Article. Why do couples break up? No, not because they are not satisfied.
If you both are satisfied, your relationship goes on (happily ever after), and if you both, or one of you is not satisfied, then your relationship breaks up, right? No, not so fast. Researchers claim that satisfaction is a consequence, not the reason for relationship split. The reason is perceived relationship risk and perceived relationship reward.
When entering relationship we must accept the risk of being rejected, not listened to, not being understood, of being hurt or belittled. Of course we hope it will not happen, but we cannot guarantee it. We constantly choose between personal needs and needs to grow and develop relationship. We are forced to admit that strong relationship can be created only through making yourself vulnerable to your partner, and we need to open up all of our own armor towards the loved one. If this trust fails, we start closing up again, and relationship starts growing cold. I need to stress here, that it is all about perceived risk and perceived reward. This area is not safe from perception errors.
On the other hand, perceived threat is not the critical factor in relationship breakup - perceived reward is. Perceived reward is intimacy, love and feeling of connection. If any of these are low, relationship is likely to end (after all, people say so often - we do don have anything in common). In this picture overall satisfaction with relationship or attachment do not play a major role. People need to have a common meaningful activity to want to be together, and this meaning needs to be achievable only when those two people act together. If relationship is pleasant or "there is nothing wrong with that" - it does not have sufficient reason to exist. As it is not sufficient to say "what does she want with me, I am not doing anything wrong". The key is always what WE do together. From "we develop cancer cure together" to "we sow carrots together".
Photo: Nicole Schüler from Pixabay
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