Will This Relationship Ever Get Better?
Most of us think, at one time or another in our relationship, that if the other person changed everything would be better.
Most of us think, at one time or another, that if our partner was more loving, patient, kind, relaxed, driven, forgiving, etc, that our lives would be better.
Therefore, our thinking goes, because the other person is not changing, they are holding us back. If they would just change, EVERYTHING would be better.
The truth is…this often is not the case.
The person who is “holding you back” in your relationship is unlikely to be your spouse or partner. The person holding you back is likely the one staring at you in the mirror.
- You hold yourself back when you allow your happiness, transformation, growth, adventure, and expansion to be wedded to the actions of another.
- You hold yourself back when you forego engaging deeply in the relationship that you want today for the never ending litany of criticism, ridicule, and judgment of another.
- You hold yourself back when you relinquish your power in a relationship and wait for someone else to change.
Sure, in relationships, there are problems. Sometimes big problems. And these problems, usually, are a product of both parties in a relationship, not just one.
Want to make a radical change in your relationship this moment? Do this:
Change-It-Now Step #1
Make a list of two or three things that your partner does that drives you crazy. This might read something like this:
1) He never listens to me.
2) He makes me feel unimportant.
3) He acts so immature!
Change-It-Now Step #2
Time for serious honesty now…are your ready?
Now, look at how these criticisms of your partner are true in you. Where do you not listen to yourself? Where do you ignore yourself and give yourself messages that you are not important? Where do you behave in an immature way? Dig deep here. Real change only happens when we get nakedly honest so take a deep breath and sink in.
If you find yourself defending…which might sound like, “I am NOT immature! I am the only mature one in this relationship!” Then you likely just hit a gold-mine of growth if you are willing to lean in and do some work on this. I know, it is not easy, and maybe not what you want to hear, but the truth sometimes is just like that.
Change-It-Now Step #3
Okay, this is a big one. This is the one where real change and growth happens.
Decide if you are ready to make a commitment to yourself. Are you willing to make a commitment to yourself…to listen to yourself, to validate yourself, and to grow yourself up into maturity in those parts that are maybe immature? Before you demand that your partner change, best to first look at where you might tend to your own growth and maturation.
Relationships are complicated and they take a ton of reflection, honesty, and willingness. It is rarely a simple “fix” to make it all better and there are no easy answers. However, there are very practical and tangible practices that you can employ to help create a healthy relationship that feels fulfilling and safe.
If you are interested in getting support in your own process, call me. This is my work and I am honored to share it with you and guide you through the bumps.
Jenny Glick, MA, MSC, LMFT is a licensed marriage & family therapist and transformation advocate in Denver, CO. Click below for your free 20-minute consultation or to schedule an appointment.