I Asked Andy, ‘Have You Ever Thought of Giving up on Our Relationship?’
Here I am, it’s a cold November London afternoon, I’m sitting under a blanket, enjoying my glass of bubbly, gathering my inner courage to ask my husband a tingling question, I hesitated as the fear and uncertainty started to creep in… I decided to go for it before I let my fear get the better of me, “Have you ever thought of giving up on our relationship?”. By that time, my husband and I had been together for 3.5 years and been recently married for 3 months. I think his answer would be no, but you never know. I was ready to take whatever answer comes from him.
That is just a small glimpse into our Quarterly Relationship Reflection (read a previous post Our Quarterly Relationship Reflection), within which, I’m often going through an emotional rollercoaster, with a mixture of excitement, reassurance, but also fear, uncertainty, doubt and vulnerability. And often feel a sense of relief, lightness, achievement, love and connection afterwards.
What is a Relationship Reflection?
A Relationship Reflection is an honest conversation, where you and your partner give each other 100% attention, to recognise and celebrate past successes, also to discuss any issues or concerns you may have regarding your relationship and each other. It is a special ceremony for a couple to pause, reflect, reconnect and grow together.
More than anything, it’s a time for discovery and connection, to truly listen and understand, before you try to be understood. It takes courage and trust to open up, to admit your own mistakes, share your own vulnerabilities. It is also an art to express your own discomforts in the relationship with care, kindness and love.
The 4 Reasons Why Relationships Fail
No relationship is perfect, every relationship has its own challenges, sometimes we resolve them, sometimes we try to and it doesn’t work out. Sometimes we are too scared to or we don’t know how to.
Through our RR we discovered fundamental differences in our perceptions and expectations of our relationship. We began to uncover and understand what rooted beliefs were causing conflicts between us. They were ticking time bombs, slowly ticking, waiting for one of us to erupt.
Everyone feels the big problems in their relationship are unique, when actually a lot of people face the same issues.
We asked people why their relationships broke down, the specifics were different, however the themes were the same. We identified 4 common reasons why relationships fail.
Do you feel your relationship...
has no stability - it stresses you out, the constant unpredictably makes you anxious and nervous
is predictable and boring - you crave surprises and new excitement
makes you feel inferior - You feel undervalued by your partner, it feels like a one sided relationship and you feel lonely and being taken for granted
is losing its spark - you don’t have the intense connection you once had
One or a combination of the above issues, if not resolved can lead to a break down in your relationship, leading to being unfaithful, breaking up or divorce, or even worse, one or both of you staying in a relationship, being unhappy.
When is the last time you have had a heart to heart, open and honest conversation with your partner about the above? Where you are both giving 100% attention to each other, with the intent of solving the problems, improving your relationship and making your partner feel more loved? You are not battling each other but working together to grow your relationship, tackling the elephant in the room, to have the relationship both of you desire and deserve.
When you connect with your partner at a deep level, you resolve any deep conflicts that have been brewing for a while. You get to better understand your partner’s motivations, fears and vulnerabilities. You can propel your relationship forward because you are communicating at a much richer level than ever before.
Relationship Reflection 5 Pillars
My husband and I have gone through many Relationship Reflections, below we break down what we’ve learnt that makes a successful Relationship Reflection.
Both of you need to be open and vulnerable - This is the most important pillar. To have a meaningful and honest conversation, both of you need to drop your defences and listen clearly to each other. Accept each others opinions and then work together to resolve any differences.
Cover the right topics - If you have never done anything like this before, its very easy to play it safe and talk about subjects you normally discuss. You may get some real results from just doing that because you are coming from an open and vulnerable state. However what’s going to make your relationship go to the next level is to talk about the seriously uncomfortable topics. The conversations you wish you could have but you feel are too awkward or scary to start.
Cadence - The RR should become a regular activity in your relationship. It is not a one off thing. You don’t go to the gym once and become fit, don’t expect your relationship to change overnight.
Celebrate the successes - In a RR you also cover the successes and great things about you and your relationship. Celebrate them! We often take our loved ones for granted, this is an opportunity to pause, show your gratitude and celebrate :)
Take action - After you have had your RR, you will have discovered the good, the bad and the ugly. Work together to make changes to improve your relationship from your discussions. Don’t forget to schedule your next RR!
We hope you get as much out of the RR as we have done. We live by it, our relationship has blossomed to levels we never imagined were possible. We now have a relationship where we celebrate each other, have an open dialogue on our vulnerabilities, and embrace our issues as a stepping stone for a richer marriage.
We always recommend a RR to anyone regardless if they are in a healthy or struggling, new or old relationship.
Let us know what your RR story!
Lots of Love,
Ling & Andy
Wife & Husband, Founders of Wellvivid
When I asked my husband, ‘Have you ever thought of giving up on our relationship?’ He thought about it deeply and replied with a bright smile, ‘No I haven’t… you are the love of my life’