Exasperated, my client explained, "I have bent over backwards for this man and have done everything he has requested of me and he still complains that I don't give enough of myself to our relationship." Have you ever heard that before or maybe even said it? Relationships require a great deal of give and take. My question to you is, if you are in a fragile relationship then what part do you play in it? Are you the one who gives and gives, or are you the one who is high maintenance and requires a great deal of attention?
In my counseling practice, not only do I see couples in crisis, I often see people who are having problems that are work related and need help mediating a one-on-one situation. Many marital and work-related relationship problems are due to poor communication. We have all been around couples and co-workers who are fighting or having a disagreement. The tension can be cut with a knife!
As a college student, I worked the early shift at UPS unloading 40 foot trailers, as a part time employee. I had a supervisor who was constantly yelling at the pre-loaders (those who load the brown package cars that you see driving in your neighborhood) and the unloaders in the big trailers. He didn't get along with any of the morning workers and just wanted to make life miserable for everyone. He had many grievances filed against him on a weekly basis. He would often come into the trailer just looking for an argument. He would yell at me and my co-worker about the amount of packages that came down the rollers in the center of the trailer, and yet we were the best unloaders in the state of Wisconsin.
After weeks of hearing most of the unloading and pre-loading crew complain about this man, I decided it was time to sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk with him. I took note that he was new to our center and that the other supervisors avoided him. I started talking with him about baseball and football which he seemed to respond to that. Each week he would talk to me and gradually started to open up and after a time, he yelled less at me and my co-worker. A few weeks later during a morning break, he sat down and he asked if we could talk. I said that would be great so we set up a meeting for the following Saturday morning. In just two hours, I learned a great deal about my new friend. He was having marital problems and had no one to talk to. His wife was keeping his children from him and his mother was ill and lived 200 away. I listened to him spill his heart, then I asked a few questions, which then he really opened up. We became good friends until he passed away a few years back. My point is, communication opens doors. It can heal relationships. We must learn to be a good listener and know when to speak. Very few of us know how to do that. It's learned through developing honest, sincere and open relationships and knowing how to listen.
One of the keys to success in maintaining a healthy relationship is communication. When I counsel people I tell them that they need to be open about trust, finances, needs and desires, and to be able to open up and talk about sensitive topics. I see many in my office who are embarrassed talking about sex, money, physical problems, and act as if nothing is wrong, yet they are dying inside and want to talk about some of these issues. If your relationship is in trouble, then ask for help. Usually a neutral person can help you get your relationship back on track.
How do you fix or repair your relationship that is unhealthy and isn't working? If you plan to do it on your own, then you set up a game plan that's going to address some of the problems you are having. If you're not able to sit down face-to-face because you don't know how to bring up problems in your relationship, then call me and I can help you sort through the problems and issues and get some answers and resolution to help repair your relationship.
A good working relationship has many aspects to it.
- Physically attraction
Love is very important for any relationship to grow. Without it you will go nowhere. Love is expressed in words and actions. How do you rate yourself when it comes to showing love outside of sexual intimacy? Do you go the extra mile to make the person you love know it? How do you show it? How do you speak it?
Communication. How are your communication skills? Can you talk about anything and everything? If you have certain needs, can you express those needs and not sound like you're demanding them? Remember, talking to each other is key to having a healthy relationship. If you’re having problems communicating, I can help you learn those skills.
Next week we will be continuing with the series, “OK, my relationship isn’t working. Now what?” I have learned these skills over the years and have found them to be very important. You may have some that you could add to this list. If you need advice on how to fix a hurting or broken relationship then call Dr. Mike and set up an appointment. I hope these tips have helped you in taking the next step in repairing your relationship.