation apart from all others…cracks can strengthen it.

There are so many unbelievably exciting moments in any relationship. Those first dates where the honeymoon phase is in full swing are the moments where two people get to connect and learn all the things about their potential partner that make them who they are. When they hang out with one another’s friends for the first time, they get the chance to learn who their new partner is when they are with the people that they trust the most. And then the pivotal moment when they meet their partner’s family, and all the little intricacies about them suddenly make sense. Going away on weekends and long vacations and seeing the world together changes both people – in the best way. Moving into the first apartment or home and merging not only the concept of life together, but the material possessions that each person treasures. And then the most sparkling, life changing moment in the relationship eventually comes…when one goes shopping for rings and decides that this person, this person that was once a total stranger to them, is the one that they want to spend the rest of their life with. All these moments in any relationship are special (not to mention the little, specific moments that are unique to that specific relationship), but they do not come without their challenges.

There will always be fights, there will always be differences of opinion. Relationships work when the two people in them work for each other…regardless of if the two bond because of everything that they have in common, or if they bring out the best in one another because they are complete opposites. The challenges can sometimes feel like the weight of the world on small, fragile shoulders, but the good news is that there is a solution for every problem – even if that problem starts out feeling more complicated than is possible to manage. There is so much advice on how to handle these inevitable issues, and not all of it comes from the best sources. In all honestly, yes, there are many experts that claim to have guides and programs on how to maintain a happy relationship, but the reality is nobody needs these guides to be happy in their relationships. Genuinely happy couples invest time in keeping their relationship alive, even when it feels like it is hard. Being with the right person should make all the hurdles feel inconsequential, because no matter what, at the end of the day the perfect person will weather the storms with you, not run for shelter and leave you out in the cold.

When unease occurs in relationships, taking a step back from conflicts is one of the most valuable and beneficial things that one can do. In saying this, it is also important to know when to confront conflict head on – knowing when to pick your battles is one of the most fundamentally rewarding things that you can do. Not only for yourself – but for your relationship. Talking about the things that make us thrive is great, but there is something to be said about discussing the things that make us unbalanced too – because there is nothing better than coming home from a horrible day at work and having someone to lay with and just be close to. The key to happiness in relationships? Finding someone that makes your happy place even happier (cheesy, but true). There is nothing in the world like being in love with your best friend, nothing like laughing every single day with and at each other – but even our best friends can drive us a little crazy at times. That is why taking the time to focus and connect with each other is vital to maintaining the happy bubble.

Forging meaningful relationships is the cornerstone of what it means to be happy. The relationships that individuals have with not only their family and friends, but their partner, can make all the difference in overall quality of life. There are multiple things to consider when working through a relationship – from keeping communication open and honest during rough periods, going out of one’s way to be spending quality time with one another, and making the extra effort to show how important one’s partner is to them. There is no feeling in all the world like being in love – it will shake you, it will challenge you, and it will change you…in all the right ways. It will undoubtedly be the single best decision you could ever make.

 

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