Are you unhappy or struggling in your relationship? Ask yourself the following questions:
Maybe you’ve been asking yourself:
Has my partner changed? Do they not love me anymore?
Did I pick the wrong person?
Are we ever going to solve these problems or will I have to resign myself to a lifetime of this?
If you can relate, then you’re in the right place, and this article just may shed some light on your situation.
So if you’ve been going around in circles with your partner, keep reading, because I’m about to reveal the 2 common mistakes that may be destroying your relationship, and what you can do about it.
How did your relationship go from being loving and sweet to becoming a rotating drama of arguing, silent treatments, resentment, tension and loneliness?
It doesn’t happen overnight.
Sometimes chronic relationship conflicts start with smaller issues that just keep snowballing into bigger and bigger ones over time.
The original issue that triggers it can be something as minor as being ten minutes late for an event, or buying the wrong brand of toothpaste, or making an offhand comment about your mother.
One minute, everything is fine, and the next minute you are angry and hurt.
So what do you do when this occurs?
You probably decide it’s best to clear the air and communicate your feelings.
So you mull things over, gather up your thoughts, and finally you’re ready to present your case. You wait for just the right time when you have your partner’s attention and say, “Honey, we need to talk.”
You figure that by talking about it, you’ll accomplish two things:
Unfortunately, what ends up happening most of the time is the opposite of what you had hoped would happen. For example…
Not only does your partner not take full responsibility for what they did wrong, they get defensive or make excuses for why they did what they did. (You’re the one who’s always complaining about your mother, but when I say something, suddenly I’m the bad guy?)
They twist your words or exaggerate the situation. (Oh, so you’re saying I’m never on time? What about the ten thousand other times I show up early?)
They act like a martyr. (I’m sorry, I guess from now on I’ll check with you first before I make any decisions, because I can’t ever make you happy with what I decide!)
And then YOU are the one second-guessing whether you should have even brought it up in the first place!
You start to backtrack your original complaint, wondering if maybe you overreacted or were responsible in some way for what took place.
When arguments like the ones above happen, you feel sideswiped.
You were just trying to communicate your feelings and needs. Isn’t that a good thing? Shouldn’t you be sharing your thoughts and feelings so that you can make things better?
Instead, all this “talking” just made things worse.
It created more misunderstandings. More hurt feelings. More drama!
Now, I’m not saying that talking is pointless. Sometimes there’s something that absolutely needs to be expressed or clarified in the moment, and talking about it is the quickest, most effective way of doing that.
But if you’re hurt, angry, disappointed—and you want your partner to take responsibility for something—talking about it won’t always help.
In fact, talking about your problems or complaining about how your partner is not meeting your needs just creates more problems.
And no, it’s not because you don’t know how to communicate effectively or because your partner is stubborn or unenlightened in some way.
It’s not because you’re not using “I feel…” statements or stating your boundaries.
Talking doesn’t make things better because it fails to bring you closer.
Men respond to “talking about problems” in a very different way than women do. Women see it as an opportunity to connect. Men see it as an accusation that he’s failed you in some way.
You may feel better after venting your frustrations and trying to come up with solutions.
All he feels is shame, inadequacy and weakness.
When your man hears a complaint—no matter what it is—he believes that he’s disappointed you and he feels ashamed. His shame is so overwhelming at times that he can’t see beyond it and acknowledge what YOU are feeling—tired, frustrated, angry.
He just thinks, “I’ve failed her.” He freezes up, gets defensive and shuts down.
The more he shuts down, the lonelier and more frustrated you feel.
The lonelier you feel, the more resentful you get.
And the more you’ll want to talk to clear the air and feel closer.
And the worse things will get.
That’s why “talking about your problems” or talking to “connect and feel closer” rarely gets you the result you want, and it’s a mistake that can destroy your relationship.
After you’ve been burned too many times by having The Talk turn into The Argument, you may have decided that what you need to do is just Pick Your Battles.
