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Why your relationship with your partner should be your number one priority

By Nina Steele 

Childless black couplesEvery so often, a TV programme comes along and leaves a profound impact on you. And watching ‘The Real Marigold Hotel’, on BBC 2, certainly did just that. As I wrote previously, the show follows a group of celebrities of retirement age to India, as they consider whether or not it would be a good place for them to retire. The subject of loneliness in old age is present throughout the show.

For me personally, the show was a reminder of what I already knew from working for an old people’s charity for 8 years. That being old in the West can be a very unpleasant experience. What the show has taught me is that, we must always look after the relationships in our lives, because they will play a major part in our state of mind and general happiness in old age.

I believe that we’ve got our priorities completely wrong when it comes to what aspects of our lives we must give priority to. People go on and on about children, but what they seem to forget is that even if you end up having children, one day, they will fly the nest, and your relationship with your other half, if you have one, will be what’s left. We keep hearing stories after stories of married couples who neglected each other and only focused all their energies on their children. As a result, once the children move out, the parents realise that they have become complete strangers, and then in many cases, divorce follows.

Many couples who are childless not by choice, often make the same mistake of neglecting each other. Instead of accepting their path and putting their focus on one another, they never stop mourning for the child they believe would have made them happier. By doing so, whoever in the relationship has infertility issues, inevitably feels guilt and if this is allowed to fester, the relationship inevitably breaks down and separation becomes the only option.

What all these people tend to forget is that, as life expectancy keeps increasing, we are all likely to live to a very old age, and I for one, do not fancy spending 30 to 40 years of my life alone. Of course events outside our control such as the death of my husband or my own death, could lead to one of us being forced to carry on alone for many years, but at least, it would not have been of our own making.

Because mediums such as the Internet make it very easy to connect, some assume that finding a new partner would be a walk in the park. Well it isn’t. Indeed, figures show that as much as 88% of successful relationships begin offline. Through the years, I have met many people of both sexes who have been looking for love online, unsuccessfully. What they all tend to agree on, is that although there are definitely lots of people to meet online, the suitable ones are rare.

With that in mind, hold on to your partner with everything you’ve got. For too long, we have been made to believe that children are the panacea, well they aren’t. Your relationship with your partner is what should be your number one priority.

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