Common Relationship Blunders

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Common Relationship Blunders

No matter what stage you’re in, whether you are in a new relationship and want to do it right or just walked away from a bad one, anyone can benefit from learning what common relationship blunders take a couple who have potential and drive them apart. If you can catch these early on, or you and your partner have the gumption to renew your bond, you can change your fate and fall into a close, loving, and supportive relationship.

One of the most common is that as time wears on couples tend to slip into a very comfortable phase. The niceties slip and sooner or later they are taking each other for granted. It’s important to show your appreciation for one another. Reflect on what your life would be like without them. Then think about what they bring into your life. Leave them love notes. Tell them they look nice in what they’re wearing. Whisper sweet nothings into each other’s ears. Make it special and make it count. If you take each other for granted, each of you will feel undesirable and unfulfilled, and may stray outside the relationship in order to fulfill those needs.

Another problem is when it goes the other way. One partner appreciates the other too much. That is to say they become dependent, or needy. If you feel insecure, look to the signs of your relationship to see if these feelings are justified. Do they call when they say they will? What do they say to you? Do they compliment you? Do nice things for you? If all signs point to a healthy, stable, well-adjusted relationship then relax. If you or your partner are feeling these signs of insecurity perhaps discuss them, or even seek the help of a mental health professional.

Do you complain about your partner to everyone except them? First, you two have to learn how to deal with your problems directly. You shouldn’t be complaining about them to everyone. Deal with them directly, or vent to a confidant. But if you are constantly focusing on the negative you will not see the positive in your partner and the relationship will thus sour. Come to terms with your sweetie’s shortcomings and expect them to come to terms with yours. Otherwise if you can’t, this isn’t the person for you. The same thing goes for passive-aggressiveness. Instead of slinging barbs learn to communicate in a positive and productive manner. For more on this topic read, Relationship Advice: How to Rekindle and Cultivate Healthy, Passionate, and Long-Lasting Relationships by Henry Lee.

Closing Emotional Distance

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Closing Emotional Distance

Emotional distance occurs when couples fail to communicate how they feel, what they’re thinking, their values, and what their needs are and how they should be met. Often they then substitute anger for their fear of intimacy or vulnerability. When their partner wishes to probe further they act passive-aggressively, change the subject or even shut down completely. Those who are emotionally distant are afraid that if they do open up and reveal their innermost thoughts, desires and needs, they will be misunderstood or judged harshly by their partner. Another problem may be that their partner isn’t responding to their needs in the right way. The partner for instance may offer advice for a problem instead of listening carefully and offering validation and sympathy, the things that their partner is truly looking for. Some people are scared of intimacy because of parental neglect, abuse, or loss at an early age. They may be uncomfortable with their own feelings and have difficulty communicating them. They may also have trouble dealing with the feelings of others.

In a relationship inhabited by emotional distance, the couple may start to lead their lives such like roommates, living side-by-side but failing to connect on a deeper level. They talk about the chores and routines of the household and other surface talk but fail to pierce a deeper level of intimacy. Over time sexual intimacy may recede. Loneliness, a hollowness or hurt are some emotions that one or both partners may experience. To have their needs met some people in this type of relationship jump into other activities with more gusto such as parenting or their career. They may obsess over their social status, become substance abusers or have affairs. Eventually the couple may split.

The first thing to do to heal emotional distance is to reveal your true self to yourself and your partner. Couple’s therapy could be beneficial in helping to recognize and reverse negative patterns. It could be that one or both people need individual therapy to resolve trust issues. Restoring sexual intimacy means making it a priority and focusing on getting both partner’s needs met, rather than one meeting the others needs at their own expense. Fear and neglect can make us build up walls, but love and commitment can help break them down again. For more advice read, Emotional Infidelity: How to Affair-Proof Your Marriage and 10 Other Secrets to a Great Relationship by M. Gary Neuman.

