Dealing with a Relationship that’s complicated

a problematic couple

Dealing with a Relationship that’s complicated

Sometimes you meet someone. Things move along smashingly well. Little problems come up and you try to accommodate them. Then more problems come up and you are trying to deal with or accommodate them more and more until you are just overwhelmed. You’re dealing with a relationship that’s complicated but you don’t even realize it, since each problem seemed to creep up slowly, all on its own. Some people are in denial about the complications in their relationship due to how emotionally attached they are to a person. The truth is that dealing with so many complications can leave you exhausted. And are both people getting equal time and energy bestowed upon them?

There are all kinds of things that can complicate a relationship. There are someone’s pet peeves coming to bare one right after another. Working through infidelity can make a relationship very complicated. Sometimes insecurities can creep in. Falling out of love, squabbling, or hurt feelings on both sides can all make a relationship difficult. Manipulation or neediness can also complicate a relationship. Once things get complicated, it can be draining, and a lot of hard work. Relationships are supposed to be fun. But if yours is weighing you down, think about whether you’ll be ending it or trying a new tactic to renew your relationship.

No problems in any relationship are solved merely by dwelling on them. Each relationship is different and brings with it different problems. However, the issues you bring to the relationship are the same. Start to realize what emotional baggage you have from past relationships or from your parents and how they affect this relationship. Does this tie in or exacerbate the complications? Next, approach your partner. Pick a good time to talk about the situation. Put your electronic devices and all other distractions to the side and invest some time into talking about the issues. Get rid of blame. Jettison shame. Talk about how you feel. Ask how your partner feels about that and start a beneficial dialogue going.

If you have too many big problems perhaps tackle a little one, celebrate that success and use the momentum to try and affect a larger problem. If the problems are too difficult, if your partner is hurting you or taking advantage of you in some way, if the patient is dead with no hope of revival, or you feel that you give and give and get nothing in return, then don’t be afraid to break up with the person. Give it your best shot. But when it’s not worth it or doesn’t feel right any more learn to walk away and cut your losses. For more advice read, Women Are Crazy, Men Are Stupid: The Simple Truth to A Complicated Relationship by Howard J. Morris & Jenny Lee.

Marital Happiness Determined by Gut Feelings

gut feelings

Marital Happiness Determined by Gut Feelings

Before getting married, listen to what your gut is telling you. According to a new study, it knows better than one might think. The journal Science recently published research which concluded that your gut feelings about a relationship can predict how blissful the marriage will be long term. Associate professor James K. McNulty, the studies’ lead author, took 135 newlywed participants and using advanced computer software asked them questions about their partners. The study found that what participants said had no actual bearing on marital satisfaction. But their subconscious or gut feelings were the ultimate predictors. Generally people’s natural reaction to their partners predicted the relationship’s course, but those people either wouldn’t or couldn’t verbalize those thoughts or feelings.

Lots of people have bad feelings about relationships that they stay in. Why is that? For a number of reasons. Sometimes it’s for childish ones. Others told them this relationship wouldn’t work out and they want to show them. There are those who are in denial about their marriages. They so want to be loved, and don’t think anyone else will love them. Or they feel as though they’ve invested so much time already, and don’t want to see that time wasted. There are those who believe that they can change a person, or that the person will change and grow more to what they want over time. But all of these are plans for failure. Relationships based on denial or settling will never be fulfilling. In fact, those who get out of these relationships and find someone who really loves, cares for, respects and takes care of them wonder what they were ever doing in that other relationship to begin with. When you get a negative gut feeling about a relationship, don’t ignore it. And don’t walk down the aisle pretending it isn’t there. That dissatisfaction won’t go away. It will follow you until you deal with it. For more advice read, Before You Plan Your Wedding… Plan Your Marriage by Dr. Greg Smalley & Erin Smalley.

How do you know if you’re Just Settling?

Angry

How do you know if you’re Just Settling?

