Have you ever wondered why relationships are so complicated? You do the best you can, and it seems like your efforts are not good enough. Then you take five steps forward to go ten steps back. You seek to communicate effectively, and it is hard to find the relationship help that you need. The statement, “I don’t know what to do,” is repeated too many times. I feel you because I have been there.
Now I will show you eight unique reasons why relationships are challenging in hopes that I can bring you clarity and direction to eliminate the frustration we all have experienced at one time or another. The first three are here in part 1, and the last five are in part 2. These reasons are not only relationship advice; this is life advice.
Become More Aware
Reason #1. Lack of awareness. I lived on autopilot for many years of my life. Autopilot is where my mind is tossed, swayed, occupied by what happened in the past, and by worrying about the future. Also, I was emotionally invested in an unhealthy relationship. I was a wife and a mother of three young girls. I worked full-time, all while seeking solutions to our issues in hopes that things would get better. That is a lot to have on your mind!
With that said, I was not aware of the present moment, meaning what is happening right now in front of me. And if I were, not knowingly, I would unconsciously allow myself to be tossed and swayed back into the past or future, not understanding that I could have taken full control over my thoughts, feelings, and emotions. With all the above busyness, there was little time left for me to sit and reflect on the things that mattered. The grocery store, laundry, football game, or this weekend’s party, were not significant. Struggles tend to stay the same when you are caught up in the hustle and bustle of life.
I advise that you take some time out of your busyness. Make time. Turn off the T.V. and social media. Sit down in quiet stillness and reflect on what you want, what is working, and what is not working. Pay attention to yourself, your partner, and your children in the present moment—practice mindfulness and mediation to help you gain clarity. A lot is going on right now, right in front of you, when your mind is still on last week’s fight or daydreaming away your troubles without any action.
There are many benefits to being present. One is that you get to see, hear, and feel what is going on, instead of ignoring it or allowing it to pass. Second, you have more clarity and can practice self-control. Being aware helps you to know what is going on with others emotionally and mentally. Have you ever heard of something that you did long ago that affected someone close to you that you do not even remember? What about the habits that occurred over the years, suddenly it is now a problem—most issues were there all along.
A lot of times, it takes real focus to see them. You see, all of this contributes to your lack of awareness in the present moment. You will also become more aware of yourself, which I will discuss in part two of this article.
Understand Your Fear
Reason #2. Fear. Fear is a broad subject, and I will keep it brief by centering this around communication. I hear many questions being asked, and I would say many of the answers would be clear if it were not for fear. I would agree with you when you say communication is one of the biggest challenges. It is what you say, how you say it, and what you do not say, and why you would or would not want to say it. You can fear conflict because you know how your partner can respond. You may fear losing someone by you being transparent and vulnerable, and so on.
One solution is to be aware of your approach, be mindful of your intentions, and go ahead and speak up regardless. Try not to assume. No need to waste time and continue heartache because of fear of the outcome. Can you make a mistake? Yes, and that is okay. No problem because trial and error help you to grow.
Speaking up will also expose your partner. If he/she does not respect what you have to say, whether it be hard to hear or not, that is not good. Yes, both of you must be open to hearing what is hard to hear. It would be best if you wanted to learn how to communicate better and be open to listening, be respectful, understanding, and compassionate. They should want to do better just as much as you do. If communication is a consistent challenge, it would be best to re-evaluate the relationship or, at best, find ways to reduce the disconnect by becoming aware of the issues and being flexible by offering emotional support.
For more on a specific communication issue, I invite you to see my article on the silent treatment; Silence is Not Golden. Never be afraid to be who you are and speak upon how you feel. If you intentionally refuse, that is one thing. If you decline because of fear, recognize, and understand why and know that it is unhealthy to live in a relationship this way.
Do What the Hell You Want to Do
Reason #3. You do not know what to do. Yes, you do. You know what to do. It feels like you do not know what to do because you refuse to do it. Or you refuse to do what seems hard. You talk yourself into why that way is not the way to go. For instance, what about going to counseling? There is a stigma around seeking help from a professional. Maybe you tried it once, and it did not work. Perhaps because of your religion, you feel you do not need to ask for help. No matter what, we all need help at some point! It is time to accept this and go for it. Go ahead, do what makes you feel uncomfortable, or try something new to get somewhere you have never been.
Or maybe everything looks good on the outside, but deep down, you know you should not get into a committed relationship with this person, or perhaps it has been years of no change, and you are considering leaving this person behind. Fear goes with listening to your intuition, so you may do what you must and recognizing those thoughts that are holding you back. You must be aware of those voices in your head that keep you from the relationships you want and deserve. Do what you know is right for you, you come first in an unselfish way. You have all the power. Please understand, putting yourself first will be a constant battle, now is the time to start practicing getting good at it.
Becoming more aware, eliminating the effect of fear, and doing what you know is best for you and those you love are the first three reasons why things can be difficult. As we move into a new era, online counseling for relationship advice is recommended when you feel you need assistance with your challenges. You need someone attentive, caring, compassionate, knowledgeable, and kind to assist you: no distractions, no jokes, and no judgment. Your Emotions Matter is here for you. Look out for part two of this article, where we will discuss the following five reasons why relationships are painful. And take it from me; you are stronger than you think.
(Scroll all the way down for part 2 of this article.)
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Hello single gentlemen, I am Tiffany J. Norwood, CNLP, CEQP. I encourage the phrase "healthy relationships" to become a part of your heart and mind. I am the founder and CEO of Your Emotions Matter, a certified Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence practitioner, a certified NLP practitioner, a transformational speaker, and an author. (NLP is the study and understanding of how human beings communicate and perceive communication from others). I am the mother of three beautiful young women, and my passion is helping you create power through understanding your emotions. I am from southern California, and in my spare time, I enjoy the shooting range, travel, and any adventurous activity.
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