I had an interesting session recently. I had been working with this couple. I felt we had made progress, but the last session I wondered if we had. They were very mad or disappointed or cut off from the each other. But these feelings didn’t prevent them from telling the other what they felt.
It went back and forth and I ended up putting my head in my hands and wondering aloud if I was helping them at all. That’s when one of them got up and said, “It’s not helping, and I am going to leave.”
All of us at one time or another will feel as if we are the only person in our relationship. This is a feeling that many of us have and it is very common. But it doesn’t feel good even though lots of us feel it.
And it can come upon us in a flash. We are just humming along in our relationship and then wham! We are struck with thinking and wondering if our partner even cares for us. We might have had a disagreement and feel all alone and don’t know how to get back to the connection.
All of us in this world have basic kindness, compassion and insight. These are human traits that we all have inside of us. Sometimes, though, when there is a fight between partners, we forget our goodness and make our mates the enemies or tell ourselves we are at fault.
This always creates hardship in a relationship between two people. We all couple with the one we love so we can have a good life. We are always drawn to the person who makes us feel alive and at home in a good way.
Sometimes in relationships one person is the boss and the other person kind of just follows what the boss wants and says. This can work, and in some cases it can work very well.
But sometimes some of us bristle at being told what to do by the boss. I had this experience recently, not from my mate but from a friend.
A funny thing happens when we fall in love with our person. We begin to expect things we sometimes can’t even put into words. I see this occurring in many of the couples that I counsel. I have fallen victim to this as well.
When we trust another with our heart, the head thinks things about this union too. The heart feels safe and connected and the mind then follows with expecting certain things to happen, like for our partner to always understand us.
Every one of us has a choice on how we respond to life. Yes, we are not automatic, unthinking machines that just react without thinking, although most of us are automatic human machines sometimes in our life.
Usually these are the times when we create the most difficulty for our relationship, when we respond to criticism, or harsh words or something unkind without thinking.
All of us expect things to go right in our lives. This is definitely the way humans are wired. We play out our expectations almost minute by minute. We select the food we want to eat and expect it to taste the way we remember. If it doesn’t then we might get upset or disappointed.
Well, we play out this system of expecting things in our relationships too. We simply expect to be happy with the person we love. Isn’t that the way the fairy tail ends? Living happily ever after? Only real life is not a fairy tale, and what we expect is not always what we get.
All of us get mad at our mates. Most couples wonder whether it’s normal in relationships. It is. But so many people think that if they fall in love with someone, they will always feel that wonderful feeling and it will never change.
I call this problem the “happy ever after” condition. Somewhere in all of us, there is this idea that when we meet our person, we will be happy forever more.
Letting go of resentment in marriage and other relationships is a complicated process. It is not like having a new thought which magically negates the resentment. No, it takes understanding of what is going on, and it takes work to ease out of it.
And all of us have felt or used resentment at some time or another. And that’s because resentment can happen to us so easily. When we get our feelings hurt, especially by the person we love, we get really wounded.
If we are not able to let our pain out and get healed, well then we put a wall around our heart and protect it so we won’t get hurt again. This starts out to be just a slight cover over the pain, but if we continue to get hurt without healing then we build up a thick concrete wall between our heart and the one we love.
When you get into misunderstandings or disagreements with your mate, what do you do? All of us have a reaction, and that is normal. People will not always understand each other even if they love each other dearly. And when the misunderstandings occur, most of us get our feelings hurt.
Sometimes those hurt feelings cause us to either pull our hurt feelings inside ourselves and say nothing. Other times, we do the opposite and lash out at those who hurt our feelings. This combination of systems plays out often in relationships.