There is never a dull moment in your relationship.
And I don’t mean that in a good way.
Leaving dishes in the sink can create as much upheaval as forgetting a birthday.
Fights include slamming doors, threatening to leave, and saying words you later regret.
Even the most enjoyable activities can be spoiled by a simple comment or action, creating an embarrassing scene.
And when things are “quiet,” you’re really just waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Your relationship is a veritable minefield. You’re on high alert, and so is your partner. No wonder the smallest things explode into huge issues.
You argue about the issues. Then you argue about how you’re arguing.
Did he really just call me that?
Is she serious about calling it quits?
Your relationship is absolutely exhausting.
It probably didn’t start that way, though, or you wouldn’t be in it now. Instead, I’m betting that your relationship was initially exciting and all-consuming—in a good way.
You couldn’t get enough of each other. You thought you’d finally found THE ONE. Nobody had ever understood you or appreciated you this way.
And the chemistry? It was through the roof.
Today, though, the experiment is blowing up—and in dire need of oxygen.
You’re walking on eggshells all the time for fear that it will all implode at any minute.
Your partner threatens to leave whenever you fight, so you fish for reassurance to make sure he doesn’t mean it.
You don’t want to rock the boat, so you suffer in silence and keep your complaints to yourself.
But then your partner forgets to call from work one day, and all hell breaks loose.
Because the reality is that all the dramatic highs and lows in your relationship will never go away unless you realize that there’s a hidden dynamic at play.
High-drama couples don’t realize that their emotional hijinks are really a cover-up for two people who are very afraid—they live in fear that they will lose each other.
At their core, their relationship is what I call an insecure system.
This is why the initial courtship is so ecstatic, and it’s also why the relationship inevitably devolves into a hot mess.
The sexual passion that fueled the courtship later becomes angry, controlling passion that destroys any and all good feelings toward each other.
Ironically, partners who are longing for security end up trying to feel secure in destructive ways.
Because they have a constant feeling of being on the verge of losing each other, they feel very much out of control.
They may try to gain control in ways that feel oppressive to the other, such as implementing rules (“You must call me every day from work.”)
Or they may try to feel more in control of the situation by raising the stakes (“If my partner might leave me, I’ll threaten to move out first.”)
It’s a deadly domino effect, where each misguided attempt to establish security just pulls you further apart.
If you feel fundamentally insecure in your relationship, but you don’t know how to fix it, you will you go about trying to feel secure in the wrong ways:
You will pick fights when things are going well, because you’re trying to “test” your partner’s love for you.
You will pick fights when your partner is withdrawn and distant, because any contact initially feels better than no connection at all.
You will withhold affection and attention from your partner, to see if this will scare him or her into coming closer.
A lot of emotional and mental energy is required to keep an insecure relationship system going.
When high-drama couples eventually break up, friends and family are seldom surprised. In fact, they’re relieved. They’ve often been dragged into the couple’s quagmire.
So much is required to manage the instability there’s little left to enjoy life, or the other benefits of love. And nobody wants to be around that.
And this is very sad indeed, because if your relationship is fundamentally insecure, there are ways to avert the crisis and create a truly secure relationship without all the debilitating highs and lows.
You may have been living in high drama for so long that it’s hard for you to imagine what a stable, loving, secure relationship looks and feels like.
You might not think it’s even possible for you to actually have a “normal” relationship—or you might worry that in order to be happy, you’ll have to find a new partner.
But after working with countless couples for the past four-decades, I know how to turn even the most insecure, high-drama relationship into the kind of joyful, vintage love everyone truly longs for.
It all starts with self-awareness and identifying where your insecurity comes from in the first place, then understanding how to focus on what really matters in a relationship in order to make it secure and keep it that way.
When couples learn what is really behind their intense, dramatic fighting, they experience a huge “AHA.”
They finally see WHY what they’ve been doing to solve their problem hasn’t worked.
When they learn what they REALLY need to do instead, they finally have hope that they can create an equitable, fun and supportive relationship that lasts.
But if you can’t see what’s really wrong, it’s nearly impossible to know what to do to fix it.
It’s a matter of perspective, and knowledge.
But I can’t possibly work individually with everyone who needs that kind of help. That’s why I’ve partnered with Flourish, so I can extend that help and guidance to as many people as possible, since almost all couples can benefit from these insights and tips.
When you subscribe to our FREE Relationship Advice Newsletter, you get access to more articles like these, from an accomplished community of carefully selected experts (like me!).
You’ll also learn:
Simply enter your name and email address in the box, and you’ll get all this plus much, much more.
It’s free, it’s easy, and you’ll be amazed at what a difference the tips and insights will make in your relationship!
A marriage doesn’t need to feel like a roller coaster of emotions and a drain on your energy.
It can be enlivening and wonderful, if you have the right knowledge and tools.
The advice contained in the articles I’ve written for Flourish will help you uncover the hidden issues that are draining your relationship of joy and passion, and help you create and maintain a strong foundation of love and respect, so that your relationship can last a lifetime.
May you have an extraordinary day,