“The first thing our research shows is that everything hits a plateau,” says Bob Sullivan, co-author of The Plateau Effect: Getting from Stuck to Success. “Every good idea, diet program, marriage and professional athlete eventually stops working,” says Sullivan.
I came across the above quote as I was busy browsing something else. I got immediately attracted to the marriage part of it which got me thinking that yes, he is right, this plateau business truly is not only applicable to weight loss, but also to relationships- not just marriage, but any kind of relationship. Got me thinking...yeaaah... well, that is true, right? Then, what do you do? There are tricks and tips that fitness gurus give to get over the weight loss plateau- reset goals, step up activity, drink more water and so forth. What of life and this plateau in relationships? Reset goals? Step up activity? I don’t know... maybe let things be for a little while? Introspect? Go with the flow for a while? Thinking back on the 32 years of my marriage, there have indeed been a couple of grim occasions when life seemed to be going nowhere. No, that’s not true. Both the Plateau and downhill part, I mean. Life certainly seemed to go downhill. And I know how we handled those times, those situations, my husband and I. We rode the storm, in silence. Really sad we were too. Just a leetlle bit ego... why else would we cold shoulder each other even as we could see that not talking to each us was engulfing us with sadness. We let things be for a while. The first time, over twenty years ago it was I who broke the silence. We talked. Like, look, this is what is bothering me, this is not right, what is bothering you, let’s talk this over. The second time, it was my husband. What is the matter, why are you giving me the silent treatment, what’s wrong? Well, something like that. And we spoke and talked and cleared the air. These occasions are good occasions you know, to get things out of one’s system too; you really can be monstrously frank. Somehow, it is okay to be so brutally frank. I guess because we are just grateful we have “made up”. The other person gets to know what really really is bothering you. Which is all very good only.
What then is The bottom line? Well, ride the storm. It will not last forever. Look inside and watch for that moment when you are ready. It will happen. Wait. Watch. And never forget that you love him and he loves you Or you love her and she loves you. You really have to be committed to each other and to sustaining what you have. Twice in 32 years seems okay, right? Not that that is a bench mark, but if you seem to be quarreling all the time, not able to find a solution, and the same issues keep surfacing over and over again, then maybe you ask why the same thing over and over again. Why aren’t we able to work this out? Aren’t we talking about this totally frankly? The very Same issues? Then it has to be the mother of all talks. Life is too short to fritter away. But then again, relationships aren’t easy. You have to work at them. The best results are those that come from the hardest work.