When we are in a relationship, some of us often look at our partners and wonder how could they treat us they way they do. We might even try and get them to change their actions by complaining about what it is that makes us uncomfortable.
Many of us do this. I know I have done this in the past. But now I try and do something different. I wonder what it is inside myself that gets me so riled. I look inside myself for clues to help me understand me.
All of us are connected to our special person in our own way. And it is usually pretty great for those of us who are in a relationship with another person. But on occasion I am wondering if you ever feel that you are talking to someone who is from another planet?
I know sometimes I am talking to my mate and he is looking at me as if I have two heads. I feel he is just not following what I am talking about even though I am speaking in the language that I know how to speak.
There is nothing wrong with either of us. There is nothing wrong with the way that I speak, nor is there anything wrong with the way he listens. It’s just that we have different approaches to the world.
Many of us get mad when our feelings get hurt. This is a very common human feature. A lot of us are wired to express our pain by getting upset, and that’s what we do.
But when we are in a relationship, the anger and the upset can be a problem for our mate. They might take it personally or they might try and fix us, but whatever they try to do to help us usually doesn’t work.
Many of us seek love from another person. That kind of explains why we couple. We look for the right kind of mate so we can feel good about ourselves. This is very human. But the more I learn about myself and other people, the more I understand that when we are fully ourselves, and only ourselves, that is when we can feel love.
Let me explain. When we find our partners we feel complete in some way, as if we have been missing something and after finding them we now feel whole. But if we always need to feel this feeling with our person, when we don’t feel it, we might start to feel less than—like we lost something important.
To love is to misunderstand. No matter how much we love our partners, we still won’t always understand them. In fact, most people in relationships spend lots of time trying to understand each other. And there are reasons for that.
When we couple, we are often completely taken with the person who is right for us. They give us a feeling of knowing each other in a way that is so inviting. It might even feel as if we have finally come home.
This is the most beautiful feeling ever. But after a while we start to see that our perfect mate does not understand us as much as we thought. Then the challenges begin. We might even get mad at our mate because they don’t get us the way we thought they did.
Communicating feelings in a relationship can be hard. Clients sometimes ask, “I tell him how I feel! Why doesn’t it work?” Let’s look at some differences in how we communicate and the best way we can reach each other.
Some of us are very good at speaking what is happening to us when our feelings get hurt. I know I grew up that way, always saying what I needed to say and hoping someone would listen and help.
This is probably a lifelong habit that many of us are very used to. But some of us in this world are not talkers. Maybe you are partnered with one. I am. He is great at a lot of things, but he doesn’t need to talk about what is happening to his insides. I do.
Sometimes in relationships there is a mixture of two people who respond in opposite directions when there is a problem. Some of us try and fix the problem or point it out and want to talk about it right away. Others may have a tendency to shut down when there is difficulty.
There is no problem with how we are individually wired. The problems come when we couple because it is very common that, whatever our pattern, we will couple with someone who is the opposite.
And when the person we’re with goes in pulls in or pushes, in the opposite direction we want to go, we often get frustrated, annoyed and angry. It just goes with the territory. So, what can we do about it?
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.