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.

How does Someone Become Needy?

needy

How does Someone Become Needy?

Neediness isn’t good for a relationship. It lowers the person’s self-esteem and self-worth. It puts pressure on the relationship and ultimately pushes their lover away. The anxiety, constant worrying, the accusations or the constant need for reassurance become overbearing, robbing the other of psychic energy. A little self-doubt of course can be seen as modest and endearing. But it can become really draining to have to reassure someone time and again. Sooner or later the needy partner is seen as a liability and is cut loose. So how does someone become needy and how can they avoid it?

There are many reasons why people become needy, and a combination of reasons could be the case too. Here are some speculations. Unavailable parents, trauma, or abandonment causes neediness. There are unseen wounds that spring open when the person starts to enter into a new romantic relationship. Some people are never satisfied. The problem could be a traumatic event in their past. Or the problem could be temperament. Some things are never good enough for certain people. They have a hard time being satisfied. Development could play a role. Some people get stuck in the idealizing phase of their development, when they entered into their first romance. But they idealize love too much and fail in their adult life to be able to do the nuts and bolts of what it takes to make it work long term.

If the person acts immaturely, the problem is development. It could also be what Freud called the Unresolved Oedipus Complex. This is desiring what you can’t have. It’s like loving your parent and desiring them but knowing you can’t have them, this wanting what you can’t have and a constant inner tug-of-war destroys their relationships. These people tend to make the same mistakes in their love life over and over. Attraction to someone who is unavailable makes them more alluring to many. But it always ends in heartache. If you find yourself with this problem seek the help of a mental health professional. Work on building your self-esteem. Volunteer, do things that matter to you, count your blessings and make plans for the future. Plan goals and reach those goals. When you have a series of accomplishments you’ll feel better about yourself and feel less needy. When you feel needy, double think calling or texting that person. Put little systems in place for yourself to control your neediness. Have a good friend be your mentor and call them if you feel needy. It will improve your relationships if you practice a little bit of patience and some good judgment. For more advice read, Taming Your Outer Child: Overcoming Self-Sabotage and Healing from Abandonment by Susan Anderson.

Anthropologist Helen Fisher Talks about Love and Cheating

HAPPY-COUPLE

In a recent Ted Talk, anthropologist Helen Fisher talked about love and cheating. Her and her colleague’s research and findings will impact humans for the next 10,000 years she said. First, Ms. Fisher dug through 45 years of psychological research trying to indicate the mystery of what we call romantic love.  What she found was that everyone seemed to go through a similar pattern when falling in love. The object of one’s love takes on what she calls “special meaning”. That person becomes the center of our world. Though we can see their faults, they aren’t really in the forefront of our minds. They take a back seat to the overwhelming emotions we feel. An intense energy follows. When the relationship goes well you feel elation, when poorly despair. Then the couples becomes possessive of one another sexually, what Fisher believes is an emotional state enacted in order to have and raise children. But the most important and recognizable characteristic is what she calls an “intense craving” for the person. This is just as much an emotional craving as a physical one. Next, she and her colleagues devised an experiment. They hooked up 16 couples who were in love to a brain imaging machine called an FMRI. 17 were head over heels for each other and still together, the other 15 were deeply in love but just been dumped or for some reason broke up. While hooked up to the machine, Fisher would ask, “What percentage of the day and night do you think about this person?” They inevitably would answer day and night. Her final question was “Would you die for this person?” Each would answer “Yes”. The sensation of love was similar to a cocaine high so said the FMRI.

What this research ultimately found was that love was not one emotion, but a series of emotions working in tandem. Love wasn’t just an emotion though, it was a drive, the same kind of drive for success or a craving. It’s a drive far more powerful than the libido. Love then was several processes happening together. One is the sex drive. The next obsession and elation and the final attachment, the sense of security you get from your mate. This last one Fisher believes helps a couple stay together in order to raise children. Now 10,000 years ago hunting-gathering societies were equal. With the invention of the plow came massive agriculture and the lowering of the status of women. Today, all over the world women are moving into the job market and are reclaiming equal status. To do this we are also seeing a rise in what she calls “Female sexual expression”. More women are having more lovers, marrying later and having less children. Also, there is a rise in romantic love according to Fisher. She stated that the divorce rate today in America has stabilized and is beginning to drop. The trouble is that we often confuse these three levels of love; attachment, sexual desire and deep emotional feelings. We can feel attachment and love to one person, and desire for another. This is because nature made us to reproduce. So we are not hard-wired for emotional happiness when it comes to love. This we must make ourselves. To delve further into this topic, read Choosy Women and Cheating Men: Evolution and Human Behavior by Tom Shelberg.

