One of the most destructive sources of friction for couples is the little stuff. Not the big stuff. The little stuff.
People can unknowingly start to anticipate, track and fester over their partner’s habits - he’s messy, she interrupts me, he thinks he knows everything...
Those little habits are harmless on their own. But when someone starts unknowingly collecting and carrying that irritation and upset, it can create more threat to the relationship than any of the bigger issues.
People can develop a level of bitterness, hostility, disheartenment, or doubt about themselves, their partner, their relationship, even their future. People simply get caught up in a doubt-ridden, fault-finding state and don’t realize it.
And more importantly, the bitterness that creates in them makes them unfit to navigate any relationship problems, big or small.
Relationships aren’t easy. But we stick with them because we want to feel connected to someone. We want that feeling you get when you know someone’s in your corner, they get you, they’re here for you.
The irony here is that at one point or another, we all turn on our partners, often unknowingly, and fester about them. We get carried away and before we know it, we have bad relationship morale.
You’ll know it’s happening because the bickering goes up. You’ll start feeling irritated before they actually do anything because you’re anticipating it. That’s the engine noise of bad relationship morale.
And the fact that we all get caught up in our own bitter thoughts is evidence that we’re truly in it together. You fester, and chances are, so does your partner. We all have weaknesses and human frailty, and that’s a perfect demonstration of the power of thought.
Having the humility to know how easy it is to get lost in our relationships is what brings that connection back. It’s not a relationship problem, it’s a you problem. Realizing that will give you hope, reassurance, and shine the light on the part of the relationship you can change in an instant.
In today’s podcast interview, I talk about how naturally graceful we are at certain moments in our relationships, and yet how clumsy we can be at others. Getting lost and finding your way back is actually the easy part. Knowing you’re lost can be the hard part.
But no matter how messy things are, if there’s a desire to work things out, the potential for a turnaround is always there.
The hosts of this podcast episode are my good friends and colleagues Rohini and Angus Ross. To learn more about the exceptional work they do, click here.