Situation:  an employee gives notice to his or her employer. The employer gives a counteroffer to the employee, who decides to stick with the current employer rather the leave. Did you know that the odds that the employee will still leave the current company within one year are 78%?

Why?  Think about it. What were the reasons that drove the employee to want to leave?  Maybe it was because the employee was worried about the financial condition of the company. Maybe he or she was past over for a promotion. Maybe it’s a new boss. Maybe the company is notorious for not paying well. Now the employee gives notice.  The boss thinks, not now! I can’t afford to lose this person at this point in time. A likely conversation to the employee is, “But we have such plans for you! You’re an important part of our team.  What will it take to keep you here?”

So the employer offers a new title, or more pay. The employee decides to stay. Two things just happened. The employer/boss thinks, “I can’t let myself be vulnerable to this situation again.” So the company begins to shift responsibilities and protect their position. Meanwhile, after the break-up and make-up euphoria has gone away within a few weeks, the employee realizes that the driving cause of wanting to leave really hasn’t changed. This person is still doing the same things; working with the same people; enduring whatever was the root problem. And the bond of trust for both parties has been broken. Eventually, they part ways. Theses are the statistics proven in an extensive survey taken by the National Association of Personal Services.

In the work environment, the 22% of counter offers that work are when the legitimate driving reason to compel an employee to leave is properly addressed the employee’s problem has been solved. For example, what if an employee loves his or her job, loves the company and likes the area, but doesn’t like the new boss. In a larger company, sometimes that employee can be moved to a new department. If the problem is solved, the counter offer works.  However, the TRUE solution is to maintain proper communication with the employee so that the situation doesn’t get to the crisis level.

Now think about a romance that’s slowly been going sideways. One partner wants out. The other partner thinks, “NO! I need you. We’re a good team. We can improve.” Both partners reconcile and everything is just fine again…or is it?  Actually, the percentages differ greatly from an employment scenario. One in every 2.7 marriages in the U.S. experiences the traumatizing effects of an affair (Spring & Spring, 1996). Studies have shown that marital discord generally surfaces during the first seven years, after the first child arrives, and/or when the first child turns 14 years of age (Shellenbarger, 2004). Other studies suggest that periods of disenchantment occur every four years (Dyn and Glenn, 1993). It’s easy to fall in love; its harder to keep it.

Statistics indicate that couples that attempt to reconcile after an affair have a 70 percent chance of staying together, while there is only a 30 percent likelihood of staying with the paramour from the affair (Brown, 1999).

But how does a couple stay happily married? Cynthia Frasier of suggests that the chances of repairing a relationship after an affair are increased whenever:

  • Both the betrayed and the betrayer have a genuine interest, perhaps not at the same level, in restoring the trust that has been breached;
  • The lover has been given up completely;
  • Both are willing to accept an appropriate share of responsibility for one’s contribution to the affair;
  • Both are willing to try new behaviors which build trust;
  • Both are willing to try new behaviors which build intimacy;
  • Both are willing to honestly recommit, characterized by a sense of connectedness despite differences, dissatisfaction, and ambivalence;
  • Both are willing to design a better future by sharing the responsibility for feeling satisfied and loved on a daily basis

Everyone grows individually and in a marriage. Life is one big evolution. The key for both is not to devolve. When one partner accuses, “You’re not the same person that I married,” there’s an interesting paradigm going on.  Did the accuser not evolve, whereas the other person grew?  Or did the accused devolve and also lose interest in trying to bolster the relationship?  Or both?

As in the business world, the key is an on-going respect and communication throughout the relationship so that things don’t get to the “crisis stage.”

One key to injecting energy and passion into a relationship is to continue Dating for Life. Chivalry isn’t dead in vibrant relationships. Never alter what gets you to the altar!

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