You want your partner happy with you, I know. We’re halfway through looking at some of the reasons your relationship might be on the rocks. You’re worried that your husband or wife doesn’t love you anymore. But you wonder if you can change that, and make him or her see you the way they used to.
I want you to be loved, cared for, accepted and validated. But not at the expense of who you really are! I don’t want you to blame yourself, or blame your partner, or think that you’re not good enough or don’t deserve to be loved. Instead, I want to encourage you to become more of who you already are, and recognise what you already bring to this world.
It’s the latter two that really matter though. So I’m going assume that your partner is truly someone who deserves your love. And that you’re not putting or keeping yourself in a position where you’re going to be used or abused.
As Oprah Winfrey says – you being here is enough: “That sperm hit that egg!” Think about the odds of that!
So, I hope you feel my encouragement as you read this article. I’d love to help you reach the next level of being you. That’s the only way you can fall in love with yourself again, and perhaps that will help your husband/wife fall in love with you again too. The former is the most important outcome, and the latter is the least! After all, you may love or have loved each other, but that doesn’t necessarily say anything about your compatibility. Perhaps you aren’t so well matched after all (keep an open mind!).
Take a look at the next 6 relationship problems that may play a role. Take action, but only do what feels right to you in your heart.
6. Are you in a relationship with someone who’s simply unavailable?
There are people who have certain personality traits or who are in particular situations that may not be ready for a serious relationship. They won’t make the most attentive partners, or they’ll find it difficult to commit themselves.
I’m thinking of people who…
- are already married or in a relationship
- have a fear of commitment
- have only just broken up with someone else
- are serial cheaters
- suffer from an addiction
- have severe mental health problems, etc.
That doesn’t mean they couldn’t make a good partner, but at the moment it’s unlikely that they’re ready to be in a serious relationship.
This subject is worth a whole separate article of its own! Do sign up to my blog to be notified when I publish new articles like this.
7. Do you really understand what it takes to keep a relationship going?
You fell in love, and thought you knew what it would take to build a healthy relationship (we all do early on). Or maybe you just took the plunge without ever giving it some serious thought. Now, though, you may well be shocked, hurt and disappointed that it isn’t working out. Your hopes and expectations are, perhaps to your surprise, not coming to fruition.
We learn about relationships by experience, starting right from birth in the relationships we have with our parents/caregivers. Different relationships develop throughout our childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. In every relationship, we can be anywhere on the scale from utterly spoilt and mollycoddled to neglected, abused and (frequently) abandoned.
We learn about trust, boundaries, giving and receiving, judgement, reliability and accountability, safety and security, the value of our emotions, how to communicate and a whole lot more. All of these form the bedrock for our serious intimate relationships. Our experiences form an intricate, unconscious pattern which we only become aware of when we consciously reflect on them in the present. We learn how our emotions influence our boundaries, and what we value and nurture or reject.
The key questions now are:
- have you been able to develop your relationship knowledge as you’ve matured?
- Have you taken the time to reflect on any of the concepts above?
- Have you taken conscious learning from your experiences – in a positive way?
- Have you read books and articles on how relationships work?
- Have you talked to a knowledgeable, wise and trustworthy person?
- Have you challenged yourself to do better?
- Have you had some counselling/therapy? (easy to get that sorted these days – see my page on online counselling)
It’s normal to no longer feel so head over heals in love after a couple of years. That does not mean your relationship is doomed. It just means that your relationship has moved into a different phase. This offers a great opportunity to deepen and solidify your relationship. It requires you to invest in learning all about this new phase. You can see it as a chance to get to know yourself and your partner even better, to (re)discover and value what you both can bring to this new phase.
8. Do you feel as though you’re just surviving from day to day?
Around 50% of people who are having relationship problems are depressed. No wonder. However, if you’re just surviving and not building meaning and purpose in your life, you’ve very little to share with your partner. In a state of depression, you’re also unlikely to have the spare capacity to be truly interested in your partner’s life.
Just to be clear, I’m not talking about being depressed after life-changing events, circumstances or a great loss. Though these can be terribly sad times and may test you to the limit, they are part and parcel of life. It’s normal and expected for these to throw a shadow on your life and blacken your moods for some time. That does not mean you suffer from depression and are in need of prescribed antidepressants. (They’re never a solution anyway and are likely to make the outcome worse!) It’s likely that your sadness and low mood will disappear with the passing of time.
