I called up a friend recently and we got talking. It would be her 10th wedding anniversary soon and I couldn’t help but ask her what’s been the secret to her happy healthy home. She had a lot to say but eventually she narrowed it down to good friendship, trust and God.
Now these elements in themselves are vast and could be a topic of discussion on their own but really what determines whether a relationship will work out or not? Is it how much we first loved each other? Or how well we are able to understand each other? Is it how much we are able to communicate? Or how effective and timely our communications are? Is it how much of the good, bad and ugly we know about each other and we are still able to work out our differences? Or how seemingly perfect we are in each other’s eyes?
I think it’s a little bit of all these elements without which we wouldn’t even have given each other a chance, talk more of having a relationship.
While the list is endless, some of us shy away from facing the salient bits that affects our relationships. You can find some of my reservations in Things I wish I knew before marriage. And it’s not just before marriage really; we grow to know each other every day. Any gap in communication or closeness could be detrimental to the relationship we tried so hard to build.
So below are a few topics people should discuss in the beginning or during a relationship but they often don’t until it hits them suddenly that they didn’t know their partner at all.
Is Being Faithful Hard?
This is one topic nobody wants to talk about. Even when I put it lightly in one of my previous post, no one still commented. I wondered why. Are we all just avoiding the topic or are we playing holier than thou?
If being faithful is easy, then why do so many people cheat? Have you asked your partner if they’ve always been faithful or their thoughts on cheating? Many people limit their definition of cheating to physical encounters. I’m sure you know those things you ought not to do but find yourself doing that you can’t share with your partner. Those too count as cheating.
Is arguing a natural part of every relationship?
I don’t like to prescribe definitive answers to emotional or subjective subjects. I’ve been in relationships where we never argued and I’ve been in relationships where we argued all the time. However, neither relationship was relatively better than the other. Sometimes the relationship I was in where we never argued might have benefited from us putting facts on the table, even if they made us uncomfortable. Conversely, in the relationship where we always argued, there were times when we would make petty arguments into grand stands, because we were trying to gain ground based on an important argument we avoided before. Attaining a balance is best, but biting your tongue to maintain peace is often no better than getting everything out of your system sooner rather than later.
Is your significant other allowed into your personal space?
Do you have access to your significant other’s social media accounts? Do they have access to yours? Why or why not?
As they say, if you go looking for trouble, you’re bound to find it. In my opinion, you shouldn’t need my passwords because there shouldn’t be anything you ever need to verify. If that were the case, then we shouldn’t be together. A lot of people do this in their relationships and quite frankly, if you’re not ready and well processed for the possibilities that abound, I don’t think you should go digging up things you either can’t handle or needing as evidence to nail your partner. You should be able to ask your spouse any question and expect that they will answer you honestly, that again depends on if you can handle the truth. If after then, you don’t trust their response, then in my opinion that is the real issue. Trust.
We are first individuals before we are couple. I don’t think anyone needs to take that first right away from the other because you want to feel connected to them. Period!
Is your religion and ideals compatible with your spouse’s?
When you tread carefully with your spouse, it should be out of respect and love and not out of fear. Religion, on its own, is a very sensitive topic to get into and more importantly because of this, you need to know your spouse’s stand on religion, beliefs and ideals before you venture into a relationship. You don’t want to get into it and then realize half way that your family will eventually be divided because your love doesn’t conquer your religious backgrounds and beliefs.
Like I said, the list is not intended to be exhaustive but the message is simple. Whatever you have ever thought of that is needing of attention and communication for clarity between you and your spouse, then it shouldn’t be swept under the rug. There is a time for everything. Find the perfect time to make yourself heard and learn more about each other that will be helpful to your relationship on the long hurdle.