I know, from the huge surge in Relationship Coaching clients that I’ve already received this year – and receive at this time every year – that resolving the issues in our relationships is a huge focus for many of us at this time of year.
Most of us have spent the colder Winter months reflecting, naturally looking inwards, and reassessing and re-evaluating many aspects of our lives and relationships. We have time to think about the areas we would like to improve, the things we really need to work on.
But with Christmas looming, and all the obligations and commitments and tasks we need to complete, we tend to grin and bear it, thinking that we’ll just get through Christmas and the holiday season, and will sort out our relationship issues in the New Year.
So we make resolutions. We’ll communicate better. We’ll learn to listen more, we’ll stop arguing so much. We’ll be more intimate.
All of these are important aspects of any relationship, and all need attention for your relationship to function well.
But, here’s a common stumbling block:-
YOU recognise that these are all important. YOU see the value of actively working to improve your relationship. YOU are prepared to face the problems and tackle them once and for all.
But what if your partner isn’t? What if they choose instead to ignore the issues in your relationship? What if they pretend everything’s fine, and minimise the issues, playing them down? Or what if they accept and acknowledge there are issues in your relationship but refuse to work on them?
Where does that leave you?
The thing is, it takes two to create a problem, and it takes two to fix it. You simply cannot do it all alone.
So what can you do about it if you’re desperate to resolve the issues in your relationship, but your partner isn’t?
Well, firstly, it’s important to put any frustration, hurt or anger aside, and seek to understand your partner.
- Are they afraid to face the issues?
- What are they afraid of?
- Is there anything from their past which is impacting on their willingness to open up?
- Is there something they’re worried about to saying to you, in case it upsets you?
- Do they struggle to manage their emotions or talk about them?
- Is their anger or resentment preventing them from communicating with you?
Really listen to the answers. Really take on board what your partner’s saying. Acknowledge them and look for the grain of truth in what they are saying, rather than focusing on the things you don’t agree with.
And be honest with yourself – how well do you handle perceived criticism? Could you be doing something that contributes to their lack of openness? Because if you fly off the handle every time your partner expresses their feelings, they’re less likely to open up to you again.
Once you have an improved understanding of your partner’s objections, you can begin to think of ways that you can address them together.
It’s easy to blame your partner for not opening up and dealing with the issues in your relationship, just as it’s easy to blame them for anything that you’re not happy with. But one of the most empowering things you can do in a situation where you feel frustrated and powerless, is to recognise that you can take control of your own behaviour and actions, and in doing so, take responsibility for your part in your relationship issues.
Encourage your partner to take responsibility for their part in the relationship issues, by taking responsibility for yours. Lead by example.
Once your partner experiences your honesty and openness, and willingness to listen and understand, not only will they appreciate it, but they’re far more likely to respond in kind.
In Nature we have evolved to work together to solve problems, not against each other. When we do this we can achieve great things! Just remember the natural law of synergy:-
Synergy: “The interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects”
Oxford English Dictionary
If you’d like my expert help and guidance to overcome the issues in your relationship this year, then don’t hesitate to get in touch. Simply click on the link below to contact me.
Deepening your connection with Nature