You don’t bring things up right when they happen. You’re smart now. You’ve figured it out. It’s better to just pretend things don’t bother you, deal with it on your own, and let it slide.
So that’s what you do. Just let things go.
The beauty of this strategy is that you’re now arguing less. Entire weekends aren’t spoiled by pointless bickering or tension. Now you can go about your days and focus on other things instead of feeling pissed at your partner and hopeless about your relationship.
Also, you’re not beating yourself up for making a mountain out of a molehill or wanting too much.
You’re proud of yourself. You see that not every little thing warrants talking about it. You’re starting to uncover things about your own triggers. You’re growing as a person because you know WHY your partner’s behavior is driving you crazy. (Not that it doesn’t still make you crazy, though.)
And for a short while, this strategy of Picking Your Battles seems to work.
Until one day, when you’ve been overwhelmed at work, feeling under the weather, or juggling too many things, and your partner says or does that thing that drives you crazy and now instead of letting it go, you explode.
Now the one small issue becomes the last straw.
He forgot to turn on the dishwasher last night and now there are no clean dishes.
Guess what? This is now the battle you’re picking!
Not only do you pick this battle, but all the other minor battles you’ve suppressed and let slide? They all come out…all at once.
Your partner may have made a mistake, slipped up or been careless for a minute, but this one non-issue now becomes the very reason you’re ready to break up or file for divorce.
And that’s why…
When problems repeat, ignoring them won’t make them go away.
It only builds resentment inside of you.
The more resentful you are, the more vehemently you’ll criticize and complain when you can’t stay quiet anymore.
And he’ll feel like even more of a failure.
Here he was, thinking everything was fine, when in fact, he’d been failing you all along.
It’s a downward spiral toward an emotional disconnect and perhaps ultimately, divorce. Statistics show that 80% of couples cite “growing apart” as the reason they called it quits.
That’s “code” for I’m done being unhappy, I don’t love you anymore, and I’d rather make a life without you, thank you very much.
It’s tragic, and it doesn’t have to happen.
Before I answer this, I’m going to offer a radical idea for you to ponder:
Chances are, the problems you THINK you’re having aren’t the real problem anyway.
Take forgetting to turn the dishwasher on for example. It’s simply a symptom of a much bigger issue in your relationship.
The bigger issue in this case is a fundamental unfairness in your relationship. He’s failing to do something that YOU do every day—and you feel unappreciated and taken for granted.
But the dirty dishes are likely just the tip of the iceberg of this fundamental unfairness, and that’s why it has become this huge issue all of a sudden.
But you’re still making the same 2 mistakes when trying to fix it:
To sum this all up:
You need to address the bigger issues in your relationship without talking or complaining about them incessantly.
But that doesn’t mean ignoring the problem or pretending you’re not bothered by it.
All of this takes self-reflection, a willingness to become better partners for each other, and making certain positive changes in your habits and behavior.
I know, it may seem like a tall order, and one that’s impossible to do without a great deal of talking, but I assure you, you CAN fix your underlying relationship issues without going down the same, tired road.
You CAN resolve your underlying or long-standing issues, without having to “talk about it” all the time or the opposite—pretending everything is okay and picking your battles.
When you can identify what’s really at the core of your relationship conflict, you can take the necessary steps to fix it.
Then talking becomes more about sharing your positive feelings and experiences.
…Or dreaming up new adventures together.
…Or discussing your desires and goals.
…Or reminiscing about happy moments.
…Or appreciating each other.
And THAT kind of talking WILL bring you closer.
Your partner will feel better and so will you—because he knows he can make you happy, and you feel loved and seen.
Wondering how to do all this?
Click HERE to learn how to Fix Your Relationship
If you would like your life to change in an instant, consider giving your life to Jesus Christ. Jesus died for you, me, and everyone who has ever been or will be on earth.
To learn more about this amazing God who gave His life so you may live, go to: https://www.asafeplaceonline.
“For if a man belongs to Christ, he is a new creation. The old life is gone. New life has begun.” 2 Corinthians 5:17