New relationship ,wow exciting, major interaction validation, on a high, sexual tension. Feeling special don’t need anything more.
Established relationship, life moves on less interaction, less validation, less excitement less sexual tension. Still a loving partner but they are no longer fulfilling all your needs.Or are they beginning to irritate the hell out of you cease to meet your expectations.
What training have you had for making a successful relationship?
Likely scenarios are:
Observing your parents? Their friends? Watching films? Reading a book? Reading magazine articles. Watching TV.
Do any of these things really enable us to form healthy happy relationships, or are we groping in the dark? Do you think there is no issue if you love somebody then things can’t go wrong.
This basis for a relationship is unstable, and we try to establish some foundations maybe with rules and agreements, explicit, informal, or unspoken. We think that if we lay down the right foundations in the beginning, we’ll be able to keep the early romantic lustre and our partners will keep validating us and meeting all our needs. Unfortunately that might well not be the case.
What assumptions about relationships did you and your partner bring into your relationship? Are you even aware of the biases you hold?
Rules, agreements and assumptions = Expectations.
Expectations, spoken or unspoken can cause major harm to a relationship, expectations about behaviour, friends, sharing of chores, roles, sex. You can add to this list.
Expectations and assumptions can cause us to exhibit limiting behaviours.
Here are a few limiting behaviours within a relationship how many can you tick?
We discourage our partners from trying new things, if they don’t appeal to us.A new opportunity might leave us behind, and they might find something more exciting, than we are offering.
We stop fully listening because we think we have heard it all before.
We assign blame to our partner when we think they are not meeting our needs.
We get embarrassed or angry if our partner speaks or acts in a way that we feel reflects badly on us.
We use blackmail techniques to ensure our partner meets our expectations be it manipulation, anger, or making them feel guilty.
We become jealous if our partner gives attention to others, especially has conversations with somebody of the opposite sex.
We are quick to blame, criticise and judge, and jump to conclusions.
We become irritated and angry if our partner behaves in ways we consider inappropriate.Particularly if we think this behaviour devalues us.
We stop finding quality time to spend with our partner.
We belittle our partner often in company.
We are indifferent to our partners, thoughts and actions, we cease nurturing their dreams. We may even discourage them.
All these behaviours can cause a partner to withdraw into themselves, become less open and show us only what we want to see. As the relationship changes, becomes less loving, more based on fear of change . We presume that this is the nature of relationships, decline is inevitable, more often than not. This is what we have seen, relationships that have grown apart. This is often the model we have been immersed into.
Do you use any of the above?
Are you squeezing the life out of what was a good partnership?
Is this the behaviour of your partner?
Is there a way to replace limiting behaviours?
Of course there are ways and if you have identified relationship limiting issues, you have started the journey. See the next article for replacement behaviours to regain a more balanced relationship.