So, what are your options if you’re feeling frustrated with how things are going in your relationship?
Well option number 1 is obviously, do nothing. In fact, when things are going smoothly at home, we usually become pretty complacent about addressing the things that flare up from time to time, and we usually fall into option number one and do nothing. The problem with option number 1 is that we know from the research that you are likely to feel less and less connected with your partner and you’re likely to have more and more conflict with them if things do not get addressed.
So, that brings us to option number 2. We are always aware that we can end the relationship entirely. Break up, move out, file for divorce, whatever it is. Obviously that’s a rather drastic and permanent option, and especially arduous if this is someone that you have built your life around and if you’re still in love with on some level. So option number 2 usually feels rather heavy to people.
That brings us to option number 3. Option number 3 is to treat your relationship like a DIY project, and the two of you can agree to try and improve some things at home. Now option number 3 comes with the best of intentions, but it has the poorest track record because unfortunately we don’t generally possess the insights and understandings we need to make DIY projects successful. We can all be on our best behavior for the short term, but then those long-term underlying issues tend to creep back up and need to be addressed. So unfortunately the DIY approach isn’t usually very effective.
That brings us to option number 4, which a lot of people are not always aware exists. Option number 4 is you can get clear on what your emotional need is in the relationship. If you’re feeling frustrated, chances are there is an emotional need that is not being met. Then you can advocate to have that need be met on a more regular basis so that you can feel more connected, more fulfilled, and more harmonious with your partner. I know that figuring out your “emotional need” may sound very vague and nebulous to a lot of you, but it’s actually not. We use the science of attachment and bonding and the 40 years of research that we have on contemporary relationships. We can pretty quickly and efficiently help an individual or a couple identify what key changes would make them significantly happier in their relationships. Of course when you’re working with a relationship expert like those of us here at Flourish Counseling & Coaching, we can also teach you a lot of tools and strategies that will support your success in meeting one another’s needs and being happier together.