RELATIONSHIP TERMITES


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So not too long ago, I found myself watching a documentary on the discovery channel about Termites – was amazed at the devastating effect these little yet powerful creatures  caused to this particular building structure. What really intrigued me was the fact that these creatures had been living and feeding within the building unnoticed for over a year, daily damaging the structures of the building. When the effect of their damage known, it was too late to act, the whole building had fallen apart.

From the above, it should be self explanatory what I’m getting at when I say ‘Relationship Termites’ – the small things that are easily overlooked, has no immediate effect but in the long run will cause the relationship to break down. I am not saying make a fuss of every little thing that happens in your relationship however it’s important to pay attention to trends or continuity of bad habits, and resolve it before the relationship is broken apart – It’s easier to repair cracks than breakage.

The one key thing to note about ‘Relationship Termites’ is – the effects are not immediately visible. Like in the documentary, it wasn’t until after a year that the effect of the termites was brought to light. The same applies to relationships, Relationship Termites slowly eat up the relationship structure bringing about constant arguments and disagreement frustrating both parties until it becomes unbearable to stay together. A relationship once destined for greater things over time becomes an uninspired place, lacking excitement. Although the love for one another might still exist, the termites would have eaten up its foundation making it impossible for the relationship to stand.

There are numerous ‘Relationship Termites’ eating up relationships but I want to touch up on 5 particular termites that can easily get brush under the carpet but in the long run have devastating effect on the structure of the relationship.

In no particular order,

3rd Parties– A romantic relationship should consist of only 2 people, a third party regardless who and what it is, is a CROWD. The involvement of a third party will only suffocate the relationship; it distracts the partners from one another, slowly and gradually taking out intimacy from the relationship. This will lead the partners to drift apart and eventually end their union

Who’s a third party? In this context, anyone or thing that you give the access to negatively influence your thoughts or feelings towards your partner

You give access to third parties when:

–           you begin sharing your intimate information about your relationship with other people

–          you give the time meant for your partner to someone or something else

–          you share romantic feeling with someone else outside your relationship

We now live in a social media age, where some are too quick to share their relationship problems on Facebook, Twitter, and BBM… looking for sympathy and needless attention or pick up the phone to their best friends after every argument they have with their partner. The truth is not everyone’s happy that you’re in a relationship – ‘Misery Loves Company’. If you cannot devise a way to work out your problems with your partner without someone else involved, you are in the wrong relationship.

And if your heart is somewhere else outside your relationship, own up to your feelings and tackle it before the termite bites too deep and ruins the whole relationship.

Inability to listenI guess a simple way to look at listening is – it’s one way to make your partner feel valued without spending a penny. On the flipside, inability to listen is one way of effortlessly making your partner feel worthless. The inability to listen is a common termite that eats up relationships quicker than one can even comprehend because it brings about frustration

What does it mean to listen? To listen is to pay close attention not only to words but to tones, habits, like & dislike, moods, emotions. Understanding it and using it as a means please your partner and in doing so better your relationship.

Those that talk more than they listen are highly likely to be more involved in arguments; consistent arguments is a silent killer of relationships because it chokes the need for openness and over time the relationship will fade away.

The ability to listen is a powerful tool that can be used for the betterment of your relationship. You will learn so much about your partner, what makes them smile, what makes them sad, their needs, desires… and most especially they will feel valued, all this will strength the bond between the partners and help grow the relationship.

Not having enough time – Investing time in your relationship is just as important as food is to the body. When a relationship is starved of time from both partners, it will surely die.

Like I always say to people, relationship is a full-time job… part of the job specification is to invest adequate time in nurturing and developing its growth. Having enough time with your partner is the one effective way of developing a strong bond with your partner, becoming best friends, building trust and finding refuge in each other’s company.

What do I mean by having enough time? I’m not saying compulsively spend all day everyday with each other, but being in consistent communication with your partner. It’s unhealthy for you not to speak with or get a word from your partner within a 24hr period.  Being busy with work, your boys, your girls, career etc. does not count as an excuse because relationship, a serious fruitful relationship is not something you have time for, it is something you make time for. If you’re in a long distance relationship, come to an arrangement on how you’ll see each other and how to maintain constant communication. Otherwise, the relationship will fall apart

If you find yourself constantly waiting at the end of the phone waiting for that call or text, you’re the one always calling or always making the trip to visit your partner because your partner is always busy, the termites are already eating up your relationship. Act!

Lack of Appreciation– The longer you are with someone, the easier it becomes to take them for granted, we begin to wait for the grand gestures, the fancy wining and dining before showing appreciation… Not good.

The cheapest and probably most effective way to show appreciation is through compliments; compliments make us feel good and wanted about ourselves. The most welcome compliments are the ones that are not instigated – ‘Baby, I am blessed for having you’, the random ‘I love you’ messages… this will make your partner happy and give them the confident that your feelings for them are intact.

Lack of appreciation will bring about insecurities, which can later on destroy the relationship, because as you fail to appreciate your partner, someone else out there will appreciate them.

Dealing with change – Learning to deal with the changes that happen over time in a relationship is critical to the existence of that relationship. If not dealt with properly, this is a termite that will cause fatal damage to the structure of the relationship.

Changes happen in different forms, it can be physical, ambitions, career, in a partner’s family. Any change concerning an individual in the relationship potentially affects the relationship; the only way to deal with change is to be open and honest with your partner, both of you talking through it and reaching a logical together. The successful relationships that have stood the test of times are the ones that have been able to overcome the changes life has thrown at them.

Change is the only constant so it will inevitably come, the inability to deal with it as a team will no doubt ruin the relationship.

So… these are some few termites that might be causing havoc in your relationship, the earlier you get them out, the better it will be for your relationship.

Thanks for reading, pls comment.

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2 thoughts on “RELATIONSHIP TERMITES

  1. I really enjoyed reading this, and couldn’t help thinking along the same lines as you at every stage.
    I think as much as the little things contribute to damaging a relationship, they can also build and restore a relationship just as you have pointed out.

    I feel many of us take the ability to listen for granted, be it romantic relationships or just friendships. Today I was speaking with a friend about how during certain conversations with friends through words, body language or tone and just by listening and observing I can sense that the other person has little interest whatsoever in what I have to say, if it doesn’t relate to them. This automatically makes me withdraw, and simply just listen to them , but no more.

    It is most definitely a deal breaker.

    Once again very nicely written.

    Like

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