I had a great date last night with a pretty amazing man. As I sipped a glass of Riesling and he enjoyed a Presidente — the beer of choice for my people (Dominicans) — I wondered how he hadn't found "the one." He is educated, attractive, confident, and ambitious. He has his life together, wrapped up in a pretty box with a red bow on top. But things aren't always what they seem. My date admitted to a divorce. I didn't want to pry but I wondered why his marriage didn't work. Turns out, it was one of these common relationship killers:
1. You fall out of love. This was the culprit in my date's marriage. They stopped growing together and eventually loving each other. When you don't even recognize your partner, or feel that "in love" feeling, your relationship is in trouble.
2. You (or he) cheats. Cheating destroys trust. And a marriage without trust has one foot in the grave. A lot of us have been through it; I have been cheated on once. Though we tried to fix what was broken, my relationship was not the same. The way that I looked at him would never be the same. It's not impossible to overcome infidelity, but it can ruin a union.
3. You're living like roomies. There was a guy that I liked who had a girlfriend. Terrible, I know! I was young and foolish. It also didn't help that he assured me the relationship was over. They lived together but they were "like roomies" (ie. they were no longer intimate). Not good for a relationship! Sex may not be everything, but when you stop desiring your partner, or vice versa, it's the kiss of death.
4. That first big lie. We all lie. I tell a friend she doesn't look like she's gained weight. A man tells his wife that he loves her haircut. Those are small lies to protect another's feelings. As I say, I lie for good, not evil. Big lies, however, crush relationships. Whether you tell your love that you "are fine," when you are miserable, that you love them when you don't, lying becomes a routine. It becomes too easy. And that's when your relationship is in jeopardy.
5. You don't believe in your mate. As women, we often like to control things. Nurturers by nature, we see something wrong in our relationship and want to fix it. This can be demoralizing for men. Analyzing every detail and his mistakes and questioning his ability to lead will kill his ego. When you doubt your mate, you are tearing apart that pretty box and, ultimately, your relationship.