When we first get into someone there’s that tingly, rush of excitement we get down deep in the belly. We get caught in this electric net whenever we see them, or get a call or text message. But after a while a long-term relationship gets comfortable. About four or five years out experts say is when a lot of trouble begins. We all get caught up in our routines. Sometimes a relationship gets old and needs a little spicing up. At other times we are discovering our partner more deeply and with it more incongruities arise. They need to be dealt with or new channels of modes of communication are required in order to keep things moving when we get stuck on thorny issues. This can get tiresome. But then there are times when we are with someone where things don’t really fit. We put up with it because we want to be in a relationship or appreciate the person’s finer qualities, but just can’t get past this certain thing or set of things about them. So how do you know if you’re just settling or if this is a relationship that needs a little tweaking? How do you know when things need a little more work or you’re just settling?

Sometimes it’s a good idea to get away from your significant other, even if it’s just for a short time so they are not influencing you. If you can, spend time with yourself, clear your mind and try and see the relationship from another angle. Others like to talk to close friends or a mentor and get a beat on what they think. Sometimes a little insight from someone close to your heart is all you need to refresh your outlook. Then there are those people who simply draw a line down the middle of a sheet of paper and list the good qualities of the relationship on one side and the bad qualities on the other. Evaluate how you feel generally with this person. Are they difficult to be around? Does respect dwell here? Is this relationship fulfilling most of the time? Does it make you happy? Is it weighing you down or lifting you up? Do you see no way of bringing it back? A relationship should bring out our best, not force us to seek solitude in work or other pursuits. If you feel more comfortable away from this person than in their presence, this is your sign.

What about your habits of mind? Are you constantly saying to yourself that your relationship isn’t that bad, and citing worse ones? Have you tried and tried again without any impact? What about the other person. Have they been trying to change and to communicate better to help bridge the gaps between you? Do you think if you wait it out, someday your partner will have a clue? Wishful wanting without any clear indication from the other partner is one of the symptoms of settling. Do you feel sorry for your partner? Usually, the person we love is one we respect, even admire. It’s hard to love someone you feel sorry for. There are those who stay in bad relationships simply because they are afraid of being alone. But then they have their own issues to work out which are coming through into the relationship. Today, we don’t have to stay with someone we don’t love. There are so many options no matter what your age, deal or preferences. Women especially may be prone to the settling syndrome. According to evolutionary anthropologists, women in the Stone Age settled because they may not have had the chance to mate again, being hunter-gatherers wandering in small bands. But in the modern age we have eHarmony and Tinder. So evaluate carefully. But realize that the answer may come, as all important ones do, when you least expect it. If you do decide to go down that road after healing read, How To Get A Date Worth Keeping: Be Dating In Six Months Or Your Money Back by Henry Cloud.

See a Couple’s Counselor Sooner Rather than Later

unhappy

See a Couple’s Counselor Sooner Rather than Later

A lot of couples get defensive when confronted with the idea of seeing a therapist. They say they are fine. There is nothing wrong with them. They don’t think their problems are all that bad. Seeing a counselor is thought of as a defeat, or that the couple or relationship is defective. Though not as strong as it was in the past, people still have a negative association with therapy. The truth is people see a therapist for all different kinds of reasons. There is absolutely no shame in it. In fact, admitting you could use professional guidance is a show of great inner strength. Just as we all have our own physical health problems, so too do we have our own mental health aberrations. No one is perfect. We are all human and so intrinsically flawed. But that doesn’t make us any less brilliant, capable, mesmerizing or worthwhile. No one can fault you for seeing a doctor, even if the health condition is minor. You don’t want it to get worse. A small injury if left untreated can get infected, even become life threatening. The same is true with your mental health, and the health of your relationship. Seeing a couple’s counselor doesn’t mean that the relationship is on its last leg.  It could just mean you need some direction on certain issues that you haven’t been able to make headway on, some professional guidance.

