In your view, what causes a relationship to go into a downward spiral even though it went great for years and some things about it (sex for instance) are still great? What causes it to spiral down or end?
Donna C. — Hollister, CA
There are so, so, so, so many ways to screw up a perfectly good relationship. I’ve done it. You’ve done it. The list is massive.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll uncover my top half a dozen faves starting with respect and adoration.
RESPECT: When you lose respect for the man you love, it’s the beginning of the end. Your urge to do the nasty wanes. Your ability to listen to him, take advice or direction from him and participate in the invention of plans for the future are almost impossible. Flicking him in the forehead feels like the right thing to do. You may feel overtaken by the compulsion to either berate him or flee. When you don’t respect your man the situation feels unsafe or unsettled. You’ll most likely feel stupid for picking wrong or not seeing the flaw at the root of the loss of respect. It’s hard to recover from.
ADORATION: You know you’re strong, powerful and smart, but you need to hear that you’re beautiful, wanted, and loved. (Unless you’re Angelina Jolie, then you’re sick of hearing it.) A word coveted by women universally is “cherished”. Men don’t get it the same way we do. They know it’s a magic word, they just don’t realize that the chick definition of cherished is “adored until the end of all time”. We want to be that, but at very least we’re looking for external evidence of being special and acknowledged for the rare gem we are. When we aren’t admired or adored by the man we love, a little part of our spirit withers up and dies.
More ways to spiral down a good relationship in the next column, stay tuned.