The fourth danger zone for relationships is more like a blasting zone. It’s when the unexpected big challenges come along: an illness, a job loss, a career transition, a death in the family, a move, a betrayal, a financial crisis.
These challenges, by definition, take all we have and more to get through with grace. If the fabric of the relationship is frayed when the challenge comes along, it may not hold together through the crisis.
Unlike the other danger zones, which all have at least some predictability, both in the sense that we know they will happen, and we know approximately when, these challenges come, for the most part, without warning and they blast a hole in the life we thought we had.
The best way you can prepare for meeting these challenges is to keep your relationship a top priority at all times. Don’t take your partner for granted. That partner should be your biggest ally in times of challenge, but if you haven’t been allies before the challenge hits, you may not be very successful at becoming allies then.
Ask yourself this. If your relationship were your top priority, what would one thing you could and would do to nurture it today? Ask yourself that daily. And whatever answer you come up with, follow through.