The Third Killer of relationships is putting other people/things before your partner. Doing that can leave the relationship starved of the love it wants. To create the relationship of your dreams, your third task is to identify your exits and to close them. Some say that most relationships don’t work. That is because they are as full of exits as a colander is full of holes. So, what is an exit?
An exit is defined as putting energy that properly belongs to the two of you into any other person or thing. An obvious example is a physical or emotional affair. Other examples can be career/ work, children, friends, social media. There’s nothing wrong with any of those other examples, of course. Many of us have kids and go to work. But work can be, and often is, an exit. Career can be a very demanding ‘lover’, that your partner has to compete with for your attention. Children can be exits. There is nothing inherently wrong with food, going out with friends, social media. In isolation, they’re neutral. Like a fire. You can use a fire to warm a home. You can also use a fire to burn it down.
No woman in her right mind is going to live with a man, unless she knows that she is his priority, and vice versa.
A mechanic once told me that in a blinding flash of the obvious , he suddenly realised that if he treated his car the way he treated his wife, the car would have ‘conked out’, long ago. He said that it dawned on him that he never failed to fill up his car’s petrol tank, check the oil and never missed a service because his car needed that care to keep operating efficiently. It was a game changer for him when he realised that he had presumed that the relationship with his partner would just keep going without proper care. His partner’s distressed cry for help was the wake up call he needed to make sure that she and their relationship was his main priority, not just in words, but in actions.
I’ve heard it said that you can identify people who are lovers sharing a meal. They make eye contact. They interact. They’re interested in and listen to each other. They seem to be enjoying each others’ company. It can be very painfully different after a few years, but it need not be so.
So, what can we do about exits?
- Be honest with yourself. Identify your exits.
- Make a list of the things that you can do to make sure that your partner knows that he or she is your priority? Not words, but things you are going to do.
- Make a start. Just do it. Quality time date nights don’t have to be elaborate affairs. I’ve seen couples who have turned their relationship around. They say they keep dates nights and other examples of quality time together simple. They focus on the quality of what happens between them. It’s not complicated. You can do it. And we can help you do it. You can knock dead the third biggest killer in relationships by closing your exits and prioritising your partner, so that you can both give and receive the love you want.