Build Your Best Relationship Yet
When David comes home from work at the accounting firm, his long-time partner Robin is tired from teaching all day and likes to unwind with a few moments of television before hoping on the pile of papers that need grading. David, however, finishes the day and is met with a wave of restless energy.
Sitting in the apartment after a long day is the exact opposite of what he wants to do. He’d rather take a jog, ride his bike, go to the market or really do almost anything other than continue to be sedentary. At first, Robin didn’t seem to mind, but they seem to be doing less and less together as a couple of late, and their once favorite joint activity of splitting a bottle of wine and chatting on their balcony has been replaced by tense conversations about who does more around the house or who can be the most cutting.
They both love one another, but neither wants the rest of their life to be this way. David tells his friends that their personalities are simply too different, and he’s considering making a break, no matter how unclean. Surely there’s something (or someone) out there better than this.
Do You Have The Relationship Skills it Takes?
What if someone told you your relationship problems, in one way or another, were all your own doing? It would probably tick you off, right? Well, in some ways, that person might not be all that far off. Many people seem to enter a relationship under the assumption that romantic partnerships should be as effortless as a lazy-day raft ride down the river, where your destination and enjoyment along the way are as nonchalantly assured as the passage of time.
You love each other. You have fun. You laugh. What else could you need? Actually, quite a bit more.”
A more accurate metaphor for that approach to a “committed” relationship would be setting cruise control on the first straightaway of a cross-country road trip and expecting everything will turn out fine. Even if you survive the journey, it’s unlikely that either of you will be all that enthusiastic about it (or each other).
The point is, many of us have no idea what commitment actually looks like.
We act like our relationships should be all nothing but breezy, emotional highs, but rarely take a look at the behavioral and conversational patterns that either draw us closer together or push us farther apart.
We want an open, honest relationship, but fail to communicate openly and honestly. We hide feelings and experiences. We pretend problems don’t exist. We let past hurts fester into resentment, and cherish that resentment with all the self-pity that the Ego allows (which you’ll find is quite a lot).
We say that we’ve tried everything, but never reach out to a professional couples counselor who can teach you how to:
- Communicate without fear of judgment or anger
- View challenging situations as an opportunity to work together
- Re-discover activities you enjoy together
- Explore deeper emotional connections
- Take personal responsibility for the relationship’s success
- Make decisions cooperatively
- Design your future and take steps toward creating it
Contact Thriveworks Boston Couples Counseling Today!
Whether your relationship is on the rocks or built on solid ground, there’s always room for continued growth and connectedness. Your relationship can often be difficult, sure, but it should serve as the grounding point, not the thing that gets in the way, of the rest of your life.
Sometimes the damage is so great that one or both parties are unwilling to work on a potential solution. Relationships end, and sometimes it’s best for everyone to create some distance, but we can help there too. Your relationship at least worth the final effort of figuring out how to dissolve it as amicably as possible. And, you never know: You might even find new hope during the process — it’s certainly happened before.