Personally, it was the hardest thing for me to learn to say what I need in my relationship. In the beginning, I would rather have bitten my tongue than talk about anything difficult or to explain what I needed, which I often wasn't even able to recognize myself. This led to resentment and passive aggressiveness.
Over the years I have blamed him for not seeing or listening to me, that was before I turned inwards to see my own input. How I haven’t paid attention and opened up a real conversation about it. Instead letting my past hurts get triggered, hurts which had nothing to do with him.
We all have our default beliefs based on our earlier experiences. I never learned, or was allowed, to express my needs or feelings safely. It's a common issue that many generations experience.
As a child, I learned surface emotions were expressed by arguing, and the real ones were to be hidden in the silence. But time and avoidance doesn't heal problems. Unresolved arguments and unexpressed needs only build resentment.
It’s easy to play the victim and to silently blame others or the circumstances, while avoiding feeling our feelings and showing our real vulnerable selves. Together, me and my partner have learned to discuss fears and issues when they show up.
To stay in balance I constantly need to pay attention to give love to myself, so that I can then receive it from my partner. I need to hear that I’m loved often enough and sometimes I ask for it. Now that I’m pregnant I need that even more! I could be cuddled and hugged all the time like a baby. Touching releases the oxytocin hormone, which is needed for getting the body ready for the birth and of course, the growing baby needs it too. But so do adults.
This is what I often hear people saying:
“Why do I have to be the good one and take responsibility for the communication and bring things up?”
“It’s about him or her and I have done nothing wrong, I’m doing my best.”
“I wish s/he would change and understand me better.”
“S/he will never change. S/he always…”
“Why is it me who always has to…”
Because someone has to make the change. Nothing will change if we don't change it. This kind of cycle needs to be stopped and the patterns must be broken - consciously.
Over time couples become so close that they can't see the “bad’ habits and patterns they have created together. Habits which are causing repetitive battles and issues. This piles up when old hurts and misunderstandings aren't resolved.
It's never really about the other person. In the end, it's about us and resonating what we need to learn from ourselves so that we can resolve the issues that will help us to heal and grow.
We get so used to each other, and therefore often take the relationship for granted and become less compassionate towards our partner. It’s easy to neglect each other, and stop seeing who our partners really are and what they might be going through. It’s easy to just assume, rather than ask them and see them clearly. Often we don't (want to) recognize how our own input is causing the issue. It's not fair to complain to friends, and not have a real talk with your chosen partner.
Lack of communication and trust and an inability to be vulnerable are causing the emotional, and intimacy problems in many relationships.
Often your other half has no idea what's going on and what you might be thinking, and needing - you need to communicate it. There are so many misunderstandings in relationships, which sadly often lead to separation or divorce, just because of defensive egos and because people are not connected to their own hearts and feelings and have not solved the issues from their past.
Too many people do not understand what they are projecting or why they feel how they feel.
However, if there is love and willingness, these issues can always be solved.
Other people are often our mirrors: what you think and feel about others, they might think that about you. They often project and resonate with what we are afraid of and think the very same thing about us!
We communicate and sense without words often and therefore attract similar situations until we are ready to stop and learn. But only spoken words can create connection and understanding - when we choose to approach conversations with peace and compassion.
If you need a change and are not fully satisfied in your relationship, you need to step up; be open about your feelings and needs; and start the communication.
It requires courage to be the one who stands up for their needs and asks for changes. It requires the courage to connect with the heart and speak for yourself. You want to do it for your happiness.
The better you know yourself, the better your relationships will be and the more open you can be.
Taking responsibility for your own needs is a measure of your self-worth and appreciation. And beautifully shows you your limiting beliefs and what you might be avoiding. Maybe it’s about fear of commitment, lacking deeper emotional connection, trust issues, fear of having real happiness or facing the truth...
It never goes wrong and people never turn against us when we are able to show our real feelings and worries vulnerably. It releases the tension and shifts the energy.
It’s not weakness, it’s power. It then opens up the possibility of your other half opening up and taking responsibility for their feelings. It simply leads to a resolution and clarity. It strengthens the emotional connection - and adds more love, partnership, and trust.
We simply need to be who we are and be able to share our deepest fears and feelings to our partners safely.
So, what to say and how to change this?
Say what you don’t want to say - I know it’s easy to say that, but it’s the truth.
Do what you don’t want to do and face your fears confidently. You’ll be rewarded.
If your issue is that you are over-compassionate and understanding towards your partner, and you carry their emotions too, you are probably forgetting your own needs. You deserve to get what you want and need, and you are worthy of asking for that.
It might feel in the beginning as though it’s not working. That’s only because as you change your behaviour and release your defensive barriers your partner is not used to it. It’s like they can’t believe that you are not coming from a resentful, defensive place but instead are approaching the situation with peace and calm. It will change, we always face resistance and challenges before things start flowing. You are doing this for you both, for your relationship and for your happiness future.
Coming from a loving place provides an opportunity for growth. As we need to grow constantly in life, so too do we need to grow and change in our relationships.
I'd love to hear from you! Leave a comment below: How have you resolved your relationship communication issues? How did you learn to speak up?
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