Divorce counselor and post-divorce advisor, Ian Oliver says he sees one couple even though they have a seemingly perfect marriage. “She says she always learns something that nurtures their relationship,” he wrote in the Huffington Post. “She considers it maintenance.” So couple’s counseling is not only for fixing problems. We can learn how we love and how our partner loves. This will allow us to see ways to develop the relationship we hadn’t seen before, and make it more fulfilling. All it takes is a little insight. It may also help you to notice when things are right versus when they aren’t. Sometimes one or both members of a relationship live in denial of a problem that gets bigger and bigger, until it tears the relationship apart. But understanding what your dynamic looks like when it’s humming along, and when things started to go wrong, can help diagnose problems quickly and work in a more effective strategy to deal with them. Most of the time however, the couple seeks out a counselor when there are major issues. They have tried but are at an impasse. Seeking out a therapist when things first go bad can help stave off the further complications that come from a problem that has grown beyond control.

There are times when we grow accustomed to unwanted behavior, live in denial or fail to see it for what it actually is, damaging to us and our relationship. You may not know why they act like this, or why you do. It can be hard to trace back certain behaviors, reactions or emotions to their origins. A good counselor or couple’s therapist can help you see these patterns and trace them back to their origins. Once you see where things stem from, you can develop strategies to deal with them. Sometimes couples seek out therapy after lots of things have been said that can’t be taken back. The counselor, in addition to being a professional, is also impartial. They are trained to pick up on unhealthy habits and behaviors. They won’t get caught on one person’s side. You can trust their impartiality and their professional training to help guide you. We all need to see the things from a new angle on occasion to get some perspective. The most important thing is to keep communicating with your partner. Be honest with one another. Try to work through your problems yourselves. But if you can’t, see a couple’s therapist before things start spinning out of control. Don’t wait until things have gotten way out of hand. For more help, read the book, Counseling and Therapy for Couples by Lynn L. Long and Mark E. Young.

Are You Settling in your Relationship?

Image of young upset female in quarrel with her husband

Are You Settling in your Relationship?

There are lots of reasons people settle for less in their relationships. Some people believe they won’t be loved by anyone else. Others fear being single. Still others think that they’ve committed some unforgivable transgression and that they owe their partner. Your significant other may be good looking, successful, funny and charming. Others may have even convinced you to stay even though you’ve considered leaving.

Still, no matter how great they are if you still feel a cold, hollow place in your heart as you continue to stick with them, you may be doing yourself, and them, more harm than good. That’s because you won’t give the relationship your best. And those unfulfilled spaces will still need to be filled, whether you ignore them or not, which can lead to infidelity and a host of other issues. The relationship will eventually flounder because people put into them what they get out of them. If your partner senses that you are unfulfilled they will give less, you will do so in return and the relationship will eventually come apart. Often when we’re settling we justify it to ourselves and exist in denial. So how do you know if you are settling in your relationship? Here are the signs.

How do you feel when you think about the relationship? Does it edify you or make you sad? Does your partner challenge you, support you, and try to make you the best person you can be? The trouble could be that your partner is too focused on their own situation, or that they are too critical and this can weigh heavily on the relationship. Do you feel you have to become a different person, changing your dreams, values and objectives to be acceptable to your partner? Is there a level of physical or emotional abuse? If so, this relationship is codependent. That means you serve your partner, putting their needs, wants and desires ahead of yours. You definitely need to get out of a codependent relationship. They will try to suck you back in. But in the end this type of relationship is toxic. You will never enjoy it, nor will you be free.

Another problem you should never put up with is repeated infidelity. If your partner has cheated more than once, even after you’ve given them another chance or more than one, it’s time to kick them to the curb. They are not trustworthy, and trust should be the bedrock of any relationship. If you feel that you give too much and get too little in return, it’s a clear sign that you are settling. For more advice read, Don’t Settle for Any Old Soulmate by L. R. Lawrence.