People always view the ups and downs in a relationship as part of growing together. When one partner unexpectedly hits rock bottom facing a scandal, job loss or business crash, or when the couple faces the loss of a child, the foundation of the relationship can be shaken. Relationships may sour, but holding on to each other on the rollercoaster of life seems the only way for the couple to survive.
On the day Raj Kundra was released on bail, actor Shilpa Shetty Kundra shared a cryptic message about "moments that push you to the ground" and standing back up with "renewed determination and motivation" on social media. Sharing a photo of herself in a yoga pose, Shilpa also wrote, "In times like these, I truly believe that if you fall seven times, make yourself strong enough to be able to stand back up eight times. This rise will demand a lot of courage, grit, will-power, and strength during some of your most difficult moments. But, these qualities will only make you more resilient and robust in this journey called life."
In good times and bad
A lot of couples, celebrities and otherwise, reconcile and rebuild their relationship to save their marriages. Some famous examples of couples who did not split post scandals are Hillary and Bill Clinton, Beyonce-Jay Z, and director Rupert Sanders and Liberty Ross. Kim and Kanye West are reportedly reconsidering divorce as they want to work on their marriage despite challenges.
Sometimes things seem beyond repair between couples, but with the right approach, issues can be solved amicably, feel experts. Wellness coach Ravneet Gandhok says, "Nothing restores shattered trust. Relationships are the same way. While some mistakes may be excused, a handful cannot be. It depends entirely on the individual how mistakes are perceived and forgiven.”
But his advice is, “If your partner admits a mistake, allow them space to explain themselves and never be too quick to criticize.”
Time the healer
In the case of married or long-time couples, healing isn't linear or predictable. It happens when one feels ready for it and it can be different for everyone. Therapy may be needed even after reconciliation for nurturing love and compassion in the relationship, notes psychotherapist Dr Chandni Tugnait, founder of Gateway of Healing. “The key to transforming a destructive cycle into a positive one is acknowledging this and working on making things better instead of focusing only on the flaws and mistakes.”
Dr Chandni stresses the importance of self-care, forgiveness, and healing to stay hopeful. Forgiveness is difficult, and forgetting even more so. “Several factors contribute to how long it takes and the process requires complete emotional recovery from the ordeal, accountability, apology, and making amends. When a couple reconciles, both individuals may shift back to the roles they played before the issue, if they find emotional equilibrium. Others may hold onto grudges. The result varies in every relationship.”
Honesty, the best policy
According to author and happiness coach Roshani Shenazz, in the past few years, there has been a rise in cases of societal misconduct, frauds, and crimes by one partner in a relationship, which led to the break of a long-term commitment. Honesty is important; yet couples may have non-harmful secrets which they wish to hold on to. She says, “If you have come to know of or got unwittingly embroiled in a situation where your partner has done something wrong or is accused of a wrong, then – try to stay calm and get to the bottom of things yourself; give your partner the benefit of the doubt while you are searching for the truth, but also be prepared to face an ugly reality.”
She advises keeping away from the cacophony of social media which has taken over modern life. “Conserve your energy for keeping the family and children together,” she suggests.
In extreme cases, make alternate arrangements for the family where they can get the necessary emotional, mental, and physical support. “Do not blindly believe everything or try to escape reality. Cut down on unnecessary splurges or rigid behavioural patterns that can disturb the peace at home. Teach children how to handle adversities and uncertainties of life. Help each other and your children understand that failure is not a full stop, but just a pause that will eventually lead you to happiness and success,” says Shenazz.