Making Relationships Work

8 factors that can make or break a relationship or marriage

Healthy relationships are an amazing part of life. Unfortunately, they take a lot of work. Here are some facts, according to a 2005 survey conducted by ACNeilson in New Zealand, about what goes on in relationships nowadays. With a little reading between the lines, you may discover ways to keep your own relationship healthy, or fix a relationship that's on the rocks.

Arguing is actually normal

Over 1,500 people in long-term relationships were surveyed on things people disagree about repeatedly. Seventy-eight percent of couples participate in some sort of ongoing disagreements with their partner, according to a survey conducted by Relationship Services. Some common concerns were financial stability, work pressures, time pressures, housework and sex life.

It gets better over time

According to the study, seven in 10 people feel that their relationships are much more satisfying now than when they began them. Only 13 percent feel that the satisfaction has decreased.

Woman nag and men don’t listen

The survey also found that most men feel that women nag them to do things, while the women feel that the men don’t listen. Four out of ten women listed “doesn’t listen” as a problem in the relationship, and only three out of 10 men listed it as such. On the other hand, three out of ten men listed "nagging/keeping on," as opposed to two out of 10 women.

There is light at the end of the tunnel

People who had been in a relationship between three and seven years had higher levels of chronic arguments than those in who had been in relationships that had been together longer.

Getting help is normal

Fifty percent of the people surveyed admitted turning to books or the Internet for help, while 79 percent have also asked for the help of a friend or family member. One in three people have used professional counseling to solve issues in the relationship.

Having children can make it harder

Eighty-six percent of people who have children living at home are more likely to participate in recurring disagreements, compared to 68 percent of relationships that do not have children in the home.

Sex is not the most important factor

The top five things people enjoyed about their relationships were loyalty at 81 percent, the ability to be themselves, fun and laughter, support and listening and finally being valued as they are. Having an active sex life was listed as number 14. Only 29 percent of the people surveyed thought it was very important.

They don’t get me

Not being able to understand each other, as well as not listening, ranks as the number-one source of tension, with one in three people listing this combo as a cause of tension.

When considering what makes a good relationship work, keep these facts in mind. Within the data, you may discover ways to fix your own relationship or keep it healthy. In any case, making healthy relationships work is a complex process which involves constant attention to improving communication, taking inventory of the relationship, investing time and resolving conflict well.

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