“It’s not that hard to put the laundry on, why do I always have to do it? The garbage doesn’t get to the bins outside on its own you know! Why must I always manage our social plans”? Does any of this sound familiar? Or how about, “I think it was two weeks ago that we had sex. Why don’t you ever wear that sexy lingerie I got you? You know I’m really tired, can we get this over with I’ve got a meeting first thing”. Maybe it’s the life decisions territory, “So are we having a baby this year? Are we getting married any time soon? I am just exhausted by the city, when are we going to make the move to the country like we keep talking about”?
Who is the biggest breadwinner and who makes the most financial contribution in your relationship? Is his family the one from the romcom that everyone adores and yours is the nightmare from a bad soap?
It’s such a lovely thing when you see a beautiful old couple on tv saying that they’ve never had a cross word and still as much in love on their diamond wedding anniversary. But with the pressures of 21st century living, the reality is that it can be hard to have the perfect relationship – but it’s overcoming adversity and getting through the sticking points that really cements a relationship. Let’s take a look at each aspect that appeared in our opening gambit.
Throughout psychological literature, the social exchange theory posits that relationships are formed by the use of cost-benefit analysis by each respective party. In this way, there can be a pattern or tendency to measure this effort and the extent to which your partner is contributing. If the balance is out, you may consider ending this relationship and moving on.
Before you throw in the towel, it is essential to discuss these feelings of imbalance early on to allow the relationship a chance to recover, and for both parties to consider their behaviours and approach. Is it selfish or thoughtful? What needs to change to get the balance back?
Does familiar, routine and vanilla suit you better, or are you adventurous and a bit more salted caramel? Dull can send your sex life into a coma, but once again, unless you’re an expert mind reader, you do need to talk about it. Is your relationship like living as brother and sister or best mates, or is there still sexual energy that lets your partner know you are still very attracted to them and that your love runs deep?
Instead of doing something completely random and scaring your partner as if they’ve just got home and walked onto the set of 50 Shades of Grey, try watching the film and talking about it. Do you have the courage to ask your partner what they really love and what really turns them on? Remember the first time you had sex? Was it wonderful? Can you revisit what that was really like? Once again communication is the key.
Leaving things unsaid is what makes something fester into a deep-seated problem. Saying nothing and expecting someone else to be able to read your mind, is the way to build up a giant pile of resentment. Naturally it is really essential to choose the time and the moment to discuss the big things in life like babies, marriage, buying homes, shifting your life another place.
If you are both open and make a pact to bring truth to the conversation at a time and in a place that is conducive for both of you, then you establish the basis for a healthy conversation. That said emotional intelligence and self-awareness is essential to keep yourself in check in terms of being open minded, and listening to hear, not to form your next point of argument.
At risk of adopting a cliché, it is so important to remember that money does not buy happiness; furthermore, numerous psychological studies have shown that, after a definable threshold point, earning more does not concomitantly increase happiness. The patriarchal society norms affect relationships in terms of fixed thinking about men being the primary breadwinner, or they themselves feeling emasculated if their female partner earns more than they do. Many female matchmaking clients experience a severe absence of suitors.
Ultimately it once again comes down to open and honest communication so that one or the other does not feel isolated in their thinking about who and how you pay for your life together. It’s a partnership not a competition.
This one single aspect of a relationship is the one that is more volatile, contentious and variable that any other. What if you’re that person who is remarkably different to the people you’re related to by blood? When you get into a relationship, family and friends come as part of the deal, so getting to know them early on will help you to navigate these sometimes-choppy seas.
There is no such thing as perfection, and maybe you are that affable person that everyone loves. It’s important to remember your partner is getting to know you as well as other people in your life sphere. Ultimately you are a family unit and you need to prioritise as well as keep the communication honest, open and clear. Silence is a deadly festering disease.
At Maclynn (formerly Vida), we know that the take-home message from any relationship counselling remains ever the same: communication is key. With our coaching service, we understand how much hurt can be caused by feeling underappreciated or even unloved.
Being compatible as a couple is much more than just initial physical attraction. We’re all about helping couples find success in love and life time partnerships and provide high-quality advice and coaching to both singles and couples. We’ve had the privilege and opportunity to work with many couples who have obstacles not unlike those mentioned in this article. I am here and available to support you in all these points mentioned above so do get in touch for a complimentary consultation with me.