I know this couple who are good friends. They have been together a long time and are good together in a lot of ways. But the other day the wife was telling me about something that was bothering her about her man. She told me that when she just tries to help him, he becomes irritated and then gets upset with her.
This has been happening a lot lately, and she says and she feels bad about it. The situation makes her frustrated. And as I listened to her, I realized that these two are such beautiful people; they are just having an innocent misunderstanding. This is what my mind saw: he wants to be independent, and she wants to be helpful.
When we find our special person and we feel connected to them in ways that seem magical, we begin to believe, in parts of our body, that this is what we have been looking for all our life. This feeling we have with our person is the real thing. We want it to last. We all want our relationships to go on and be this way forever.
All relationships begin this way. Then other things start to happen and people wonder where that beautiful, wonderful feeling went to. Couples still say they love each other, but sometimes they don’t feel loved by one another. Sometimes, people wonder if their partner—the one who loves them—really loves them.
Most of us can relate to feeling some sort of irritation with our mate. I know we try and love them, but we all know we don’t love everything they do. In fact we might even become annoyed or irritated by some of their behaviors.
Some of us even get so frustrated when this happens that we can’t deal with those behaviors anymore so we leave the relationship and look for another partner, less annoying and irritating. But this article is about you staying in the relationship you are in and learning how to deal with your discomfort.
The most satisfying feeling for two people to share is experiencing a connection with their partner, the person they love. To know you are understood by them and to feel closeness that develops out of this connection is a place all humans long for. It is what reminds us of our togetherness, and it is way we all feel love.
Every one feels this when it’s happening, and we feel it distinctly when it’s cut off and is not available to us. All of us have felt a cold shoulder from someone we wanted to be with. Every one of us has been sad because we were not understood by our mate. This is the pain of being in love with our special person. This is often the key issue that keeps people apart.
All of us carry around a lot of feelings all the time. That’s just a characteristic of being human. Many of us carry around some deep love for our partners yet we don’t tell them about it. I am sometimes amazed during counseling sessions, when I will ask a man if he loves his girlfriend or wife and he’ll say, “Of course I do,” and then look over at her and say, “She knows that.”
He doesn’t tell her he loves her. He tells me he does and that she knows it. He accepts the fact that she already got his love declarations and assumes that’s all she needs. He already told her this and so it will always exist.
I was talking with my cousin’s husband the other day and I felt myself wanting to stress a point from my experience. It was a memory from my history that was really important to me, yet he was talking about something that was equally important to him; it was not in agreement with, and different from my story.
It felt like we were getting ready to disagree about parts of the story when I realized how important we as humans feel about our particular memories. It’s as if the way we think about things is so vital to our way of presenting ourselves in the world and to each other. This moment gave me some insight as to how we as partners in a relationship might want to argue to the death with our mate over memories that we perceive as not remembered correctly.
When we think about describing ourselves to others, most of us probably think of ourselves as kind people. If you are in a relationship than you would probably tell people you love your partner. If you think of extended family you might say you love them too.
But I know in my own life, when I was struggling to make something of myself, when I look back, I don’t see myself as being kind. Yes I was always nice when I was feeling good. But when I felt bad, no one got kindness.
When I was mad I stayed mad and everyone around me knew it. Kindness? Are you kidding? I was MAD, and that’s where I stayed.
When people get upset, some of us just naturally think people know. It’s not uncommon to believe that if we get our feelings hurt, the person who hurt them knows what they did. We also sometimes believe that everyone else might know what happened too. Our thoughts, especially when we get our feelings hurt, are very strong and convincing.
When I think about honesty in relationships, I am talking about expressing our emotional truth. When I see this in a counseling session I always feel something, like I am sharing a moment that is very special and pure.
I had the pleasure of helping a couple recently. It’s clear they love each other, but they were both exhausted trying to get love from each other. They were angry and were extremely unhappy too.
Figuring out how to communicate with your spouse and feel heard in times of conflict can be challenging. Passions run high and you probably both know exactly how to press one another’s buttons. But do you know how to hear each other and bring the conflict to a close?
When I work with couples I often help them to really listen to what their mate is saying. We all know how to talk, so it might sound funny that a couple would need a professional to help them hear, but that is sometimes what is needed.