Work To Keep Your Relationship Strong When Things Are Going Well
The problem with things going well in just about any sphere of life is that one of the most common responses is complacency. Most people who are doing pretty well give their full attention to a serious problem when it comes around, they activate and put pretty much all of their psychic energy into overcoming it.
That sense of panic we have all felt when things are not as we want them to be but the final outcome is still uncertain, what we can call existential anxiety, is probably the most powerful motivating force in human life. From the behavioral point of view existential anxiety is a negative reinforcement. We all want to get away from the aversive stimuli embedded within it, that utter sense of dread, and so we activate to do whatever we can to fix what’s wrong and make that dread, that existential anxiety, disappear.
What does this have to do with romantic relationships? That when things are going well most people are far less likely to worry about the upkeep, they might start to take their partners for granted, they might start saying and doing thoughtless things, destructive things, things that don’t signal the end of the relationship but certainly aren’t doing anything to help it thrive either.
If you decide that you’re not only going to activate when some problem arises in the relationship but that you’re going to activate while things are going well to make it as supportive and loving of an environment as possible, an environment where both of you feel like you’re being given the opportunity and the support to self-actualize, not only will you both be a lot healthier and happier in mind and body but the frequency of relationship endangering problems will go down dramatically if not disappear completely. When people feel loved, supported, respected, encouraged, and understood they don’t need to go anywhere else for their basic human psychological and emotional needs, they don’t feel like anything’s wrong and in fact feel like everything’s right, they don’t feel trapped or minimized, they’re happy right where they are.