In my book, 15 Universal Laws of Relationships, I describe certain rules that govern every relationship. These are common truths, which, if you are not aware of them, can be a bit of a shock, and often cause unhappiness and dissatisfaction in a relationship or marriage. Because they apply to virtually every single relationship, I refer to them as Universal Laws of Relationships.
The 1st Universal Law of Relationships is: There is no free lunch. The old saying goes: love is blind, and that is undeniably true. In those initial stages of infatuation with each other, you see no evil and hear no evil. There is the common belief that love conquers everything, and the rest of your life together will be moonlight and roses. I am very sorry to burst that bubble, because even though love is a very powerful emotion, it is not a panacea for everything that can go wrong in a relationship.
Do not get me wrong. New love is most probably the best experience in your life. It is incredibly emotional, and the feelings you experience is almost impossible to describe in words. It is simultaneously the biggest feeling of joy and pain one can experience. But it is good to be pre-warned that this state of euphoria is not going to last forever. Sooner or later, like a new automobile, the novelty wears off, there are some breakdowns and some maintenance is required.
The truth of the matter is that a relationship is quid pro quo. If you do something for me, I'll reciprocate. If you do nothing, you are not going to get anything in return. Love is not free, even though a lot of lovers may disagree with me. If you give love, you expect to be loved in return. If this does not happen, the relationship will break down very quickly. This rule is the foundation of every relationship, and not taking cognizance of it, is a dire risk.
I recently did a little online survey in which I asked how far a partner would go to make sure that something like being obese will not ruin their marriage. The answers shocked me. Almost without fail they said that if the other partner do not like the way they look, he or she knows what they can do. To say that I found this immensely selfish and egocentric is an understatement.
Take the following scenario, for example: The couple is in their mid thirties and married for ten years. They are both university graduates, but the husband holds a corporate job, whilst the wife is a lawyer with her own practice. Over the years the husband has become disillusioned with his career and turned into a real couch potato, neglecting his appearance and gaining a substantial amount of weight. The wife on the other had, despite two children, is doing well in her practice, goes to gym regularly and has maintained a pretty good figure. She now feels her husband is letting her down, because he is a bit of an embarrassment at social functions and when entertaining important clients. Would it be unreasonable of her to ask him to join her at the gym and do something about his appearance? In my book certainly not.
At this stage he is enjoying all the benefits. He has got a wife with a beautiful body; she is successful, contributes a lot to the household and is an example to the children and the community. Unfortunately the same can not be said for him, aside from the financial contribution that he makes. If he refuses to reciprocate, can one then blame the wife if she starts looking for a more suitable partner?
That is the 1st Universal Law of Relationships: Do not expect to get the benefit of something without doing something in return. And this law or rule does not only hold true in personal relationships, it is also valid in your work scenario. Your company pays you in return for the input that you give. No input equals no payment and no job.
The truth of the matter is that every relationship is fraught with challenges and potential problems. And unless both partners are prepared for these and willing to work hard together to resolve it, the relationship will not succeed or last.