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.
We Send Years Learning Who We Are and Forming Habits Before We Join Lives with Another
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.
All that is just fine, except if we want to be in harmony with our partner we have to recognize that they are completely different. When we join someone in a relationship, we bring our entire self. Many of us are comfortable with who we are and are confident with how we arrange our lives.
This is the way humans become individuals. It is all good, but when there are two of you in a relationship and you are both trying to force the other person to see things the way you want them and they are trying to get you to do the same with their view, then there are problems.
Our Habits from the Outside World Don’t Always Translate Well to Relationships
Two strong people often find each other and really connect. Strong people probably have a lot of useful skills. They can make decisions and go forward with those decisions. They are confident in their approach to life and they like things the way they like them.
These habits are formed early as an individual person. But when people join with another there are often problems. It might be the first time that a strong person will run into opposition to how they want things and this could be devastating.
We Need to Build Better Relationship Habits, like Making Room for Our Mate
All of us want to feel at home in our relationships. But there can’t be just one way to look at things because there are two of you in the relationship. And if you are a strong person who is used to making all of their decisions, having to hear another and accept something different can become a very big challenge.
I can totally relate to this. In the beginning of my relationship with my partner I was very strong. I knew what I wanted and what I liked and I didn’t even realize I was running over my mate. Not until we went to couples counseling (before I was a counselor) did I even realize that I was not the only one in the relationship. And believe it or not, that was the first time in my life that I had that insight. I learned that I had to make room for my mate.
Making Room for Our Partner’s Needs and Letting Them Help Helps You Grow as a Couple
Even though I liked things that way I wanted them, I was not alone and I had to allow for another person’s opinion. This was a new lesson for me. And guess what, it helped me grow. I didn’t have to be so forceful. I could relax a bit, because there was another person there helping.
And that was the best part of all. I didn’t have to do all the work. And for the first time in my life, I could feel some relief.
Build Better Habits in Your Relationship
Read a Book About Relationships
Learn how to communicate more confidently in your relationship, by reading Linda’s book Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It might just help you both feel closer, better understood, and more assured of one another’s feelings. Give it a read.
Get Couples Counseling
Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.