Sometimes couples can stand even the hardest things. Take two people who love each other and who have been together for a while. He is oblivious about his wife’s feelings and she is a mess. Make no mistake, they love each other and they long to be happy, but the truth is they haven’t a clue how to get there.
Being in a relationship with the person we love is one of life’s greatest joys. Many of us long for that special person who we can just feel safe and happy and at home with. Most of us don’t need a lot. Love is really simple, a good connection, care, compassion, understanding. That’s really what people want from their beloved.
So why are so many couples unhappy? Like the couple in the beginning of this post who are living together yet emotionally separate. They reside in the same home, but they don’t understand what each person feels. He is oblivious. She is sad.
If you went to work and saw a co-worker and he or she looked sad to you, what would you do? You might ask them what’s wrong and is there anything you can do. You might be willing to invest your time to enquire so you can be helpful and maybe make them feel better. Humans are really good at this. Yet in many relationships we can literally walk by our partner and not even notice their mood.
When you are in connection with another person it’s on each of you to invest your energy to understand each other. If you love them it’s likely that you will want them to be happy. If you knew they were sad you might want to investigate what is making them sad and then try to improve it.
All couples start out with the best intentions of prizing their mate. Over time they can become inured to each other however, and not notice when one or the other is out of sorts. Unless a hammer is thrown at someone’s head there might not be any notice at all.
But if we don’t learn how to connect with our mate we might fall into the trap of not noticing our partner. We may not have the skills to really feel their moods. As a therapist who counsels couples I know most couples do feel their partner’s energy whether they are up or down. But they lack the skill to use that knowledge for good.
The good would be to understand when the mate is down and not take it personally. The good would be to create good listening skills to hear what the partner has to say. The good is to be helpful for the good of the person you love and the relationship.
We learn how to be a good partner to our mate while we are in a relationship, not before or after. Give yourself a break for not instinctively knowing how. Going forward, make an effort to be your best self, for you and for the one you love.
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