Being unhappy in a relationship is pretty common. Having an affair because of that unhappiness is also pretty common. When people feel lonely they will do almost anything to relieve the loneliness, including starting a relationship with another person.
I have counselled several couples where one of the mates turned to another to relieve whatever they were feeling. Usually they think they will never be caught by the other, but it often happens that the other already knows.
“How much love is enough?” I was thinking about love recently and this question popped into my mind as I pondered. I wondered about this, because I see so much hunger for love every time I meet a new couple in counseling.
A couple will come in and they will tell me their issues of what is usually wrong with their partner. They often have very great details of how much their mate has hurt them. I will listen to these stories and I am always left with the same feeling. They are all hungry for more love from the other.
All of us who are in a relationship have many things in common. First off, we all probably want it to work. We most likely want to live peacefully with the person we love. Another thing we probably all agree on is that we don’t want to fight. We just want to get along and experience good feelings with each other.
Yes, I believe we can all agree on what we want. Now here’s what we don’t want. We don’t want to get our feelings hurt. We don’t want to get mad at our mate. We don’t want to feel bad about ourselves or work too hard for our partner. I bet we can all agree on what we don’t want too.
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 had some relatives visit recently, among them a 5-year-old boy who loves “Frosted Mini-Wheats.” For those of you that don’t know, this is shredded wheat with sugar pasted on one side. When I was a little girl I used to live on sweet cereal. So when the relatives left and the box of cereal remained, I claimed it as my own.
For a couple of days I had this lovely cereal for breakfast, feeling like a child again. But on the third day when I went to grab the milk I knew there wasn’t enough for my husband’s coffee the next morning. There was a little left, but not enough for the two cups he drinks daily…
Every one of us does something when we are angry. All of us have some kind of behavior that accompanies feelings of being wronged. It’s just how humans are wired.
I was thinking about this after reading a story about a married couple. They love each other. He is deaf and nearly blind. They communicate through sign language where the husband places his hands on the wife’s. That’s how they talk. It was a beautiful story. It told how they fell in love, through communicating with holding each others hands.
The story gave rich details about their lives. It even mentioned something everyone goes through, which some people did not expect. This couple gets mad at each other too. Only when the feelings are big, they still have to connect their hands in order to tell each other what is wrong…
Many times when I work with couples I hear them wishing they felt better. I feel their discomfort when they tell me about their partner and how they don’t feel loved. I empathize with the individuals who tell me how unhappy they are about feeling distant in their relationship.
These feelings are pretty common. And there are reasons why. When we fall in love with our special person everything feels better than it’s ever felt. We fall in love with that feeling and we hunger for it when it goes away.
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.
I was driving recently and while looking out the window saw an old man with white hair. He was tall and appeared in good health. He had this look in his eye, a young sort of gleam that spelled mischief. I caught him in the action of reaching for his ladies hand. It was a cold night and her head was buried in a hat, but I saw a huge smile brim across her mouth when they connected.
She took his hand and looked up at him. He looked at her and they locked eyes as if they had just met. It felt so fresh I thought for a moment they might be on a first date. But the friendliness of the action had a familiar feel to it and reminded me that they have probably held hands many, many times before.
I was visiting New York recently and it was cold. Standing in a store to get my coffee I noticed an older man wearing a thick winter jacket holding a little doggy in a coat. It was a small dog, about 10 pounds, held close to this man’s breast. The animal’s little head was shaking.
I asked the man the name of his puppy, and in a second his hardness in his face turned into a little boy as his eyes softened and he said in the sweetest voice, “Sprinkles.” My heart felt his heart. I could feel his sincere devotion to his little dog. It was like a melody of a beautiful song the way he spoke of his pup, sweet, pure, wonderful.