Update your relationship software

It’s amazing how much time we spend wooing, pampering and putting our best foot forward when we meet someone we are attracted to. We dress well, we smell good, use mouthwash, we are well mannered, attentive, protective and bring conversation and fun to the table. We pretty much make the person feel like they are the centre of the universe. What’s equally amazing is how once couples get into a long-term relationship or marriage how things change so dramatically.

Grubby clothes, oily hair, long hours at work, an exhausted even grumpy attitude once back home, and of course, the fact that you even fart loudly without caring if it’s going to stink. What’s the most amazing is that people later wonder why the relationship has faded, the magic gone and apathy set in. If you invest 10 hours a day into your work life and that needs constant effort to be on a winning streak, so does your relationship.

It’s fine to take a relationship off the pedestal of 1 st place, but it’s not okay to park it in the garage either. Relationships are built on emotional investments and require constant updates like a software program. People are constantly changing, needs are evolving, and the fact is that both people are human beings who needs love, kindness, affection and care daily.

It’s something that needs to spoken about, addressed clearly and commitments made as to how to give value and respect to what is supposed to last a life time. My fiancée and I are deeply immersed in our building our respective professional futures and it involves working 10 to 12-hour days. But we have a clear understanding that what we share must be nurtured. The rules are simple: we spend minimum 20 minutes every morning chatting over cups of tea together. No phones, no computers, no distractions.

Just time to chat, bond, share, laugh and set a good tone for the day ahead. Most importantly, we shut off from all work at 8 pm. Sundays are committedly a day off together (with only an occasional 4-hour window only if urgent stuff still needs to be done), because it’s time for “relationship time”. Be it a day on the beach, dinners out, watching Netflix, entertaining friends, it’s important that if we intend to walk into the sunset together that we enjoy the journey and what we share.

Do you want to grow old unhappily, in boredom, feeling unloved, hoping for a miracle that will once again make you feel relevant and special? Agree to create your own relationship code that works to preserve and protect what you share, because after all, it’s the person you will be spending the rest of your life with and you value it.

1. Me and my girlfriend have been in a relationship for five years now. However, now it feels that it won’t work. She seems distracted most of the time and whenever I approach her she is evasive about this topic. I know that she is definitely not cheating on me, nor is there another man in her life. Wonder what is wrong with her? How can I make her confide in me?  Should we try to make it work or call it off?

Tell her you need some time off to evaluate life and relationships. Sometimes a committed break gives a lot of perspective into what you want and what you are not willing to compromise on. Both of you will experience what life is like without the other and evaluate whether the relationship is worth holding onto, rebuilding, or letting go as it has run it’s course.

2. I am a 30-year-old single man. I work in a team that has a very high number of women in it. Even my boss is a woman, in her 40s and married. For the last couple of months, ever since our appraisals, I’ve been feeling differently about the way she treats me. It’s not at par with other people in the team. I felt she was making sexual advances at me, which I chose to ignore. That was right after our appraisals. Ever since I did that, I’m being mistreated, every mistake I make is blown out of proportion but there is nothing I have which is concrete enough for me to take to the company’s HR. What should I do?

If there’s a misuse of power, carefully document every episode even if it has no legal validity. On the other hand, your attitude should be about loving your work and it’s fine if it irks her as it will only give you more ammunition. Smile, be jovial, be someone everyone loves in the office and whenever she tries to get on your case smile and say “madam be kind, I’m putting my best foot forward and I’ve worked hard to get where I am today”. Say it with a smile each and every time like a mantra. If it pisses her off, you have more ammunition.

3. Ive been in a great marriage for 10 years. The last three years of our marriage were virtually been loveless. We were both busy with work and he had no time for me, but I’d never ignored him. At a vulnerable time, I got attracted to someone in my office. A few months ago, my husband took a detour and came back to me; he’s suddenly become more attentive and caring towards me, the way he was when we initially got married. I’m deeply involved with the guy in my office. I don’t know what to do…

You got the 7 year itch and now it’s time to slap the itch. Couples once married do tend to focus on careers and neglect relationships with the intention of securing the best future for each other. They expect work commitment to be understood and respected. You have disrespected your vows, his work focus and now his feelings. You have a clear crossroad ahead, and which way needs to actually be his decision, once he is made aware of the situation you are in. To not disclose what you are involved in is terribly disrespectful and no relationship can be built on lies and deceit.

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.

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