My relationship is falling apart. It feels like I don’t even know who this person is anymore. I want things to work out, but all we do is fight, which then turns into periods of not talking. How can I mend the rift between us?
– Broken in Botown
Dear Broken in Botown,
What did you love about this person when you first got together? Can you still see it, or try to see it even in the midst of a fight? Is it still there?
Sometimes our own internal struggles can make their way into our relationships. Have you taken the time lately to de-stress? Pent-up ‘stuff’ can make its way out in situations where it’s not necessarily appropriate.
For instance, as a simple example, maybe someone has a bad day at work. They got into an argument with their boss, but they couldn’t fully express themselves for fear of losing their job. So, instead of being able to fully resolve this situation in the workplace where it started, they bring it home with them. Now, they’re taking their anger and discontent out on their partner.
See what you can do to find any other unsatisfied situations, which may be affecting your relationship, and do what you need to do to resolve them appropriately. Maybe you just need another outlet beyond the home and workplace. If we don’t have these outlets, we can place a lot of expectations on our job and partners – expecting them to fill our every need. This isn’t fair. You need to fill yourself up too.
Now, go back to what you fell in love with and reconnect to that. You too have probably changed a lot since being together, so have a conversation about your new expanded needs. He/She probably has some too. If you really love each other, which it sounds like you do, this should help you come together in a new way. And, if not, well…you gave it your best shot.
Remember the hard times can offer a lot of clarity about what you truly want by showing you exactly what you don’t want. It’s partly how you get to the ‘other side.’