All of us expect things to go right in our lives. This is definitely the way humans are wired. We play out our expectations almost minute by minute. We select the food we want to eat and expect it to taste the way we remember. If it doesn’t then we might get upset or disappointed.
Well, we play out this system of expecting things in our relationships too. We simply expect to be happy with the person we love. Isn’t that the way the fairy tail ends? Living happily ever after? Only real life is not a fairy tale, and what we expect is not always what we get.
All of us get mad at our mates. Most couples wonder whether it’s normal in relationships. It is. But so many people think that if they fall in love with someone, they will always feel that wonderful feeling and it will never change.
I call this problem the “happy ever after” condition. Somewhere in all of us, there is this idea that when we meet our person, we will be happy forever more.
Letting go of resentment in marriage and other relationships is a complicated process. It is not like having a new thought which magically negates the resentment. No, it takes understanding of what is going on, and it takes work to ease out of it.
And all of us have felt or used resentment at some time or another. And that’s because resentment can happen to us so easily. When we get our feelings hurt, especially by the person we love, we get really wounded.
If we are not able to let our pain out and get healed, well then we put a wall around our heart and protect it so we won’t get hurt again. This starts out to be just a slight cover over the pain, but if we continue to get hurt without healing then we build up a thick concrete wall between our heart and the one we love.
When you get into misunderstandings or disagreements with your mate, what do you do? All of us have a reaction, and that is normal. People will not always understand each other even if they love each other dearly. And when the misunderstandings occur, most of us get our feelings hurt.
Sometimes those hurt feelings cause us to either pull our hurt feelings inside ourselves and say nothing. Other times, we do the opposite and lash out at those who hurt our feelings. This combination of systems plays out often in relationships.
As humans it is very common to want something and then pursue it. We do this all the time. We are exceptional at setting goals and moving our lives toward them. This is how many of us are wired.
Even in relationships. But that can bring about its own set of challenges. I have worked with many couples who have been in a situation where one or both will push their mate to get what they want. And unfortunately, it doesn’t work.
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.
It’s not often that we get a chance to observe a successful couple in action. And when we do see one, we might not even notice it. I had the chance to be in the presence of such a couple and this is what I witnessed.
I was at a conference led by two people who have been a couple for many years. What struck me is that they clearly love each other. It was so soft and tender in certain moments, I was really amazed by it.
I started to think about what we all want in our relationships. We want to feel safe, and happy, and taken care of. I think that’s about it. But often we go about trying to get these things by telling our partner what is wrong.
All of us humans get our feelings hurt, and if we are in a relationship this might happen to us often. Someone does something and immediately we feel as if we have been wronged. This is just the way people interact with each other when they are in close quarters.
It makes you normal if this happens to you. But I bet you wish it didn’t. In fact all of us who get our feelings hurt by our partner wish it wouldn’t happen. Unfortunately if you are a couple you know it does.
I wonder if there are any relationships that are perfect, you know where no one ever gets their feelings hurt. I doubt it. I have met hundreds of couples and none of them fit into this category. I don’t. I get my feelings hurt by my favorite person.
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.