Change in relationships is something we all seek when we are dissatisfied with how things are with our partner. Whether it’s communication, loneliness, or controlling behavior in your relationship, you want something to be different.
You’re Not Alone; Many Seek Change in Their Relationships
Often when I meet a couple for the first time I hear one or both say something like, “If he or she would just do (something goes here) then everything would be great.” I think this is so common that most people don’t even realize they are living in a relationship of dissatisfaction. That’s just the way things are for them.
When we are wishing for something to be different, we are dissatisfied with the way things are. This dissatisfaction leads to discomfort and disappointment, and that is how I meet most couples I have a chance to work with.
We Seek Change in Relationships When We’re Unhappy
No one wants to live unhappy, so I am always grateful when I get to help couples find a better way. And maybe that’s why I want to talk about this concept today. How many of us just wait for things to be different? Do you? We tell ourselves that if only such and such happens then we would be happy. We might feel this knowledge in our gut. We may see it in our mind. We might even feel it in our bones.
If only my partner would clean up after herself. If only my beloved would tell me they love me once in awhile. If only my mate would be interested in what I was saying. If only my person would stop talking to me and asking me what is wrong.
No One Wants Their Relationship to be a Source of Suffering
These scenarios are very common. Maybe you experience something like it in your relationship. To be dissatisfied is natural. To suffer in it is hard. To find a way to talk with your mate that actually works for you can help reduce your suffering. If you suffer with wanting something else, here are some ideas to help.
Often, we look outside ourselves to find what is wrong with our relationship. We may look to our surroundings, our job, and our partner. If we are looking outside of our own life, we are always going to find something that we might want to change. It will be an endless cycle of trying to change the outside unsuccessfully.
Introspection is Critical to Change in Relationships
The way out is to look inside ourselves. This is the key to change. You may already know that you dislike something in your relationship. And you’ve probably done what you can to fix it. If it’s not fixed, let’s try another way. You already know where to start. We start when we are not happy. We investigate what is making us unhappy.
We just start with the investigation. We don’t go and try and change anything yet. We have to learn what is missing from our life that is making us uncomfortable. Let’s say you wish your partner would talk with you more. I bet you have tried to get them to talk with you countless times. And things haven’t changed.
Change in Relationships Comes Through Sharing, Not Blame
Here is something that might work differently. When we are longing for someone to talk to you it’s usually because we are feeling lonely for them. You might be missing the connection with them at a deeper level. This might be what you are hungry for. I am wondering if you can say something to you partner that includes what you are feeling—not what they haven’t done for you.
It’s automatic for many of us to just say, “You never talk with me anymore.” It takes practice to say, “I miss feeling connected to you. I have been feeling lonely.” The first comment is a blame. The second one reveals your feelings. When we reveal our inner feelings to our partner, and we do it without telling our mates they are at fault, we open up something with them that’s called empathy. They might be able to actually feel your sadness at not being able to connect. This could lead to some real understanding for them about you. And then it’s possible for you to have the connection you have been waiting for.
All of us are trying to feel good in our relationships. Those who connect well have worked on how they do it. And it’s a whole lot better than being frustrated with why our partner won’t do what we want.
Need a Little Help Effecting Change in Your Relationship?
Read a Book About Relationships
Discover the secret to easier change in relationships, by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It might just help you bring about the change you want in your relationship, more easily than you thought possible. As you learn to share your feelings without blame, you may find your partner open to meeting your needs, helping your relationship be the best it’s ever been! 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.