The Relationship Dumps
As I grow older, it has become more and more apparent that everyone in a relationship has things that they can’t stand. It could be the way their partner takes out the trash to the way their partner treats them. No matter how “petty” or severe the situation is, the point is that person isn’t okay with the behavior. When someone isn’t okay with something, it breeds resentment; which can be expressed aggressively or passively (taking out anger in other situations or developing physical health issues). Then, the spiral begins where one problem becomes ten during an argument.
What is the first step to stop the spiral?
BECOME OKAY WITH WHAT IS GOING ON. What do I mean by that? Mentally become 100% okay with what is going on so you can think clearly to have the capacity to make good, long-term decisions. If your partner refuses to do the dishes, take a moment to say everything you want to in your car by yourself or write it out in a journal. When I say everything you want to say, I mean it. If you are thinking “I can’t believe how much of a baby, wet-noodle this person is”, say that! It doesn’t matter how stupid it sounds; that is how you feel!
How do you know when you are done expressing everything? You will naturally take a big deep breathe. That breathe should feel like a deep breathe of relief. (Think of the type of breathe you take a few moments after you narrowly avoided a traffic accident.)
Now you can think clearly and start the process of why you aren’t okay with what is going on. What impressions or words has this person given you that make you feel awful? Why are they giving your these impressions or words? Are they doing it on purpose? If they are doing it on purpose, are they hurt and that was a defense mechanism to not feel hurt?
Once you have a conversation with your partner about the way you perceived things and no mutual agreement or effort will be made in the future, now what do you do? (Your partner doesn’t care that it hurts your feelings that you do the dishes all of the time.)
How can you become okay temporarily in the process of separating?
1. Know that you and your partner have fundamental differences in values and that a better fit can be found for both parties.
2. Know that you made the effort/commitment to try/explore all avenues to move through the issues in the relationship.
3. Know that just because you couldn’t change someone’s mind doesn’t make you a failure. Everyone learns and listens when they are ready, and that you don’t have the capability to change someone long-term. I really really really really really want to say that again. That idea has really hit home for me. YOU CAN NOT CHANGE SOMEONE LONG-TERM. You can spoon feed someone a better diet but when you are gone, they are going to do whatever the hell they want to. It isn’t your responsibility to change someone even if you perceive it is going to help them in the long-term.
The “relationship dumps” really suck sometimes; but if you and your partner have the common belief to always work on yourselves individually and the relationship, it is 100% possible to work through the issue. Just remember to take a moment to express fully how you feel by yourself, ask questions as to why you are feeling that way and have a conversation with your partner to find mutual solutions/viewpoint.