Me and my partner had a row yesterday. It was my fault I have not been treating him right lately and letting my anxiety and mood swings reflect on our relationship. We nearly split up over this.

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Bianca Sadler on Jun 12, 2017 • 4 answers
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But he has said he is not going to leave me. He has said we just need to try and forget that yesterday ever happened and move forward if we are going to work. Now he just seems off with me, his texts are short and to the point, its like he cannot make eye contact with me and doesn't want to kiss me. The biggest one is that he isn't saying I love you anymore. Is this a sign that its the end of us?

Answers

Not necessarily. It sounds like he needs to re-calibrate his emotions, and review your relationship in light of what happened.
All relationships have tricky parts in them - when we show more of ourselves and re-negotiate the 'terms' and expectations we have between us.
I suggest that you wait until you are on an emotional 'even keel' and ask to have some undisturbed time with him - to 'clear the air'.
This gives you both the opportunity to show and share your vulnerability - which paradoxically can bring you closer together because you understand one another better.
Tell him why you were feeling so moody and where those feelings really belong - and your fears about how this row might have impacted your relationship.
Invite him to tell you what affect this has had upon him too...and try your best to really hear and empathise with him, and let him know this by the way you listen to him and wait for him to finish what he wants to say.
Don't forget the part that your past plays in how you both percieve and react to things in the present day.
Discussing the links between the present problem and your respective past/childhood experiences would be a deeper conversation that might be best saved for a time when you are both feeling certain that you want to repair and rebuild your relationship in the future.
Let him know that you are genuinely sorry, explain what happened and why, and ask that he forgives you and allows you both to work through this. You might even see it as an opportunity - to talk and understand one another at a deeper level... in which case this will have been a blessing in disguise.

If you would like some help to review, repair and revitalise your relationship then please see my website www.maxineharley.com
and the page 'Self-help courses'... there's one there called How To Sort Out Your Relationship - without couples counselling!'

Maxine Harley (MSc Psychotherapy) MIND HEALER & MENTOR

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Maxine Harley on Jun 12, 2017
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Dear Bianca,
This feels like a confusing and painful situation for both of you. You feel that the row was your fault, because of your anxiety and mood swings, so let's start with that. You don't say if you are getting any help to sort out what is causing your distress. There will be reasons why you feel this way and if you can begin to understand them that will help you and may help your relationship as well. Your partner will also have feelings and may be confused too. On the one hand he says he wants to forget the row and move on, but you sense he has withdrawn from you. Whatever happened yesterday, trying to forget and move on may not work, because it is still there for both of you. In a relationship both partners can put their feelings onto the other, you say you know you have done that to your partner but maybe your partner does not realise he might be doing the same to you by his short texts and not wanting to kiss you. He has said he doesn't want to split up and it sounds as if you feel the same, so that is a positive. The negative is the hurt that lies between you. Is it possible for you to sit down together and talk honestly about what is going on? You have owned your struggle with your feelings, so that is a start. If you felt you could do something to address your anxiety and mood swings that might make both of you feel more hopeful. There may be things your partner also needs to address, like how he deals with hurt. Relationships are very complicated, so talking things through with someone outside the situation can sometimes help. Whether you do that as a couple or on your own, it might give you a different perspective to clarify what is happening in the relationship. By asking 'is that the end of us'? I feel you are assuming that you have no control over what happens, but you can make choices about what you do. You cannot control your partner, but you can tell him how you feel and listen to how he feels.
Sue Arnold Counsellor

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Sue Arnold Counselling on Jun 12, 2017
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Dear Bianca,

There is nothing like an intimate relationship for triggering our most intimate wounded parts – it is inevitable that one’s partner will trample on buried landmines in our psyche that we have done our best to conceal. So after the honeymoon there is often a power struggle.

IF you can dare to turn around and witness and make friends with your own wounded parts and soothe and listen to them, you get to stand your ground, and be more of yourself.

Conversely, if your partner can begin to talk about what its like for him not to be able to meet your eyes, and you can be there for him, so that he can begin to admit and embrace his own vulnerabilities then you will both grow….

Before you can love anyone else, we have to begin to love ourself….

Best of luck

Bruce
(Ifsuk.org)

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Bruce Stevenson on Jun 12, 2017
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Dear Bianca

It sounds as if you are feeling vulnerable and questioning yourself, assuming that your symptoms are the cause of the relationship difficulties you are experiencing. My colleagues have made some wise and helpful observations about the impact both people in a relationship have on it. Our pasts influence how we behave now, and we both project onto each other our own fears, hopes, expectations etc. The culture and family we come from also add to the mix of the relationship, meaning we may have all sorts of assumptions and norms our partner does not share, or even realise are the norm for us.

It sounds important to take a step back and question the assumptions you may be making, and also to understand how you are experiencing your relationship more generally. I can hear the commitment spoken by your partner, and in your concern for how the relationship is at the moment I notice your commitment too. That is a powerful building block.

If you can both find a way to be reflective and to communicate more openly, this recent tension could provide the opportunity to strengthen and deepen your bond and take your relationship forwards. It is not necessarily the end. Really listening to each other is an important next step, but one that may need careful management, it may be a challenge for you both. If you feel support would help then do please reach out and find out what is available locally.

Another element I encourage you to consider is how you can build your sense of balance and grounding to help you with your own symptoms and your self-doubt. Having self care rituals is a useful way of building your resilience and resourcefulness when things get tough. One size does not fit all, but if you are not already actively building in time for yourself and activities that relax and replenish you it may well be worth considering.

I am unsure if you are currently receiving any therapeutic support, as others have said this may be of benefit either for you, or for you guys as a couple. If you want to talk this through please reach out to your GP, or to a local counsellor to find out more.

Sending you my very best wishes

Be well

Fe

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Fe Robinson, Psychotherapist on Jun 13, 2017
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