Angelism: “Always remember that LOVE should FEEL GOOD. If you are not happy the majority of the time then have the strength & the confidence to move on.”
Many people suffer from dramatic, stressful, overwhelming and dysfunctional relationships. We date, fall in love, move in with, marry, and have children with a partner that over time has more qualities that annoy us than excite us. It happens every day. How realistic is it that you can live with one person for the rest of your life? What are the chances that if you do stay with your mate, “Until death do you part,” that you truly will want to be with them 60 years later? Do women settle because 10, 20, 30+ years into a relationship they believe it would be too difficult to leave and start over? For most, it seems easier to stay and finish out a mediocre life together. Do you stand by your companion after the lies, cheating, resentment and anger takes place? How do you put your emotions into perspective? How do you know if you are genuinely upset or simply letting the little day to day annoyances add up? The best way to discover the answer to these many questions is by using my 80:20 relationship rule.
So you ask, “What is an 80:20 relationship rule?” For me it’s 80% happy and 20% challenging. This grading scale helps me to analyze the quality of my relationship. If I have to live with someone, I have to enjoy more good times than bad. I must feel like the difficulties that we face are manageable because the majority of the time our relationship is strong. Here is my simple guide to get realistic about your relationship. It may seem strange to give your couple-hood a score, however I assure you by checking in often to see where you stand, your overall well-being will benefit.
If 90% of the time or more, you feel your relationship is smooth sailing, then kudos to you, you have found something solid. I consider this to be the range of EXCELLENCE. This range is ideal. If you spend the majority of your relationship in this zone there is not much that the two of you won’t be able to conquer. This is a bond of happiness, joy, gratitude, friendship and great chemistry. Chances are this couple dates regularly, listens to one another, never goes to bed mad, and is always thinking of their partner in a positive light. Pat yourself on the back if you feel this intense about your relationship, especially after the seven year mark. If you achieved 90:10, fantastic! Keep up the good work.
If 80% of the time or more you feel that your relationship is solid, then you are in what I consider the GOOD zone. I feel that most happy and healthy relationships spend the majority of their days in this percent range. The sense of security you get from feeling that 80% of the time you are a strong couple, with the same likes, goals and expectations, makes you confident that the 20% of conflicting times will be manageable. Disagreements may take longer to resolve in this range, since frustration is usually due to stubbornness or an unwillingness to see the others point of view. This type of behavior and response to one another is likely what keeps you out of the 90% range. Be proud though, this is a zone where trust is high, infidelity has likely not happened, and chemistry is strong. The 20% of conflict that you face probably comes from day to day annoyances, lack of sleep or sex, raising children, dealing with family or managing financial struggles. In this range I encourage women to never flip out and give up on their partner. This range is safe and will get you through the tough times if you make the effort to patch the bumps in the road as they come up.
This range I consider the RED FLAG zone. If you are at 70% happy, 30% challenged in your relationship, you have bigger problems that will likely lead to more issues. When you have fallen to a 70:30 you are at risk. Something is off or not being expressed between the two of you. Maybe one or both of you are not communicating. Avoiding one another is a regular thing in this zone, date nights and fun are far and few, and fights break out regularly, often going unresolved. The relationship is no longer a priority and you are letting other things get in the way of your love and happiness. I believe that once you hit 70%, if you can’t pull out of it quickly and resolve the issue then seek a good therapist if you want to continue together. All people want happiness whether they know how to achieve it or not. When in this range couples are at risk for infidelity, lies, lack of communication and opposing opinions. Anger and resentment take over and love is lost as the years pass. If you don’t catch and recover a relationship when it enters this zone, the downward spiral will begin.
Anything under 70%, for me, is not worth saving. Would you give your child, friend or neighbor, advice to settle for only being happy 70% or less of the time? No one would promote that. It is not rewarding and will wreck your heart and soul. You must have faith at all times that you deserve the best. Good relationships are all around us and many of us are currently in one relationship but too blind and jaded to appreciate it. People would rather hold onto the resentments, baggage and victimization, allowing their walls and fears to ruin a potential loving relationship and future with a kind person.***I wrote this blog six years ago but it holds true! People don’t break up or get divorced because they are happy. It is no shock to me that the Brangelina relationship is ending. When people are not happy, they eventually move on. I wish them luck and am placing bets on how long it will be before Jenn Aniston and Brad Pitt are caught hanging out together again.