Here, I’m talking about long-term low mood, little interest or enjoyment in anything, and minimal activity other than robotically going through the motions of everyday life.
Of course you’d want your partner to take care of and support you if you’re depressed – that’s a reasonable expectation.
However, he or she would no doubt want to know that, after a period of time at least, you’re actively working on your recovery. I know that can be difficult when you’re in the midst of depression. But, if you want your relationship to survive this difficult time, you can’t just rely on antidepressants (I would not ever suggest you do anyway) – or on your partner to fix everything. Hoping and wishing for better times isn’t going to do it either, I’m afraid! You and I know there’s so much more in you! And you can find plenty of help for overcoming depression in the pages of my website.
9. Do you suffer from an addiction?
Perhaps you’ve counted on the love and support of your partner, despite your addiction. Perhaps he or she wasn’t aware of the severity of your addiction. You may have been able to hide it to some extent, so they’ve never known the true scale of the problem. Perhaps they’ve found out, and now you’re worried they might leave you. However desperate you’re feeling, you know there’s only one way you can remedy the situation. And, yes, it’s going to take all your courage!
Addicted to alcohol (or any other substance), gaming, porn, gambling, hoarding, spending money or anything else? The only way you may be able to get your partner or spouse to stay with you is to become and remain actively engaged in overcoming your addiction:
- Be open about it
- Ask your partner for understanding and support
- Seek professional help
Notice how your partner is supporting you. Could he or she by any chance be consciously or unconsciously supporting the maintenance of your addiction?
If you’re not willing to work on overcoming your addiction, the only way you and your partner will be able to move forward is separately. I know that sounds harsh! But I’m afraid out of control addictions only serve to erode relationships over time.
10. Have you closed yourself off and built a wall around you?
The only reason you’d have done this is because you’ve been terribly hurt – either recently, or in the past. You’ve got scared, felt vulnerable and understandably have built a wall around yourself, anxiously hoping it will protect you from further injury. That wall perhaps needed to be there whilst you slowly recovered from an insult to your body/mind. It provided a safe space to rebuild your self and learn to trust yourself and others again.
However, if you’ve cut yourself off in an attempt to avoid experiencing pain and sadness, you’ve also cut yourself off from experiencing happiness. But you do deserve to feel happy again!
So, be sure your wall has doors and windows, through which you can reach out to others and ask for help. Others, including your partner, will then have an opportunity to reach out to you, to hold, support and guide you.
It’s now time to reassess the structure of your wall in the light of the reason you’ve found this article. This is all about building trust – if indeed you are still in the right relationship.
11. Have you lost yourself in the process of trying to please your partner?
I suspect the moment you read this, you knew it was you. You’ve given your all in the belief that this is what you do in a relationship. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with the intent. However, if that has meant you’ve been working hard to adapt yourself to the person you thought your partner would want, you’re no longer the person he or she fell in love with!
12. Do you suffer from (unexplained) mood swings?
There’s nothing quite as trying and tiring as being with someone who, at the drop of a hat, or from one day to the next, changes their mood. It’s soul-destroying for the person on the receiving end as well as for yourself.
Your partner always has to wonder what mood you’re going to be in – at that event, when asked this or that, when you’re out together or in a group, when you’re waking up in the morning or going to bed at night. Often, they’ll be walking on egg shells for fear of sparking a sudden change of mood.
Your mood swings can also be caused by:
- the contraceptive pill
- premenstrual symptoms
- a leaky gut (yes, really! All kinds of stuff gets in your bloodstream which can cause havoc in your body)
To learn more about all this and how to balance your mood within a month, visit Dr Kelly Brogan’s website. Just type mood swings in the search box.
We’ve now looked at 12 common relationship problems you have a great measure of control over. If you’ve identified something that fits with you and you want to change it, you can! Perhaps your husband or wife will fall in love with you again – but there are no guarantees. Remember: we can never make someone do anything.
And if it does become clear that it’s time for your relationship to end, at least you’ll have had an opportunity to learn and grow for the experiences you’ve shared together – including the breakup, if it comes to that.
Personal counselling or therapy can really help you on the journey, as can couple therapy or counselling. And above all else, I hope you can trust that you have the strength and the ability to make positive changes that will lead to a happier, more fulfilling life for you. I have faith in you!
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