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Relationships and Your Love Life--3 Dreadful, yet Very Common Reasons for Staying Together

Updated on June 28, 2010

Almost everyone hopes and strives for a long-term relationship, but few are ever able to find and cement a mutually satisfying, compatible bond that lasts the rest of their lives. Those who place great importance on the fantasy of permanent, romantic bliss may see this as a tragedy, but we believe that’s an erroneous, dysfunctional perspective.

Short-term relationships end for various reasons, including people changing and evolving or regressing at different rates over time, the shattering of illusions resulting in broken alliances, and “good” and “bad” love karma and personal timing: most connections, we have discovered in our work, have destined beginning and ending times.

There are many reasons couples stay together for longer periods of time, but we’ve found, generally, that there are four main categories of people who seek or remain in a longer-term relationship, which include three terrible reasons for doing so:

1) Singles seeking financial security or couples who can’t afford to break up yet. It’s common for couples to remain together because creating a second household would be too expensive. The divorce rate during the recent economic downturn has decreased, and reduced incomes is the number one reason.

All facades aside, financial security as the primary motivation for entering a relationship makes the connection a business relationship, not a love relationship. Adherents to the traditional American marriage model and those with a sense of entitlement deny it and express outrage when we point it out, but this sort of arrangement is essentially matrimonial prostitution. Please note, we believe how anyone chooses to live their love life is their business (not the government’s, and not society’s), unless they are being dishonest and, or using or abusing someone. We’re just calling it like we see it.

2) Those who are afraid of change, being single or alone, or are seeking happiness outside of themselves. These types will wait it out until they are forced to change, or they will end up feeling alone and isolated, even while in a relationship, because of their fear.

3) Those who feel a marriage or long-term relationship is a requirement to be a good parent. Unfortunately, a bad relationship will take the focus off a child and all will suffer in the process. Because of this, we recommend a child contract (which protects the child along with the primary caretaker) instead of a marriage contract.

4) And finally, most couples get married assuming they have what it takes to remain together, but then realize months or years later they lack the most important element, which happens to be metaphysically oriented: The good love karma of their predestined life circumstances that allows them to experience, for the most part, a harmonious, happy, long-term relationship. We estimate this is only about 15% of the population.

Is there something wrong with you if you don’t experience a rewarding longer-term or life-long relationship? It’s easy to think so if you get caught up in what you are “supposed to do” as a “normal” member of society.

Great importance is placed on life-long relationships. This is unfortunate since everyone has many soul mates and what is learned from a relationship is more important than its duration. Just because it ended doesn’t mean it “failed.”

If you aren’t involved in an ideal, longer-term relationship, don’t fret. Perceptions and expectations about the way love lives “should” be cause more misery than almost any other issue.

Instead of comparing yourself with those who seem to have what you’d like (remember, appearances can be very deceiving) and generating regret and despair, accept where you are, be grateful for all you have such as relationships with friends and family, learn to love yourself and occasional solitude, and refuse to buy into romantic fairytales.

Copyright © Scott Petullo, Stephen Petullo


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    • profile image

      EveryDayDad 7 years ago

      Cool bananas scott. Now how do I get the hell out safely (My sole and separate property, Im a sole custody dad from prior relationship 12 years ago)???

      So no kid, property or support issues. Sounds easys huh? Well possibly so with the MAJOR abuse of rule #1.

      For you see, I (me, the dad) i the stay at home parent.

      I should be, they are my kids!!!!

      She's moved in and out 4 times over the lat 5 years. Part of it has been each of what you mentioned.

      She's (wife/step-mom) been back since Jan and were at the same place again (5 signs of a relationship being over)... all over again.


    • Jennifer Lynch profile image

      Jennifer Lynch 7 years ago from Stowmarket, Suffolk.

      Hello Scott I like this hub being single for the last 15 years since a long marriage of 13 years, I can really relate to it. It is good not to see things as failure rather just experience. You are right, sometimes we live life through rosey colour spectacles wanting what others have but what exactly is that? Happiness is found within you not through someone else!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for a very interesting read. There is a lot of truth in it. I found the problem is that I had all the good intention but my ex-husband would not. It only works if both have the same intention.

    • msorensson profile image

      msorensson 7 years ago

      Thank you Scott. Agreed.!!

      I posted this hub on my other FB profile.

    • msorensson profile image

      msorensson 7 years ago

      ha ha ha.. touche' If I may say I unearthed my pictures when I was is how I feel, although I had three times more hair then.

      I love my hair. Now it is short and thin. Oh well.. :-)

      Mansion on an empty lot..not quite. It is full of trees actually..the home I like in Victoria, BC.

      The one in La Jolla..hmmn modern and up on a trees. You can call that an empty lot.

      No need to go anywhere, live anywhere. Just sit, sit sit.

    • msorensson profile image

      msorensson 7 years ago

      Yes...the fourth one is the most important!! At least for someone my

      We ALL want that.. spiritual union.

      Thanks. I love the hub, Scott.