All of us in relationships come into our union with the skills we learned growing up. Many of us might have come from homes where the problems never got solved. Some of us might even be new to even thinking about saying, “I am sorry.”
That’s how I grew up. My family was full of love and deep connections, but the display of those emotions was buried under a lot of anger and disappointment. When someone drank the milk and another family member wanted some, that person would yell, “Who drank the milk?” If someone answered, then there would be an argument about why they drank all the milk.
All of us grow up and believe that when we meet our person we will live eternally happy. This is a wonderful fantasy. But that is not the reality of most couples.
If you are in a relationship then you know that your relationship started out so great and then became a little more difficult. And that is the story of most relationships. Only we don’t think about this part when we fall in love.
Some of us blame our partners when things do not go right. Some of us even blame ourselves when things are not great. If you blame yourself, this article is for you.
A lot of us in relationships try and get what we want to make ourselves feel comfortable. Sometimes our mates do things that make us uncomfortable and then we tell them what we like and don’t like. This is very common.
But when we get into difficulty with our partner and they don’t do what we like, we might fall into a pattern of telling that they are lazy, stupid, mean, unkind and more. We might start to label them. And this labeling can have a devastating effect.
Sometimes we get so mad at the person we are in a relationship with that the only thing that can come out of our mouths is the worst thing we can ever say to another human. This happens when we are terribly wounded, they just can’t see that we are in pain, and they are not understanding us. We feel it’s so important that they just understand us, that we have to crush them with all our might.
Yeah, I have been there. It is never nice. It is always the worst thing we can do to people we love. And it is so hard to take back all the terrible things that we have said too. It is so hard to make things right again.
I know this as well. In my past I have destroyed many friendships and relationships with my anger and my crushing. I have even sworn at my mother. Yeah. I did that.
Many times, in relationships one partner will say something to their mate about how their habits are the right way to do things because that is the way they grew up. This is very common.
All of us are taught how to be humans by the training we received when we were little. If we grew up putting our clothes in the hamper when dirty, then this is the habit we will bring into our relationship.
If we grew up laying our clothes on chairs or on the floor as a child, and this habit is still with us, then we will do the same thing in our relationship.
Most of us in our lives do both, we pull things apart and we put things back together again. This is also the way of relationships. Sometimes we have such hurt feelings we have to separate from our mate. And then other times we feel the loneliness of that separation and want to be together again, so we make our way to our partner.
There is nothing uncommon about the actions described above, but if we want to have a smoothness in our relationships, we might want to look at what we do to separate, and what we do when we want to rejoin.
Because when we know our actions and can look at the effects they have on our partners, then we can evaluate if they are working or if we want to do something different. This is about growing our awareness and using it to benefit the relationship.
When we are in a relationship we can easily tell when our feelings get hurt. Since there is just another person it is quite obvious that we can pinpoint who did what to us and made us feel bad.
Then most of us try and get our partners to realize they hurt us and to stop doing the thing that caused the pain. This is very common with couples. But if you are the person who is often being told they are hurting their mate; you might begin to feel that you are not fully loved.
Criticism in relationships is incredibly common. Wonder why? All of us in a relationship like things the way we like them. Including how our partners act. We like them not to embarrass us and we like them to talk to us pleasantly. As humans we prefer things that please us. This is entirely normal.
But as someone who is sensitive to criticism, I know how terrible it feels when someone points out what you do not do well. It hurts some of us to our core. We can’t help it, that’s just the way some of us are wired.
All of us in our relationships have reservations. What I mean is that all of us at some time or another will withhold our complete affection, love and joy from our mate because we have something that is unfinished. These are the reservations I am talking about.
And when we have these areas that we withhold from our mate we often answer questions with “Yes”, but there is often a catch. We add a “but”. It could sound something like, “Will you go to the beach with me?” “Yes I will go, but last time we went you did such and such, and I don’t want to go if you are going to act that way.”
Do you get what I am talking about? When we agree with our mate we say yes. When we add a but we are giving them an excuse as to why the yes is not solid. This is a habit that I encounter many times in my office when I work with couples.