Initiating communication about desired adjustments of the little annoyances that make us unhappy in our relationship can feel like opening a can of worms, especially if the relationship is already on shaky grounds. As a result, we often do not discuss potential or actual relationship problems until it is too late, disregarding relationship advice.
Instead, we pray that the irritants will go away on their own, if only we carry on in silence. Eventually, the longing for the times when feelings were running high, and when being in each other’s company was smooth sailing becomes unbearable, and we break off the relationship and move onto the next new crazy love.
It is not surprising that most relationships suffer this fate. In a culture of consumerism, narcissism and beauty, and immediate-gratification centrism, most of us have forgotten how to have a lasting relationship and what it is like to appreciate the little things in life that deserve recognition and to express gratitude when appropriate. We prefer immediate gratification and satisfaction of our own needs to seeing a fellow human being smile in response to selfless or altruistic behavior on our part.
The main culprit here is that we in the West are becoming increasingly more selfish and superficial. We cling to our freedom to do as we wish, behaving as if the world would collapse if we had to do something that did not benefit us. We grow up being told by parents, teachers, and philosophers that one of the most valuable goods in our possession is our personal autonomy.