Relationships fail all around us every day — between spouses, lovers, siblings, friends, co-workers, and so on. But despite the abundance of self-assured finger-pointing, the people involved rarely have any idea what actually went wrong, and they prove that as they blindly repeat the same mistakes over and over. Most people seem to be caught in an endless cycle of disappointment and unhappiness as they associate with other human beings.
When Christopher and Lisa met, they fell in love immediately. Six months later they got married and fully expected to be ecstatically happy for the rest of their lives. But in the first year of their marriage, there were already signs that the magic of their relationship was escaping them. They began to find fault with each other over little things. Roses and kisses were gradually replaced by expectations and disappointments, each of which left a wound and then a scar. Slowly, the excitement of being in love became a distant memory.
What happened here? How did the hopes and dreams of these delightful people get lost? Christopher and Lisa poured their whole hearts into making their relationship work. They didn’t hold anything back — as most people don’t — and still they failed. Understanding this is critical, because what happened with this couple is typical of what happens in virtually all unhappy relationships — between lovers, family members, people in the workplace, and so on. We’ve all had the experience of starting relationships that seemed promising and hopeful, only to have something go wrong that we didn’t understand, leaving us feeling disappointed or worse. Until we do understand what happens in these situations, we’re doomed to repeat the process again and again.
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