Do you have a tumultuous relationship?
A relationship where minor disagreements or saying the “wrong thing” often escalates into big, dramatic fights that result in you or your partner slamming doors, throwing things, or threatening to leave?
Maybe your new relationship with your boyfriend or girlfriend has become a roller coaster of emotions.
Or your decades-long marriage has been rocky for quite a while.
And you find yourself walking on eggshells every day.
You have to watch what you say to your partner or how you say it, because they often take things the wrong way.
You don’t like to ask for anything or disagree with them for fear of causing an argument. So, you shut down and respond, “Whatever you want, hon.”
Maybe they’re controlling.
They get irritated with you when you don’t respond to their text right away. They question the things you buy for yourself and whether they’re necessary. They change the channel if they don’t like the program you’ve selected—without checking with you first.
Or they’re jealous and suspicious.
They interrogate you about where you’ve been and who you were with. They think you’re cheating on them when all you’re doing is working overtime or being friendly with a neighbor.
Or they have a hair-trigger temper.
They embarrass you by saying sarcastic things in front of friends and family. They bicker with you in public, because they didn’t like what you said, or how you said it, or the look on your face when they made some comment.
You try to talk through it, reassure your partner, make amends, and sometimes placate them. But if it’s not one thing, it’s another.
Granted, when things are going well, your relationship may be passionate, intense, and deeply gratifying. Your sex life may even be incredible.
But on a bad day—which may be more often than not—you feel so alone and unhappy. You don’t know what to do to make your partner understand your point of view.
You don’t know how to make them “get” that you love them and are committed to your marriage.
On those frequent bad days, you have a lot of negative thoughts about your partner.
You run a tally of all their faults.
You fantasize about what it’d be like to be single again.
But you can’t leave or don’t want to, so you feel stuck.
If this describes your life, you’re not alone. Many couples suffer in this kind of high-stakes relationship where one person overreacts to things or often threatens to leave as a way to control their partner.
But there’s something important I need you to know about your relationship, which is this: it’s not hopeless, and there is something you can do today to bring more calm and stability to your love.
It just takes understanding what your REAL PROBLEM is, and what to do about it.
You may think: Things wouldn’t be so bad if your partner wasn’t so jealous, overly sensitive, or controlling.
You’ve tried handling these issues the best way you know how, in order to fix the problem and make your life easier:
You tell your partner, “I love you” all the time.
You take care to phrase your displeasure with something in a way you think will avoid a fight.
You make sure to call them to let them know you are on your way home from work, or if you are working late.
You don’t spend money unless you discuss it with them ahead of time.
You give them compliments about how attractive and sexy they are.
You make sure to stay close by their side when you’re out in public, and touch and kiss them often.
But no matter what you’ve done to keep things on an even keel and avoid the fights and accusations, nothing seems to help for long.
It’s as if your partner “forgets” all the good things about your relationship and latches on to the one thing that you said or did that “proves” you don’t love them, you don’t care, or that you’re a terrible mate.
You keep repeating the same kind of arguments, and nothing is ever resolved for long.
And the reason that happens is because what you THINK is the problem isn’t the real problem.
The real problem isn’t that your partner is jealous or that you don’t know how to be considerate or loving enough to them.
Those are simply symptoms of a much bigger, underlying issue in your relationship.
In other words, there's a flaw in the way your relationship operates.
And once you understand this bigger issue, and what to do about it, it’s SO MUCH EASIER to resolve.
You don’t need to walk on eggshells, you don’t need to stuff down your feelings to keep the peace, and you don’t have to feel so alone anymore.
Unless you have the tools you need to fix that underlying flaw, those damaging symptoms…The rage and fighting and jealousy?
Your partner will continue to accuse you of being unloving and uncaring. Or of betraying their trust when you’ve done no such thing.
No matter how thoughtful, attentive or transparent you try to be.
And the drama will continue, until one day, when your partner threatens to leave, they actually will.
Or, more likely, YOU will.
Because no relationship can survive that much turmoil and anxiety for long.
Divorces or break-ups never happen like an earthquake—without warning the earth one day just opens up and cracks your relationship apart.
It’s more like a mudslide.
Millions of tiny raindrops pound and saturate the soil, loosen the foundation, and the weight of it just pulls the earth down and ultimately destroys it.
They die when small disagreements frequently lead to hurtful, verbal outbursts.
They die when you do everything you can to make your partner feel loved, and they accuse you of being unloving.
They die when one partner constantly threatens to leave, and the other partner gets sick and tired of walking on eggshells.
They die when you keep trying to “fix” the symptoms and ignore the cause of your fighting and drama.
That’s why it’s important that you learn what the deeper, underlying issue is in your relationship, and do what it takes to resolve it for good, so your partnership becomes strong, stable and secure.
There’s a better way to stop the drama and have a relationship that feels calm, loving and secure, and it starts with self-examination.
You have to take a look at the unconscious motivations behind your behavior, and your partner must do the same.
WHY are you feeling insecure in your relationship? Why is your partner so threatened when you don’t follow the rules, or spend time with others? Why isn’t anything you’ve done to fix the problem helped?
You have to know what you are doing wrong to do something right.
As a clinical practitioner in marriage and family therapy for 40+ years, I’ve often sat with couples and listened closely in order to figure out what was REALLY behind their arguments, dissatisfaction and complaints about each other.
What were they really doing wrong? Most of the time they themselves were not seeing what that was.
After listening to what they “thought” was the conflict, I was able to pinpoint exactly which relationship system or systems needed addressing. Then, finding the right solution was the easy part.
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 a stable, secure, and loving 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.
I can’t possibly work individually with everyone who needs my 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.
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A marriage can’t ever work if one person is doing or saying things that make the other person feel insecure in the relationship. That’s why knowing how to make your relationship more secure is key to feeling safe, loved and happy.
The advice contained in the articles I’ve written for Flourish will help you uncover the hidden issues that are creating this dysfunctional dynamic in your relationship, and will show you the fastest, most effective way to resolve it at last.
May you have an extraordinary day,