From my personal experience and the work I do coaching clients facing challenges in their relationships, I know that relationship happiness is rarely a happy accident. What a lovely thought if that was the case. In reality, this isn't how things play out in life. Sure, in the beginning, it's wonderful, you are both on your best behaviour. You wouldn't be the first person in this situation to believe you have met your perfect match.
Over time you both relax a little, the relationship starts to evolve, your true selves emerge. Don't get me wrong this isn't a bad thing. In fact, it's great you should be who you are in a relationship. Otherwise, it's a hard slog to keep up the pretence and wear a daily mask.
Sometimes during this evolution phase, the things we learn about each other aren't appealing, the veneer slips and what's below the surface isn't what we expected. It's important to be curious, compassionate and not expect your partner to dance to your tune. The worst thing you can do is ignore the niggles and even worse, neglect to tackle serious issues.
Issues that go unaddressed silently gain power, ready to erupt when we least expected. The worst words to utter when you are having relationships problems are ..........
"I thought things would sort themselves out ......"
This seldom happens. We can only thrive in relationships and create healthy connections when we face tough conversations and openly communicate when things aren't going well. We need to embrace the tough times, they help build a stronger bond and a deeper connection in our relationships.
What is the alternative?
Be brave and tackle the issues before they feel overwhelming. This may take practice if you have self-sabotaging patterns in relationships. The more you practice, the easier this will become.
Reframe what success looks like in your relationship, take a listen to relationship podcast Geordie Lass and Doc Sass episode 25 which looks at the measure of relationship success.
Put things into context, it's easy to get fixated on the perceived negatives. Do they really outweigh the good things in your relationship? Keep a diary for a few days, at the end of each day make a note of the things your partner did that made you smile and the things that made your frown, compare the lists at the end of the week. How does this change your views of the relationship?
Look within, when things niggle us often this can be a reflection of something within us. Explore why it is this is really annoying you. Are there any changes you can make to ease things? Can you use compassion to understand what's happening for your partner?
Relationships can be challenging. It's never going to be an easy ride, but when we tackle challenges, things are a whole lot sweeter on the other side. It can be difficult to do this because of who we are and, the experiences we had in life. Working with a coach can help to unpick some of this and make sense of it to help you move on. If you'd like support, set up a no-obligation call today. If this feels too big a step, start with the relationship health check, a great tool to help create awareness of what's really happening in your relationship.
Don't suffer, if you need support make the first step, and start today, with a no obligation chat. I'm sure you feel better once you say things out loud.
Don't forget to tune into the weekly Podcast Geordie Lass and Doc Sass for all your relationship hot topics and questions, on all major platforms.