Being in a relationship requires a lot of work, commitment, compromise and sacrifice by both parties. It is meant to be enjoyed and not endured. It becomes a burden when one begins to question the loyalty and commitment of the other or when the motive for the relationship is perceived to have changed. This rule applies to all relationships, married and single.

No one is a mind reader, the onus lies on the parties involved to keep reassuring each other of their total loyalty and commitment. You may think you are doing your best, but your body language may be telling a completely different story or sending out signals that may have good intentions but interpreted wrongly. The ear hears the verbal profession of love, the body feels the physical expression of love, the mind perceives the genuineness of love, the three must be present and in sync for a happy relationship. So say it, do it and show it always.

Love is like a flower, it requires a lot of attention and care, if you do not expose it to the sun, weed it and water it daily, it will whither and die. You must talk to each other about everything, spend time together while giving each other the right amount of space, never go to bed angry, learn to apologise if you wrong your partner and have a forgiven spirit if you are wronged. Remember, things are not always what they seem, you may think you know something for sure, you may be wrong at the end. Give your partner the right to self defence and give them the benefit of doubt, sometimes you have to really want them to be innocent to see that they are. Lack of trust and negative bias may just be the nail that seals your innocent partners coffin of guilt. Treat each case as independent so you don’t condemn an innocent person based on previous offences.

Never assume that the other party understands your actions, your line of reasoning may be totally different from theirs, perception may also be different, make an effort to explain in very clear terms all your ambiguous actions and ensure that your partner understands, even when they don’t agree with you.

It is catastrophic to underestimate the intelligence of your partner, you may think you are getting away with something while in the real sense you are making a fool of yourself, silence is not always golden, sometimes it is dangerous. The fact that they are not saying it doesn’t mean they don’t know it. They maybe giving you a chance to do the right thing and either come clean with it or change for good.

Finally relationships are not supposed to be difficult, if it takes too much effort and strain from either of you, it has a foundational problem. Not all relationships are built to last forever, some may not seem to be heading somewhere or make any sense to you at the time, be patient, sooner or later it will become clear. There is a reason we meet the people who come into our lives, it may not be what you expect, it may even be a bad experience, whatever the case, be thankful for the experience and the lessons you have learned. Try to relax, open your eyes and learn, don’t be too uptight, have a sense of humour, play often, laugh a lot together, be passionate, tease each other and enjoy your relationship. – Sir Stanley Ekezie