All of us as children learned about the world. We understood if we were well taken care of, or if we were ignored. We figured out when we were coddled and not allowed to say much, or we had to discover things by ourselves and speak up.
All of us have had childhood experiences that shaped us. And since we survived into adulthood, our skills that we developed worked. We all got here. These skills became our habits, and they don’t disappear when we enter a relationship.
We Develop Our Habits and Build Our Walls Throughout Life
We all have habits that we bring with us when we couple with another. Of course, we do this. We were individuals before we became a couple. We are the same person we were as a single individual, only now we love another and are trying to live in the love that we share with them.
That lasts for a time, but eventually we will figure out that we are not one person, but two, and maybe our partner doesn’t do everything we would like them to do and maybe we are a little unhappy about some things. We might wonder to ourselves, “Now what?”
This is a common relationship pattern. Two people who find each other are drawn together and make a couple. They are pretty ecstatic for the beginning of the relationship but soon that intensity fades and we are left with another person who isn’t as passionate as we thought they were.
Communicating Things that Bother You in a Relationship is a Skill
It isn’t like anyone did anything wrong. This is just a natural phase of relating to another human being. But most of us grew up on some kind of version of how “love conquers all” and we believed it.
So, when the love starts to change and we might think it is gone, it really hasn’t gone anywhere. It has just changed a little. This is the time when we start to rely on our old habits to get what we need and want to make ourselves feel better.
Those of us who grew up speaking out will probably be telling our mate that we don’t like certain things and we want something else. Those of us who grew up not saying anything might find ourselves staying quiet even when we get our feelings hurt.
This is a common problem with couples. But it doesn’t have to be. Both of you love each other. Both of you want this relationship to work. Now is the time to look at your individual habits and alter them some.
To Grow, Reflect on Your Habits and Solicit Your Partner
That’s what is needed now. I was the big talker in my relationship. Eventually, I realized I had to not take over every conversation and make room for my guy who was someone who didn’t blurt out their emotions all the time.
I had to quiet some of my needs and learn to understand his. He had to become a little more vocal and interact when he needed something. After our own couples counseling, we got the sense that we could do this on our own. And that is what I want to invite you all to think about.
Make your relationship work. You and your partner are on the right track. Figure out what you can do to be more accepting of the whole person who is your mate. I promise you when they feel accepted, you will too. And that is a beautiful place to reside.
Communicate More Openly in Your Relationship
Read a Book About Relationships
Learn how to communicate in ways that make the two of you feel safe, by reading Linda’s book Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It might just help you communicate in gentle ways that help you feel and stay open with each other. Give it a read.
Get Couples Counseling
Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.