Here are some statistics on relationships and divorce from Relationships Australia, which is one of Australia’s largest community-based organisations providing relationship support to people regardless of age, religion, gender, cultural or economic background:
- Life long companionship is what Australians most want from their relationships.
- Australians overwhelmingly look to family for a sense of self-identity, but also increasingly view work and money as important.
- Lack of time to spend together is the biggest negative influence on partner relationships.
- More flexible working hours is the factor that would most help respondents to better balance their work and family life.
- Younger Australians tend to place greater importance on earning a lot of money and paid employment, but also attach very high importance to family and friends.
- 1 in 3 first marriages end in divorce
- 2 in 3 second marriages end in divorce
- Most people who get divorced have been married less than 10 years
- People aged 23 to 30 are in the highest risk group for relationship problems and breakdown.
- It usually takes two to three years for a couple whose relationship has broken up to begin to put their lives back together again.
- It sometimes takes five years for individuals and families to get over the emotional pain and trauma.
- Many people can have serious health and emotional problems during this time.
- Many men, women and children sink into poverty after a separation and are forced to rely on welfare benefits to survive.
- 37% of people regret their divorce five years later.
- Up to 40% of divorced people believe their divorce could have been avoided.
With statistics like these it is no wonder that people are reluctant, disappointed, disillusioned and downright scared to enter into new relationships these days…!
But there is something even more alarming that I have become aware of – the REASONS people enter into a relationship in the first place!
Most people enter into a relationship because of what they can get out of them. What benefits does the relationship hold…how can the other person meet their needs…what role will the other person play to fill what is lacking in their own life…how much will the relationship guarantee they won’t be lonely in the future…etc etc. The relationship becomes dependent on the other person fulfilling your needs and behaving the way you anticipate they will…When dissected and analyzed, it is obvious how this type of misguided (though very common) thinking will lead to disappointment and unhappiness.
Two people come together hoping to have MORE, and what they find is LESS. They feel less capable, less attractive, less exciting, less content…instead of entering the relationship knowing they are whole and complete, they have entered the relationship focusing on what the other person has to offer that will fill the void they feel inside.
Relationships were never meant to be this way.
We’ve all heard that we are to love ourselves first…for how can we love another if we don’t love ourselves? But there’s even more to it than that. There is a love of SELF so great, that it is overflowing…and you now have something to CONTRIBUTE to a relationship.
In light of this information, instead of having a relationship because of what you can GET, wouldn’t it be better to enter a relationship with a profound sense of what you have to GIVE?