“To love a human being is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks.” – Rainer Maria Rilke
Note: There are relationship problems, and then there are relationship ending problems. For example, a partner who occasionally forgets something important belongs in the former group. A partner who possesses a destructive habit, or is verbally/physically abusive – the latter group. For obvious reasons, the latter group is excluded in this article.
As an interdependent species, we survive via our predisposition for intimate relationships. Hopefully, in the right scenario, a romantic relationship will – at some point – transition from mere survival mode to one that creates times of exuberant joy.
There’s just one catch: this “surviving to thriving” transformation is hard work.
Linda and Charlie Bloom are both husband and wife of 45 years and experts in the field of relationships. Both are licensed social workers and have presented at multiple venues; from colleges and universities to small conferences and syndicated TV programs.
And they both had this to say about relationships and happiness:
“(Perhaps) it’s less important that you know exactly why relationships are often harder than you think they should be, than it is to know you’re not alone. If this is your experience; in fact, you’re in good company,” “(You’ve) been told that you get what you’re willing to pay for, and there’s no doubt that it’s going to cost something to pay the dues that great relationships require. Whether or not you make that choice is up to you.”
Here are 10 reasons why staying in a relationship may be your best choice:
1. Having a partner eases the turbulence in life
Life can be an arduous journey – and one that’s often easier to navigate with a partner. While your other half may not always have the solution to your problem, they can play an irreplaceable role in finding the answer.
2. Someone who “knows” you is a rare thing
The fact that your love “connects” with you on an internal/spiritual level is a beautiful thing. How many people can you honestly say, with conviction, “knows” your inner being? If you’re in a healthy and loving relationship, odds are that your partner does.
3. Life brings added enjoy when you share it with someone
Notwithstanding the occasional hermit, most of us are excited to share our life with others to some extent. There’s nothing wrong with being introverted and shy (I fill this description), but there is something wondrous in navigating life’s path with the person you love (which I do, as well).
4. Random acts of love are beautiful
Spontaneous acts of love from family and friends is a time of joy. A random act of love from your partner is beautiful. The “little things” take on a whole new meaning with your mate.
5. Four hands are better than two
As in, you can be more productive with a partner. Obviously, such circumstances require they carry their weight; in such a case, they’ll also help motivate and comfort you through various obstacles.
6. You are a better person
Love has a profound way of making you want to be a better person. In the movie As Good As It Gets, Jack Nicholson plays an obsessive-compulsive who manages to repel everyone with his misanthropy. In one moving scene, Nicholson can’t quite bring himself to compliment his date (actress Helen Hunt). Finally, after a long pause, Nicholson casually states “You make me want to be a better man.” Though a fictional example, it aptly helps explain the power of love.
7. Opportunities abound
Provided that a couple is responsible and in-tune with each other, a partnership can create more fun, money, and opportunity. It helps to have a partner who willingly “pitches in” and continues down the road of self-improvement.
8. You’re a healthier person
In a study conducted at University College London, researchers state: “Generally speaking, people who are in stable marriages have better (mental and physical) health compared to those who have never been married.” The conclusion reads: “(It’s) not so much about being legally married as the benefits of being in a stable, long-term relationship.”
9. Emotions are created that wouldn’t be
“Duh, of course romantic relationships create new emotions,” you may be thinking. Okay, fair enough. It is worth reiterating, however, the personal emotions experienced when we’re in love. We’re more compassionate, happier, and hopeful people when in a stable relationship.
10. “Reversing the course” may be easier than thought
Okay, “reversing the course” isn’t possible all the time (this writer’s divorce was on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, after all.) But if you have a partner who’s at least somewhat open to self-improvement or seeking help, your relationship at least has a chance. More often than not, resentfulness and stubbornness are the two culprits negatively affecting your relationship – either are solvable if there’s mutuality.