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.
All of us in relationships have thought about breaking up with our partner at some time or another. In fact maybe many of us have done it at least once. It is very common for couples to feel so hurt and misunderstood that they have to end things in order to feel better.
This is really human nature. When we are upset, most of us close up and can’t really communicate about what happened to us. And in some cases people are in such pain that the only way they can see their way through to feeling better is to cut off the offender so that can have some relief.
We all do some sort of this. Some of us yell because we are upset when we are hurt. Some just hold their feelings inside and wait for everything to calm down before trying to communicate again.
And there are those who are in such distress that their only recourse is to end things in the moment with finality. “I can’t do this anymore. I am done.” There were some words like this and maybe some curse words too.
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.
I think it comes as a surprise to most of us that the person we love usually is the one who causes us the most pain and suffering. Many of us imagine living happily ever after with the one we fall in love with.
We have these dreams of everything just being beautiful and romantic and perfect. And maybe it is for a while. But somewhere along the line things start to change and that perfect feeling of everything being just wonderful starts to diminish.
When we love our partners we really love them. But when we are mad at them, we don’t love them as much. I think this is probably the most common behavior humans exhibit in every relationship they are in.
It makes sense, in a way. When we get our feelings hurt, we pull ourselves inside and hide so we can take care of our pain. I know I do. But when we do that we disconnect from everything and everyone.