Don’t make your Happiness Depend on your Relationship

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There are plenty of people who invest all of their time, energy and thought on their relationship. But what often happens is that they become sorely disappointed, come off as high maintenance, desperate, too intense, clingy or needy, and in the end drive the other away. Of course, a relationship has to be tended like a garden to grow and bloom. But if you overwater the flowers you will drown them. Don’t make your happiness depend on your relationship. You will only set yourself up for disappointment. Who can live up to the high standard you are setting? It’s too much pressure to be putting upon another person. Instead, find your happiness from within. You yourself are the captain of your own happiness. It comes from your own brain. Life is at it is. Your significant other and the rest of your life won’t change. Instead, you choose how to react to it. You choose whether you are satisfied or unsatisfied. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t expect to be treated well. You absolutely should. But too many people export their happiness and expect the world of their partner only to be disappointed again and again. If you find yourself putting too much focus on a relationship, bring a bit of that focus back on to you.

What are you doing? Do you have a career? Are you going to school? What are your dreams? If you aren’t sure, perhaps you need some time to sit alone, with some quiet or perhaps some relaxing music and think. Get a pen and some paper and make a list of your life’s goals. Make a dream board. Then make plans. How can you reach these goals? What is it you have to do? Without having something to work toward, we scramble for something to maintain us, and our relationship is normally it. But if we are pursuing our own interests, passions, callings, or goals we are less likely to put so much pressure or focus on our relationship. Take good care of yourself. Visit a friend, family member or mentor and discuss this with them. Go on a road trip with a friend, a sporting event, concert, meditation or yoga retreat or a weekend at the spa. Reinvest in yourself. Find some place to relax and collect yourself. Give your mind a rest and allow whatever is in your psyche to bubble to the surface. Look back at where you have come from, revisit your past and understand who you are with new eyes. Evaluate where you are going. Come to the realization that you are an amazing person, and truly blessed. Love yourself, but make plans to make yourself better. Your romantic partner will notice it and will be drawn to you like a magnet. If you feel like you’re codependent in your relationship, read the advice of Melody Beattie in her book, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself.

Clingy Woman Indicators

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One of the reasons relationships end is that some women try to hurry them up too soon. When a man feels a woman coming on too strong, or she’s crossed boundaries too early in the relationship, he may back away, fearing to commit before he’s ready. But many times women are ignorant of their own neediness. There are indicators a woman is clingy. If you can recognize these signals that men pick up on and women usually don’t, you can avoid coming off as clingy. Here are some of the signs. If she only wants to be with her guy and wants his undivided attention all the time, she is perceived as too clingy. It’s okay to be into each other in the beginning, but guys want to see their friends, too. They want to go to parties, and be social on occasion. But if she can’t mingle or make small talk on her own, feels uncomfortable in social situations, and is glued to his side the whole time or constantly vying for his attention, she is considered too clingy. Some women are OCD, A-plus personalities. But if a woman a guy just started dating starts to organize his apartment, his junk drawer, buys him clothes, and tells him how to dress, gets him appliances and so on, red flags go up in his mind. It seems as though she is nesting or trying to control his life way too soon in the relationship. And even though she thinks she is helping him immensely, he’ll begin to pull away from her, thinking he is dodging a girl who is way too controlling.

Sometimes the best intentions fall flat. When a woman does too much for a man too soon in a relationship, it can be misinterpreted as coming on too strong. For instance, if he is sick she brings over a cabinet full of medicine, an entire pot of homemade chicken soup she spent half the day making, or you need to move and she brings an entire brigade of her friends over, this could be considered coming on way too strong early on in the relationship. It’s great for a woman to show that she is resourceful, invested, and will go the distance for her guy. But too early means that she has direct intentions when he doesn’t know if he’s ready. Instead, help but in a moderate way. If you are the type to go naturally over the top, ask a friend if it looks like you are doing too much and scale back. Another is when she starts spending the night, and all of a sudden it seems she’s moved in. She prepares dinner, picks up his dry cleaning, mops the floor, and never seems to go back to her place. The guy thinks that she doesn’t have a life of her own, which sets red lights flashing in his head. Moving in should come way down the line when both people are ready. Don’t just slide in their or else you may be leaving in a huff somewhere down the road. Lastly, when a woman becomes entrenched with a man’s friends or family shortly after meeting them, she’s hanging with them, has their phone numbers, has friended them on Facebook, she seems as though she’s digging in, making it hard for him to get rid of her. If you can avoid these, you can avoid seeming needy or clingy and the relationship should move forward on its own accord. For guidance on how to be more independent in your relationship, read the advice of Sherry Argov in her book, Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dream Girl- A Woman’s Guide to Holding Her Own in a Relationship.