Relationships are probably one of the most challenging experiences in life. The reason for this is that you want people to like you, you want to be accepted. To achieve this, most people compromise themselves which means they do not express their true feelings at the risk of being rejected. This will work for a short period of time, however eventually resentment will start to build up simply because you are not being true to yourself. You have just started to live your life through your partner instead of living your life with your partner.
Being honest about your feelings and opinions sounds easy, so why don’t people do it? There are many reasons for people not knowing how to articulate their feelings. Expressing feelings of anger or pain does not have to be expressed in a toxic manner for you to get your message across. Learning how to communicate effectively allows your partner or close ones to understand what you are feeling, this is not going to happen if you are screaming or yelling at them, all that will achieve is an inflamed situation that potentially turns into an explosive argument.
Relationships are a combination of two personalities working together, this means that you are not going to see eye to eye on everything in life. If you do, then one of you is not being honest. Flexibility and understanding what is important to your partner is crucial to a healthy relationship. You are in a relationship because you have things to learn from each other, the initial attraction was not a coincidence. It will not work if you think you are the one that is always right or constantly want your own way, you may as well forget having a partner and stick to having a relationship with yourself. Of course if you choose to do that you are choosing to ignore what you need to learn regarding communication.
Most relationship issues are relatively small and can be fixed when you learn to understand what triggers your moods and emotions. It goes without saying that the longer you hold things in the bigger the mountain of resentment gets, therefore the sooner you take action to resolve the problems arising the easier it is to change the offending behaviour. One must remember when character assassination occurs in a heated situation the accusation cannot be taken back. You may forget what you said as time goes by but your partner, family member or close friend will not. It is one more stab in the heart that leaves a scar that only time and a change in your behaviour can heal.
It is almost impossible to be totally experienced at relationships, this is because no matter how many you have had the next person will be different to the last. Past relationship experiences often create emotional damage leaving the person that deserves the most of you receiving the least.
There are fundamental pre-requisites to healthy relationships that must be adhered to otherwise it will be destined for disaster sooner or later, these pre-requisites apply to all relationships not just relationships of an intimate nature.
Where does counselling come into this?
Many people talk to their friends as they often lend a sympathetic ear, however this does not always provide a productive and unbiased solution. Your friends are not always the best people to speak to regarding relationship problems. Friends don’t like to take sides, don’t want to hurt your feelings and are often bias, finding it difficult to be completely honest with you. A skilful, counsellor will find the root of the real issue’s and suggest appropriate strategies to change the dynamics that have caused frustrations in the relationship. Commitment from both sides to creating a healthy relationship is the first step to succeeding in having one.