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.
Most of us, by the time we choose a mate, have spent our lives figuring out how to be ourselves. Often it takes a while to just know who we are and what we will do when we need something or have to do something.
These are very unique and individual skills, and we all know that we are not the same as anyone else on the planet. So, when we meet our mate, we are pretty sure we know who we are, and we are probably comfortable about some of our ways too.
Often when people get their feelings hurt they take what happened to them and re-run it through their brain again and again. Sometimes we can see that we should have said something different, and sometimes we just get madder and madder.
This situation happens in all our relationships, especially with the people we are really close to. I know that when I used to get mad at my partner I would just “stew” over what happened. It was as if I was marinating in the juices of what was done to me.
The more I sat in the stew the madder I got. You see how this works? We get our feelings hurt, something normal that happens in relationships, and then we run it through our minds over and over and over.
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.
I was talking to a potential client for couples counseling when she asked me if I would be giving her a prescription to follow in order to get better.
I was stunned for a moment and I think in all my years of counseling I have never been asked this. But I do know there is absolutely no way to understand a couple without meeting them, and I don’t have any idea what would be helpful for them, because there is no one size fits all plan for couples.
Our childhood patterns are important to us when we are young. They keep us safe and help us survive. We often often bring those childhood patterns with us into adulthood, and because we can’t seem to change them, we sometimes let them stand between us and the love we experience in an adult relationship.
You may have experienced this in your own relationship. If you get your feelings hurt and your first response is for you to leave and just remove yourself from the pain, then you are reinforcing a childhood pattern that you have used in your past to defend against being hurt.
Many of us, when we find our special person, go all in. I know I have done this, maybe you have done this too. Going all in means that we love with our entire being. We have found the “right” one and we are blissfully happy.
This is how all relationships start. However, as anyone who has been with their mate for a while knows, that blissfully happy place doesn’t last. No, it doesn’t.
But if we are determined to build a life with the one we love, then we must learn new skills of how to love and be loved better. And these skills include understanding how we get hurt and how we heal.
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.