A lot of us in relationships have a partner who speaks a lot less than we do. I know this describes mine. I am a talker. I verbalize what I think and like to have conversations with my beloved.
But I also know him very well and for him, his conversations and words are about one third of the conversations and words I speak. Sometimes I take a long time to describe something and he won’t have a response.
When we are criticized by the person we love it feels like we’ve been stung. It is unforgiving and painful. Criticism from our partner can even feel like judgment, like we have done something wrong, and like we are not good enough.
So, feeling judged in a relationship is quite common. We really love our partners, but there are things about them we don’t like and we want those things to change. So, a lot of us just tell our partners what we don’t like. And when we do this, we are criticizing them.
We are probably just telling them about a behavior or an action or a misstatement or something small, but when hearing it from a mate it can feel as if it is everything. We might even start to believe that our partner doesn’t even like us, and that is the farthest thing from the truth.
Feeling alone in a relationship is quite common. Even though you are sharing your life with another person, sometimes we can be so lost in our own thoughts that we feel all by ourselves.
The funny thing is that your partner is probably right there and yet you still feel alone. This happens to a lot of couples. And when we feel alone in our relationship, more things start to happen. We might even get mad at our mate.
We might say to them, “I just don’t feel connected like I used to,” or “You never talk to me,” and “You’d rather be with your friends than be with me.”
Each one of these phrases tell the partner something. It first signals is that you are mad at them. But the real point I think you are trying to make is that you love them and want to feel more love.
Most of us enter into a relationship trying to do the best job we can for our mate. We are pretty capable individuals and we often apply what we think they might need, enjoy, desire and want and try to anticipate what that might be, and then produce it.
Everyone does this in the beginning. But something happens after we try and try to make things good and right. We might get frustrated that our partner doesn’t understand all of our efforts and we might even get mad and feel unappreciated at them for not seeing what we are doing for them.
Does this sound familiar? I think all of us in a relationship have been here before. So, what do we do about it? This is where we learn to do what we can and not do more than we want to do, and reveal what may seem obvious.
Resentment in relationships is all too familiar to us. It’s when our anger towards someone gets so hard it turns into a wall of everything we don’t like about that person. That’s what we normally refer to as “resentment.”
We treat resentment like it is the most important thing we can feel. We hold on to it so tightly that we hope the one we are using it against can feel it too. Resentment is like a cold brick wall. It’s so strong and solid, the person it’s directed towards would have to be dead not to feel it.
That’s what resentment feels like. We notice it. We feel it. But what underlies it is even more interesting to me. I read this recently: resentment in relationships stems from self-pity.
We humans are funny. We learn as individuals how to take care of ourselves. Most of us learn all the skills needed to become successful in our lives. Society teaches us basic bodily activities: eating, bathing, dressing, etc.. We learn the skills that help us with a career or trade.
We are even good at selecting a mate. But that’s where our skills end.
When it comes to relationships or matters of the heart we act like the other is responsible for taking care of us. “What?” you might ask? Well, think about it. You might blame your partner when you’re upset.
And if you aren’t a blamer, then you might silently expect your mate to do a whole lot more for you than they are doing right now.
“Hurt people hurt people.”A friend of mine recently shared this expression with me. It resonated with me as a counselor. I understand pain in people, maybe because I have experienced it myself.
Pain and hurt can come in many ways. And we can feel it throughout our lives, and sometimes we take out our pain on others.
Humans are sensitive beings. We are often impacted by feeling another’s energy. This happens a lot in relationships and it has a big impact on us. So, let’s figure out what we can do about these frequent situations.
I often hear from people who are impacted by the moods of their mates. This is very common. Just think about it for a moment. How often do you walk into a room with people and feel drawn to some and put off by others? It happens to all of us, if we notice it.
I have had the great opportunity to work with many, many different types of couples in my practice as a couple’s counselor. I have also had the opportunity to write about different relationship problems, because I have encountered them or observed them in my friends, family, and clients.
So now I am writing about another issue that has been cropping up lately, and that is: what to do about the “explainer?”
So, first of all, what is an explainer? This is a person who when he or she gets their feelings hurt turns to many, many words to explain what happened to them and how their partner failed them.
It’s funny to think of not being good at “living” life. All of us, as humans, pride ourselves at being effective. Every one of us does things to the best of our ability. And yet, many relationships are not satisfying to the people in them. And many people wonder why being in a relationship is so hard.
Well, there are good reasons for relationship challenges. For starters, where did you learn how to be in a relationship? Maybe you saw some movies or watched other people. Maybe you saw examples of what not to do and vowed to do something different. Or perhaps you had examples that you thought were good but they are not proving to work in your current relationship.