It’s normal. Every long term relationship sees it. There are times we go through that are best described as bouts of fatigue. The symptoms include: irritability, loss of nostalgic moments, unexplained provocation, among others.
One of two things can happen to cause relationship fatigue:
1- expectations were not met, and the person who held the expectations feels tired of trying to get their partner to meet them, and stops trying.
2- Expectations were met, and exceeded, and the party who did the exceeding stops trying in the relationship.
You realize both of these are tied to a partner losing interest/ giving up/ not trying.
It is easy to point a finger at the other person, but what can we do? What is within our power to do in order to mend things when a relationship comes in to a time of fatigue?
Lets look at this case by case, and evaluate things:
In the case of the first source of fatigue- unmet expectations– There is a perception of a wrong being done because what we thought should have happened did not. Often times, the person who offended us did not mean to do wrong, they simply may not understand what was wanted. Although it is hard sometimes to self evaluate, I would encourage anyone feeling this way to ask (and honestly answer) three questions.
1- Are my expectations too high? (yes, a dinner out and a single rose would have been absolutely wonderful, but is it something that is truly within the budget? Is it easily attainable? Could the person you are hoping for something from possibly be unaware of what you are or were wanting?)
2- Is your partner able to do what you are expecting of them? Sometimes we expect things and don’t feel like it is much to ask, but if the person we are with is living paycheck to paycheck, just got fined on taxes, or is paying back an unexpected bill, etc, they may not have the means to fulfill your expectations even if they really really want to.
3- Was the other person’s motive to make you feel bad? It is true, the lack of the other individual coming through may have caused your heart to be disappointed. It may ache. It may be sad or hurt or angry. However, it is important for us to take an honest look and figure out if the person was intending to make us feel bad. If they made any effort at all, they were more than likely trying to make you feel good: special. If you, instead, are disappointed, that will tell them (non verbally) that their efforts to please you have done nothing. (I am guilty of this in my grumpiest, selfish moments, and not proud of that at all) This will make the person you love feel bad, and exacerbate the situation.
The best thing to do in this situation is to forgive. Move past this in your own mind anad heart. Unless the person you are with was purposefully trying to gouge you or make you feel badly, forgiveness is the only option. Repairing the relationship is as easy as giving it to God and telling him that you forgive your significant other for not coming through with what you were hoping for. Now that you have given it to God, if you think of the perceived wrong any more, put it out of your head by telling yourself “I have already forgiven them for this issue. This has no place in my mind or conversation.”
“I have already forgiven them for this issue. This has no place in my mind or conversation.”
As for the second form of relationship fatigue, which is often caused by a perceived ability to take it easy in the relationship for a while after a success, this can be taken care of easily as well.
If you are the individual who has been successful in making your partner feel special and happy, I understand the desire to kick back and relax now, but that is the worst thing you can do. Remember, a gift is given freely, without any expectation of what the other person owes you. If you give, and expect anything in return you are not truly giving a gift. Love them like you want to be loved, don’t just stop because “it’s their turn now”. A good relationship is both partners giving 100%. It is not a 50/50 thing.
A good relationship is both partners giving 100%. It is not a 50/50 thing.
If you are the person who is encountering the lack of caring or trying, show your love as much as possible. Make the other person feel so loved that they can’t help but become engaged in the relationship again. If you fight, be patient and answer in love. If you clash, go to them after anger has subsided and discuss things diplomatically but directly. Try to avoid attack words and exaggerations and present your case in love. More than likely they are feeling the relationship strain too and would love to mend things with you. Give them a good, honest, opportunity for this and listen to their HEART more than their words. Too many times, words complicate what the heart is trying to express.
listen to their HEART more than their words. Too many times, words complicate what the heart is trying to express.