All of us in relationships come into our union with the skills we learned growing up. Many of us might have come from homes where the problems never got solved. Some of us might even be new to even thinking about saying, “I am sorry.”
That’s how I grew up. My family was full of love and deep connections, but the display of those emotions was buried under a lot of anger and disappointment. When someone drank the milk and another family member wanted some, that person would yell, “Who drank the milk?” If someone answered, then there would be an argument about why they drank all the milk.
When we live with another and in a close relationship it is very common to think we know exactly what our partner is thinking or what they are about to do. This just happens in many relationships. Sometimes we are absolutely right. But sometimes we are not.
And that is the point of this article. Often we can see that our mate should just do such and such, especially when we are having a disagreement. If they only said or did this then everything would be better.
All of us as children learned about the world. We understood if we were well taken care of, or if we were ignored. We figured out when we were coddled and not allowed to say much, or we had to discover things by ourselves and speak up.
All of us have had childhood experiences that shaped us. And since we survived into adulthood, our skills that we developed worked. We all got here. These skills became our habits, and they don’t disappear when we enter a relationship.
A lot of us in relationships try and get what we want to make ourselves feel comfortable. Sometimes our mates do things that make us uncomfortable and then we tell them what we like and don’t like. This is very common.
But when we get into difficulty with our partner and they don’t do what we like, we might fall into a pattern of telling that they are lazy, stupid, mean, unkind and more. We might start to label them. And this labeling can have a devastating effect.
Many times, in relationships one partner will say something to their mate about how their habits are the right way to do things because that is the way they grew up. This is very common.
All of us are taught how to be humans by the training we received when we were little. If we grew up putting our clothes in the hamper when dirty, then this is the habit we will bring into our relationship.
If we grew up laying our clothes on chairs or on the floor as a child, and this habit is still with us, then we will do the same thing in our relationship.
No one knows everything about another person. No matter how close, there are always some things that one person keeps to him or herself. This is normal and extremely human.
But when we are in a relationship with our special person, well that is the time to reveal what is inside us. We do this because when we tell them something that we see about ourselves, we educate them on who we are and how we think.
We also invite them inside of us where most of us live all the time. But let me start over again. I have already given you the reason we should invite them in, but I haven’t even acknowledged that most of us don’t actually do it.
Most of us, by the time we choose a mate, have spent our lives figuring out how to be ourselves. Often it takes a while to just know who we are and what we will do when we need something or have to do something.
These are very unique and individual skills, and we all know that we are not the same as anyone else on the planet. So, when we meet our mate, we are pretty sure we know who we are, and we are probably comfortable about some of our ways too.
When we are in a relationship we can easily tell when our feelings get hurt. Since there is just another person it is quite obvious that we can pinpoint who did what to us and made us feel bad.
Then most of us try and get our partners to realize they hurt us and to stop doing the thing that caused the pain. This is very common with couples. But if you are the person who is often being told they are hurting their mate; you might begin to feel that you are not fully loved.
Criticism in relationships is incredibly common. Wonder why? All of us in a relationship like things the way we like them. Including how our partners act. We like them not to embarrass us and we like them to talk to us pleasantly. As humans we prefer things that please us. This is entirely normal.
But as someone who is sensitive to criticism, I know how terrible it feels when someone points out what you do not do well. It hurts some of us to our core. We can’t help it, that’s just the way some of us are wired.