When an Ego Battle Replaces your Relationship

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When an Ego Battle Replaces your Relationship

Relationships can do funny things to people. The feeling of attachment can also bring confusion, fear of intimacy and the need to guard one’s self. This is due to past traumas during childhood or in previous relationships. So to protect one’s self this person will often lapse into creating fights, sarcasm, vengeful gestures, passive-aggressiveness, resentfulness, over-the-top competitiveness, self-doubt, frustration and aggression.

This person is afraid of letting their guard down or letting someone in for fear of being hurt. If you yourself think you have become stuck in an ego battle that has replaced your relationship, take a look at these signs. Ask your significant other or consider whether you are experiencing these symptoms. This person has a need to control things and situations. They may have a constant critic going in their head. They may be full of put-downs, sarcasm, criticism or ridicule. The ego tries too hard to control the situation. It is doing so in order to protect itself from love and so ironically becomes the very obstacle to what the person desires most, bonding with their love.

Some people go completely the other way. They give up everything to be with their spouse, their friends, family, hobbies, education and everything they value, just to be with the object of their desire. They lose themselves and this becomes their obstacle to their own pleasure, equal love. The last sign that you are in an ego battle is when one person is “Flat-lining.” This is behavior where one person in the relationship tries to disappear in order to not raise the ire of the other, and avoid conflict. They withdraw from their partner and stay in the relationship in name only. There is no engagement or intimacy. If the right relationship skills aren’t learned, even if this relationship doesn’t last, the person with commitment issues will bring the same problems into their next relationships.

Instead of using negative means to interact in your relationship, see the pattern and learn to dis-engage it. If this is your spouse or lover, teach them that they don’t have to act like this, that this isn’t what love is about. Whenever a problem arises, each side should take a deep breath, relax and manage the negative emotions that come to the surface. Both parties should consciously reach deep down inside and bring out the skills they need to make this relationship work; patience, understanding, openness and the desire to come to an understanding. Counseling or couples therapy may also be necessary. The first step is realizing the problem. The next is working through it. For more advice read, Why You Do the Things You Do: The Secret to Healthy Relationships by Dr. Tim Clinton and Dr. Gary Sibcy.

Why Some Married Women aren’t interested in Sex

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Why Some Married Women aren’t interested in Sex

Sometimes a married woman will find that she has a low sex drive, but she can’t understand why she isn’t interested in sex. Lots of women have a battery of medical tests done and find nothing wrong with them. The problem is psychological. Oftentimes issues within the marriage are the cause of the problem. Lots of women ignore their feelings, go into denial about their relationships, don’t have clear and easy communication with their husbands or are just frustrated about the relationship and don’t know what to do. These emotions fester inside and kill the libido.

HERE ARE SOME COMMON ISSUES THAT MAY BECOME AN OBSTACLE FOR A WIFE’S SEXUAL DESIRE:

The first emotion is anger. It can be overt anger. No woman wants to have sex when she’s angry at something. Some women withhold sex as a weapon. Then there is covert or misplaced anger. There could also be anger that is shoved way down, that you are in denial about. Finding the root of this anger and communicating it in a healthy manner is important not only for your sex life and your marriage, but your physical and emotional health. Being able to communicate anger and what the need is to resolve it, whether it’s an apology, a validation of a transgression or something more. Once the anger subsides the sex drive should return.

Unless of course the problem isn’t anger. It could be manipulation. Women don’t like to feel controlled. Even if it’s control through passive-aggression it is still control. Some women then regain some of their power through sex. Take a long, hard look at your relationship and your husband’s behavior. Is he manipulative and controlling? Does he display passive-aggressive behavior? If a lack of power or control in your relationship is the problem, alleviating that and gaining more power is the way to get back on the road toward sexual desire.

