Why Relationships Deteriorate

& how you can make the honeymoon phase last!

Marlena Tillhon MSc
4 min readFeb 19, 2024
Photo by tabitha turner on Unsplash

“It was 7pm and my wife went to bed. But she didn’t go to sleep — she spent 3 hours on Instagram.”

“We were so busy with work, we had hardly seen each other and then when we had a weekend together, my boyfriend chose to go out with his mates.”

“My partner used to meet me for lunch because he wanted to see me but more recently he finds more reasons not to meet up.”

What draws us to each other is always a mutual wanting to be together and wanting to spend time together.

That’s what we’re looking for.

It is what helps us to feel liked, wanted and appreciated.

It’s easy to want to be with someone when they want to be with you.

It creates a positive relationship cycle that elevates your relationship esteem as well as your self-esteem.

Many people call it the honeymoon phase. I call it the ‘loving input’ phase.


Because you contribute positively and lovingly.

You make an effort.

You show the other person that you want to see them.

You initiate contact.

You respond positively to bids for connection.

You make bids for connection.

You change your routine to create space for your partner.

You show them that you want them.

Your input is loving and attentive.

That’s why the relationship thrives.

That’s why you feel good.

That’s how you bond.

So then, we get complacent.

We think that a relationship should just work by itself.

Because that’s how life works, right?


Nothing works if there is no effective input.

And relationships are no different!

It’s not the honeymoon phase that ends.

It’s your intentional input that changes.

And that’s how your relationship dynamics get affected.

That’s how your relationship takes a turn for the worse.

I am not saying that you have to be full-on every day.

I am not saying that you have to have over-the-top displays of affection scheduled in.

I am not saying that you have to exhaust yourself to make your relationship work.

What I am saying is that you have to show your partner that you want to be with them.

Your actions matter.

The truth lies in your actions.

In the beginning of your relationship, you chose to spend time with your partner.

You prioritised spending time with them and being close to them.

Your desire, your intention, your words and your actions all aligned.

This brings a great deal of safety in terms of predictability and trust to the relationship. It’s how you form a secure base that allows your relationship to thrive.

You don’t leave them wondering where they stand on your list of priorities. They know. They see it. You show it. You live it.

So if you’re in a relationship in which your partner constantly chooses to do anything but spend time with you, you are not going crazy. You’re not reading the wrong things into this situation. You are not too needy or sensitive.

Have the conversation.

Talk to improve and save your relationship.

You need to make sure that you still want each other and that you still want to be together.

You need to find out if you’re still on the same page and willing to do what it takes to bring back the love and re-establish a positive relationship cycle that nourishes you both.

Yes, life is busy. Yes, parenting is hard.

But getting divorced because you don’t prioritise spending time together and protecting your relationship foundation is indefinitely harder.

You can try to talk your way out of showing that you love someone. You can try and talk yourself out of feeling emotionally neglected.

But no matter what mental gymnastics you try to apply, you can never escape the truth. Because the truth will always show up again and make you feel it until you accept to deal with it.

Life is too short to go without the love you need.

Stop settling for less than you want.

Choose yourself and choose real love, not low-effort relationships that deprive you of the connection all healthy humans need.

Your needs are valid. What you want matters. Compatibility counts.

I invite you to join the ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go?’ program to find out how to save your relationship or whether it’s time to walk away and move on.

With Love, Marlena

Work your way through the ‘Stay or Go Method’ to find out what to do next …



Marlena Tillhon MSc

Epic Love Relationships & Aligned Partner Choices through Inner Healing & Self-Mastery - follow me on IG @lovewithclarity and visit me on www.epiclove.me