For better not for worse
If you have been experiencing negative shifts in your mental health, personality or self-esteem, chances are the relationship you are in is the cause. If you find yourself battling depression, anxiety or you are constantly feeling nervous around your partner, if you have difficult in communicating with your significant then without a doubt something has gone terribly wrong. You might think you are hiding it well from the world but my dear, the world sees through your façade.
I have met women who were once spunky, smart and outgoing who are now dowdy, snarling shrews. They blame their drastic transformation to life, motherhood, career, anything but the real thing; their relationships. Similarly, I have seen self-assured, ambitious young men I once knew turn into stooping, harassed little men.
Relationships should bring you peace, joy and happiness. While it is unrealistic to expect sunshine and rainbows all the time, a relationship should have more positive than negative, if there is more negative in the situation, then something has to change.
There are some things you can do to make your relationship work for you instead of working against you. For instance, you can do a self-audit for vices that are perilous to your union and find a way of managing them. One of those vices is pride.
Changing the narrative
There is a reason pride is said to be one of the deadly sins and once it enters a relationship, it will not leave it the same. It is even dangerous when one partner thinks they are better than the other or even have an unrealistic view of who they are. Because familiarity breeds contempt, they start seeing their partner as an encumbrance rather than a valuable member of the union. They feel their partner has degenerated; they have decreased in quality and, by extension, value.
Because they have fallen from a higher standard, the partner feels they are worthless than who they used to be. This dynamic causes persistent unhappiness and instead consistently makes one feel sad, angry and anxious.
This is the antithesis of what a relationship should be. Relationships should help make everyone involved better not worse. Having got their fingers burnt by a bad relationship, some people become cynics who pour cold water on any budding relationship.
They are like witches declaring expiry dates on every love parade. To these people, the opposite sex is not worth the trouble.
They are eager to share stories of doom and predict gloom. What they forget is that relationships, just like many aspects of life, you reap what you sow and what you put into the world is what comes back to you. If you are always suspicious of people, you will actually see reason for suspicion manifesting.
There are also others, who once they get into a relationship, lose their peace; fearing that someone will come and take what they have. They are jealous of every stranger and cannot stand colleagues and friends.
The partner has the unenviable task of keeping them abreast of every movement, phone call and purchases.
What the possessive partner does not know is that all this vigilance actually diverts the attention of their beloved from them as they are focused on those minor issues.
Guard your relationship jealously against envy, pride and cynicism. Cover up the holes through which small foxes can use to enter and ruin your garden of roses. Every individual should be able to thrive and grow within the protection of the relationship, not the other way round.