To love is to misunderstand. No matter how much we love our partners, we still won’t always understand them. In fact, most people in relationships spend lots of time trying to understand each other. And there are reasons for that.
When we couple, we are often completely taken with the person who is right for us. They give us a feeling of knowing each other in a way that is so inviting. It might even feel as if we have finally come home.
This is the most beautiful feeling ever. But after a while we start to see that our perfect mate does not understand us as much as we thought. Then the challenges begin. We might even get mad at our mate because they don’t get us the way we thought they did.
Communicating feelings in a relationship can be hard. Clients sometimes ask, “I tell him how I feel! Why doesn’t it work?” Let’s look at some differences in how we communicate and the best way we can reach each other.
Some of us are very good at speaking what is happening to us when our feelings get hurt. I know I grew up that way, always saying what I needed to say and hoping someone would listen and help.
This is probably a lifelong habit that many of us are very used to. But some of us in this world are not talkers. Maybe you are partnered with one. I am. He is great at a lot of things, but he doesn’t need to talk about what is happening to his insides. I do.
Sometimes in relationships there is a mixture of two people who respond in opposite directions when there is a problem. Some of us try and fix the problem or point it out and want to talk about it right away. Others may have a tendency to shut down when there is difficulty.
There is no problem with how we are individually wired. The problems come when we couple because it is very common that, whatever our pattern, we will couple with someone who is the opposite.
And when the person we’re with goes in pulls in or pushes, in the opposite direction we want to go, we often get frustrated, annoyed and angry. It just goes with the territory. So, what can we do about it?
I had an interesting session recently. I had been working with this couple. I felt we had made progress, but the last session I wondered if we had. They were very mad or disappointed or cut off from the each other. But these feelings didn’t prevent them from telling the other what they felt.
It went back and forth and I ended up putting my head in my hands and wondering aloud if I was helping them at all. That’s when one of them got up and said, “It’s not helping, and I am going to leave.”
All of us in this world have basic kindness, compassion and insight. These are human traits that we all have inside of us. Sometimes, though, when there is a fight between partners, we forget our goodness and make our mates the enemies or tell ourselves we are at fault.
This always creates hardship in a relationship between two people. We all couple with the one we love so we can have a good life. We are always drawn to the person who makes us feel alive and at home in a good way.
Sometimes in relationships one person is the boss and the other person kind of just follows what the boss wants and says. This can work, and in some cases it can work very well.
But sometimes some of us bristle at being told what to do by the boss. I had this experience recently, not from my mate but from a friend.
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 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.
Often when people are in relationships they can’t help but see the partnership from their own perspective. We all do this in the beginning, and we ask ourselves questions. Do I like this person? Are they right for me? Am I happy? Do I love them?
Of course we come from our own mind, we don’t know them well enough to be in theirs yet. But what happens when you have been in a relationship for a while and you are still in your own mind. Well the chances are your relationship might be a push and pull.
Resentment in relationships is all too familiar to us. It’s when our anger towards someone gets so hard it turns into a wall of everything we don’t like about that person. That’s what we normally refer to as “resentment.”
We treat resentment like it is the most important thing we can feel. We hold on to it so tightly that we hope the one we are using it against can feel it too. Resentment is like a cold brick wall. It’s so strong and solid, the person it’s directed towards would have to be dead not to feel it.
That’s what resentment feels like. We notice it. We feel it. But what underlies it is even more interesting to me. I read this recently: resentment in relationships stems from self-pity.