A lack of communication could be at fault. Sometimes spouses are so busy all the time with careers and the kids that all they seem to talk about is scheduling and logistics. It’s time then to reinvest in the relationship and reignite that spark. Take some time for yourselves. Talk a little a few times a week or even each day, just for a half an hour or so just for the two of you. Take up a hobby you both share, take part in novel experiences or introduce each other to fantasies in the bedroom you’ve never tried before. Stress could be a serious factor. Find ways to de-stress whether it’s delegating more responsibility, working out, taking up yoga, meditating or just having fifteen minutes to yourself. Find out what you need and make it happen. Sex is an important part of a married relationship. Health benefits aside it helps you reconnect, deepen your relationship and share intimacy. For more on this issue read, The Sex-Starved Marriage: Boosting Your Marriage Libido: A Couple’s Guide by Michele Weiner Davis.

When is it Time to Reevaluate Your Relationship?

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When is it Time to Reevaluate Your Relationship?

The world is a tough and scary place. Coming home to a long-term partner for many people is comforting, even reassuring. Their shared home becomes a safe haven against the bitter world, which would be cold comfort still absent the most important element, their partner.  But a comfortable relationship can turn into a stale one, especially after spending many years together. Still, for many people it may be hard to pull back and look at things from a fresh perspective. There are questions you can ask yourself. Where are things going? Is your relationship progressing? Is it challenging? Does it provide personal growth?  If no is the answer to any of these, it is time to reevaluate your relationship. What if it is still hard to tell? See if the following indicators fit your situation. Do you blow things out of proportion? If your partner failed to use the hamper, again, do you throw a conniption fit? If so, give this relationship a second look. But probe deeper. If you fly off the handle over minor infractions, there is a deeper issue and it is that which you must discuss with your partner.

Notice what happens when you find someone attractive. Everyone checks out a good looking stranger or acquaintance, even your partner. It’s natural. Both sexes do it. But if you are giving them a second or even a third look, and if you go so far as to make plans with them in your head, or take the liberty of enjoying elaborate fantasies, even if it is just in your mind, there is something troubling in your love life. Do you imagine different ways of getting out of the relationship? If you find yourself daydreaming about the breakup, or going over a list of details to keep in mind when it happens, it’s time to sit down and think long and hard about how things are. Something is not right. If you are preoccupied with thoughts about where you would move, how custody would work out, the separation of finances and who gets to keep the cat, you and your partner need to sit down and have a serious talk.  Don’t ignore it or else it will only get worse. Do you two quarrel all of the time? Arguing, in theory, can strengthen a relationship. It leads to better communication, decisions, smoother systems and two people who know each other better. But mere bickering is unproductive. There is no positive side to it. It just hurts. If you find yourselves at each other’s throats, using sarcasm or passive-aggressive behavior, it is time to figure out what is going on.

How is your sex drive? Whether you are insatiable or have a mild libido, everyone wants sex sooner or later. But if you are only having it once in a while, or not at all, this is a sheer sign of the breakdown of your emotional bond. If the very idea of doing it with your partner feels gross, or even like a chore, you two are in trouble. Being comfortable around each other is important. But if you no longer care what your partner thinks, or how you look to them, this relationship is on the skids. Are you completely apathetic toward them? Could they fall off the face of the earth and you wouldn’t care? This is serious. If you hate who the person is that you are with, and not what they do, it is time to hash it out with them. Do you two talk about deeper issues, tell each other stories and laugh? If you can only rely on small talk, and can never see each other on an exciting or inspiring level anymore, your relationship is toast. If you feel trapped, or feel like you love them but are not in love with them, your relationship needs a reboot. Either that or it is game over. Discuss the matter in depth at a time where you both have some free time, and aren’t preoccupied. Get them to let their guard down. You do it too. Have a frank discussion. Listen and hear each other out. Do not interrupt and don’t let them do it. Perhaps just clearing the air, or deciding to couch certain issues until you work out smaller ones is all you need. For couples in deeper waters, counseling may be required. For others still, perhaps the relationship is unsalvageable. But it is better to let someone go then to live a life desperately unfulfilled.  If you want to learn how to turn things around, or build a new relationship stronger than the last read, Seven Keys to Long-Term Relationship Success by Preston Ni.