You are unique, as is your relationship and the more you are prepared to listen to feedback from your partner without getting defensive the better. Don’t get me wrong…I get it this is not an easy task for any of us! But like all things, a great relationship requires hard work. Some of that hard work for you may be just being able to hear and take in some feedback and then figuring out what to do to change how you are coming across.
It’s common to misunderstand relationship problems because the causes arise from hidden patterns within us, not from others’ behaviour or attitude. The problem is we often don’t notice the role that we play. We are so focused on what the other person is and is not doing. Hence, many people are left uncertain about what it takes to create a happy, long-term relationship.
Your 5 steps to coping with relationship stress
- Work out what the problem is ~ For example: “My husband doesn’t pay me enough attention, he is always working.”
- Identifying the patterns which are causing the problem to arise and continue ~ When he is finally at home I get snappy and irritable a lot with him, because I am overwhelemd with all that I have on my plate.
- Thinking of ways you might be part of this problem, ~ Is he withdrawing and becoming distant from me because I am being negative, critical and he can never get it right for me? Maybe I am ignoring him when he does try to spend time with me, because I resent all the time and energy he dedicates to his “other mistress” that is work?
- Taking action to change the way you respond ~ Noticing when he is putting you first, turning down work or travel opportunities, extra meetings from home etc. and instead trying to listen to me about what I need.
- Seeking independent help ~ If the problem persists and despite you trying to get it sorted alone, relationship counselling can help challenge the negative patterns you have developed between you.
Tips on working towards a happier relationship:
- Set an intention to fully commit to the relationship. Yes I know it’s tricky… this involves compromises and can lead to a loss of freedom, however, think of the deeply satisfying and intimate connection you stand to gain with fully diving in.
- Accept the other person as they are, including all their faults, weaknesses and normal human foibles. Remember you have all these things too!
- Take a risk and try and be as open and as honest as you can. Remembering that words can be hurtful so be as constructive and positive as you are able to be.
- Take responsibility for your mistakes, by practising saying sorry when it is warranted or even by being the bigger person and apologising even when you are unsure if it is warranted.
- Be open to negotiation and forgiveness — aim for a good compromise, and keep going till you get there.
- Try to let go of your need always to be right or in control. Often needing to be in control is about fear. I have to control everything or it won’t be ok.
- Give as much support to your partner as you can and watch how support starts to flow back towards you effortlessly
- Make time to have fun together.