Things Must Always Be Fair/Equal
I’m sure you’ve heard that “life is not fair.” Well, sometimes relationships aren’t exactly fair all the time, either. There may be times when your partner needs to lean on your strength and resources more, and you may not find that you get “paid back.” And while you definitely deserve appreciation for your efforts, you might discover that what is making you unhappy with your partner is that you are keeping score.
It Is My Partner’s Job to Make Me Happy
That’s your job. Ask yourself if you’re blaming your partner for your problems and hoping that he or she will do something different. If so, you’re focusing your energy in the wrong place. You can only control yourself and the things you do. If you keep telling, yelling, begging or wishing that your partner will do something different, you’re spitting into the wind. Try asking yourself, “how am I responsible for the situation I am in and what can I do to change it?”
We Must Always Agree/Never Fight or If My Partner Upsets Me, He or She Doesn’t Love Me or If I Am Upset With My Partner, I Don’t Love Him or Her
Couples are always surprised when I tell them that even the happiest couples argue. If you spend a long time with someone, you’re bound to disagree, annoy, and even hurt each other’s feelings from time to time. You are, after all, two separate people from separate families with separate minds! So, you’re going to bump heads. Whether or not you argue isn’t really that important, it’s how you repair the relationship afterward that matters. Strength isn’t found in the easy times, the strength of your relationship can be built when you can disagree and argue and still feel and show love for each other.
The Relationship Should Always Feel Good or Things Should Be Easy
It isn’t unusual for couples to go through periods of being happy and excited with each other, annoyed by each other, angry at each other, and, most of the time, content. Early on, couples tend to have a joyous honeymoon period, but that goes away over time. This is normal. Something can only be new for so long before it loses its novelty. Many couples are distressed because “things are not like they were before.” This can seem disheartening at first blush, but think of all the good things you could be doing and learning here and now. Sometimes partners are fighting for that old feeling when it’s really time to discover the people you are and the relationship you have now.
We Must Always Have/Enjoy Sex
Movies and TV have done a lot to ruin our expectations of love, dating, and, especially, sex. Many couples spend a lot of energy fretting about how much or little sex they are having (compared to whom?) and how sexy or enjoyable that sex is. The fact is, sex is awkward sometimes. Also, you have a life outside the bedroom and it doesn’t always stay the same. More stress and obligations can sometimes mean less time and desire for sex. That’s okay. The worst thing you could do for it is panic. However, that is not to say that there couldn’t be a physical explanation for low desire: inability to get erection or maintain arousal, or pain during sex. It’s always wise to consult a physician before worrying too much (try and worry just enough to get you to the doctor’s office). Once you have some answers there, you can decide whether you want to seek couples/sex therapy.
At North Brooklyn Marriage & Family Therapy, our certified and seasoned therapists are ready and able to assist you and your partner in your relationship. To set up an appointment, contact us today.