Often when people call for counseling and I ask them what is the matter, most of the time I hear, “We just can’t communicate.”
This is a catch all phrase that means we don’t understand each other and it is hard on both of us. I get this, especially since I have been working with couples for 20 plus years.
I know that there is a person who feels very deeply about life and another person who thinks almost exclusively in their head. I have seen this in every couple I have ever counseled.
Sometimes in a relationship there are really two kinds of people. There is the one who has to talk about everything. And there is the other who can’t talk about anything.
It does not astound me that all couples look like this. Even though it would be great if we could just talk with our partner if we are the talkers, the non-talkers probably wish they could just remain silent too.
Oftentimes when people are in a relationship and we get our feelings hurt we want, and need our partner to hear us, understand us and empathize.
It’s only natural that we want to be soothed when we get upset. This is what happens when we hold a baby or a puppy, they need to be held when hurt and we oblige.
But sometimes in a relationship two people get hurt. First one has a wound and then tells the other person, but says things in a way that the other person now gets hurt. Two people are now hurt and both are in their pain.
Sometimes in a relationship we aren’t sure about our partner. Do they really love us? Are they going to stay? Do they really mean what they say?
Couples often ask themselves these questions. But where does trust come in? Maybe you say to yourself I will trust you, but you must trust me too.
This sounds equal. We are both in it and can say that if my partner trusts me then I can trust him. But that is really not what trust is about.
All of us dream about being in love with our person. And when we meet the right one, well we plug them into what we want. This is very human.
Sometimes in our relationships we expect our partner to be what we want them to be and if they don’t then we tell them about it. This is common too.
All of us have some idea in our own heads about what we think will make us happy, and we play it out in our relationships. I know I did. When I met my husband-to-be I was sure that my life would be just right.
Many times, in relationships people ask their partner to try and change their behavior. This happens often where someone likes things done one way and the mate wants it done differently.
It would be just great if everyone in a couple were to say, “Fine, you do it your way and I will do it mine,” without any disagreement. But that is usually not the way humans are wired.
Insecurity in relationships is incredibly common. So many of us wonder whether we will always be with the one we love! If we love them then we want to feel secure with them. But sometimes if there is ambivalence that we notice with our mate, we might feel insecure about the relationship.
This is common too. And if we feel unsure if the relationship will last, well we might resort to things that are full of anxiety, like asking if our partner loves us, or wondering when they will ask us to live with them, get engaged or even marry.
These are elements that make some of us feel secure in our relationship. If we have one of these elements, we might be able to lose our worry about when we will get it.
Nagging in relationships: it’s common and doesn’t make anyone happy. No one wants to be nagged, and no one wants to nag their partner. Why does it happen, and how can we move past it?
When we are in a relationship, we often rely on our partner to do things for us. This is only natural. They probably rely on us to do for them as well.
When couples struggle in a relationship, someone or both might see their mates as the one who caused the hurt. If this is the case, then one or both might blame the other for making them feel bad.
This is very common among couples. I know this intimately because as a young girl I blamed everyone who hurt me. I did not know another way to communicate my hurt to the person who caused me pain.
I blamed the one who caused me difficulty and it was usually a family member. It would be strange if I did this alone, but we all did this. We just didn’t learn a better way of handling our hurt emotions.
A misunderstanding can happen so easily. One partner says something the other believes it was a slight and gets offended and then there is a disagreement.
But what really happened was someone saying something that the other person didn’t quite understand and the receiver made it into something that it wasn’t.
Does this sound like something that happens in your relationship? Well, it happened in mine.