Most of us consider ourselves good communicators in our day-to-day lives, so it’s natural to believe we will have good communication in marriage. If this is the case, then why is it so hard for many couples to give each other what they need?
It’s a funny thing about humans. If we are in a relationship, when we are hurting the most, all we want to know is that we matter to our mate and that we are loved. So why is it so hard for most people to get what they desperately want in their time of need?
Why We Feel Alone in Our Time of Need
You would think that feeling hurt and wounded would be enough to signal to your mate that you need something from them immediately, some healing, or at least some holding. So why is it for many couples when one person feels wounded, that person never gets the attention from the mate that would help them feel better?
As a couples counselor I study human behavior in relationships. In the couples I counsel, I see this situation often. One person is deeply hurt by the actions of the other. They carry this wound around waiting to feel better. Only they don’t.
How We’re Trained to Expect Outside Aid
So why is it so hard for the person who gets hurt to heal? I think what happens is that our pain has a lot of history to it. Our experiences of getting hurt start when we are very young. All of us fell down and skinned our knees, or worse. We all cried and learned how to get better. Some of us had someone taking care of us in a real mothering way. And if you got that, it’s likely that is what your body expects when there is pain. Much of this is in the body and not in the thoughts, but it makes sense.
If we were trained to expect someone to nurse our wounds so we would feel better, even as grownups we wait for our partner to do this for us instinctively. We have a system set up inside us that we have used for so many years that we just fall into a well worn habit, only this time it’s our partner we expect to help us.
Expectantly Waiting on An Unknowing Partner – Failed Communication in Marriage
“I am hurt. You are supposed to fix it.” This is beyond words; it’s more like an automatic response, like breathing or blinking. We just wait for the other, our partner to do what is expected for us. Fix us.
We may not even realize that we suffer from this system inside us. But if you feel hurt and you hold on to that hurt, it’s possible that you are unconsciously waiting for your mate to take care of you and make you feel better.
When You Feel Hurt & Need Aid, COMMUNICATE!
But if this is not talked about or spoken in words it’s likely your mate, your beloved who really loves you, has probably no idea of what you need or how to make you feel better. Weird, huh? Your partner is supposed to know you inside and out and really get this thing about you right?
Well, not really. Unless we direct our partners, and hopefully you will do this when you are not upset, your mate will not instinctively know what you need. Your beloved is probably plenty familiar with your discomfort and the way you stay wounded, but it’s also likely your partner does not have a clue on how to help.
Let your partner know what you would like. It’s okay to ask for something. The one thing your partner wants to see and doesn’t know how to create is you being happy. If he or she is given the code to make that happen, just wait until the next time you are in pain. You won’t believe how fast you will be feeling better.
Some Ideas to Help Communicate Your Needs in Your Marriage
Read a Book with Communication Tips to Help Keep Your Partner in the Loop
Can’t make it on Monday? You can learn more about how to communicate clearly with your partner by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It’s full of relationship advice, including tips on how to communicate your needs to your partner. It may help you suffer less and love more. 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.