We fall in love and then we fall out again. Why?
What happens that all the wonderful feelings that brought us together gradually dissipate like steam from a kettle?
Why is that so many marriages that were deemed to have been ‘made in heaven’ go through hell and end in divorce?
When we fall in love we so often believe that we have found the perceived other half, someone who understands us, listens and wants to take care and please us. It is where we learn the meaning of intimacy and the problems associated. If you don’t already know, intimacy is the sharing between two people not only of their bodies, but also their hopes, fears, anxieties and aspirations. Intimacy is the little gestures and expressions that endear us to each other. It is a sensation blooming into emotion. Love is part of that intimacy enriched by the sharing of one’s being with the other, in which one longs to hear the other’s fantasies, dreams and experiences and reciprocates by sharing ones own.
Sadly if a partner leans towards having affairs it is construed as a betrayal of trust and reasons vary. Maybe the individual is afraid of losing themself in the relationship? Maybe has anxieties about becoming engulfed by the other. Thus making some kind of show of independence or making some kind of rebellious stand by going off with someone else?
Alternatively an individual can be so in love they become terrified of losing the other, causing feelings of jealousy or possessiveness. Some of course may go to the other extreme by acting nonchalantly, faining indifference, holding some imaginary belief that if the other one ever left them, they will handle the loss more easily. All of these methods and more are a way of avoiding closeness pushing someone away.
What can happen once the excitement of that first intimacy melts, one or both partners can become dissatisfied. There are various reasons for this. Couples having too high an expectation of them self or of their partner, which leads to inadequacy in the relationship, for example; not earning enough; not doing enough around the house; not being supportive enough in stressful situations. Not communicating and failing to make love as often, showing disinterest in what happens to the other and so on.
Often couples get bogged down with work and making enough money. Maybe one is more ambitious than the other, or even competing with each other. Perhaps one or the other wants children and the other doesn’t. Taking each other for granted is the worst kind of neglect and forgetting to demonstrate in little ways how important each other are falling into complacency.
As a therapist couples would come to see me with the complaint of not talking to each other any more or that one or the other had become aloof and withdrawn. Most relationships break down because people do not know how to talk to each other.
Lack of communication will damage the majority of relationships, and many people make the assumption that the other person ‘should know how I am feeling’.
Do you think the other person should know how you feel?
Do you expect your partner or friend to know what was on your mind?
Have you expected your partner or friend to know what you want?
Do you ever have expectations of the other person, believing you would know what to do if the boot were on the other foot?
Do you believe you know what is best for your friend or partner without them even asking?
It is important to note here that all too often we give to the important others in our lives what we want ourselves. Think for a moment about just how your lover would know what you were thinking and feeling or what you are wanting.
Can they mind read?
Can anyone mind read? Of course not.
All too often people in relationships expect that their partners should be able to anticipate their needs. Perhaps they are supposed to put themselves into your place.
Ask yourself are you acting like a child in a relationship? If so it means that you are expecting the other to be like a parent or vice versa. Are you expecting someone you love to anticipate your needs, if you are then it’s too much to expect.
How do you communicate what you are feeling?
Did you know that the main emotions are described as anger, sadness, fear and happiness?
Can you identify what each emotion feels like?
If and when you feel sad where do you feel it in your body?
If you feel angry, sad or happy how do you know the difference?
If you could think for a moment what you are feeling at this very moment would you know how to describe that feeling to someone else?
When something happens that would invite an emotion from you how do you deal with it?
So many people have difficulty with the concept of communication especially how to express what they are feeling and thinking from moment to moment. Many of you will be failing to get across to the other what you really want to say from your heart.
Perhaps you have decided to hide the internal world and your own personal internal struggles within everyday relationships with other people believing something that you saw enacted out by your parents or maybe a message you were given verbally for example “feelings are not important”
“You’re weak or soft”
“Pull yourself together”.
“Other people don’t want to know what you are feeling”.
What have you decided about feelings?
Have you made an unconscious or indeed conscious decision about how to express or not your emotions to other people?
Just take some time to work out your own part in the problems of your relationship
Do you want to save the relationship?
Ask yourself are you invested in making this relationship work?
Are you prepared to change aspects of their behaviour?
Do you want the other to change?
Are you blaming the other person for what is going wrong in the relationship?
What is your part in the problem?
These are all important questions if you want to save your relationship and if you are willing to change and take your part in what happens in your relationships.