6 Mistakes You Might Be Making In Your Relationship Right Now

In Your Relationship


Here’s how this often looks in my therapy practice: For months or even years, your partner tells you they’re unhappy in your relationship, they feel unsupported by you, and feel disconnected from you emotionally. They might layout specific things they want from you, ask for more of your time and attention, or even see a couple’s therapist.

You resist their assessment. When they seem really upset, you grudgingly promise to do your best going forward. Maybe you do make some small adjustments, and things seem a little better to you. You don’t make much of an effort, but tell yourself that it’s unfair of them to make demands. This is just how you are, and anyway, they don’t seem that unhappy day to day.

Then one day, your partner announces that they’re leaving, they’ve given up that things can be meaningfully improved, and now there’s nothing you can do to change their minds. You are shocked.

Sadly, you didn’t listen to their words.

This also happens when we can’t accept that our partner doesn’t want something important to us. Years ago, I worked with a couple deadlocked around whether to have children. Every few months, the wife would start a conversation asking whether her husband was ready to have kids. He would say, “I don’t want kids.” She would ask, “Ever?” and he would say, “I don’t know about ever,” “but I don’t want them now.”

Through our work together, we realized that when she heard, “I don’t want them now,” she thought it meant, “Not now, but maybe in a few months.” If fact, he meant, “If I get struck by lightning, and become a completely different person, I might change my mind and want kids.

Once this was clear to the wife, she was able to see that her real choice was to stay in this relationship and give up the dream of having kids or leave the relationship to find a partner whose vision of the future more closely aligned with her own. She left.

Romantic Partnerships Work Better When A Couple Supports
6 Mistakes You Might Be Making In Your Relationship Right Now

Also read Soulmate Myths That Will Help You Find Your Soulmate


It’s tempting to focus on our partner’s mistakes and ignore or minimize our faults or unkind behavior. Don’t fall into this trap. Go through each mistake here and sit with your discomfort. Better yet, so this assessment with your partner. You can come clean to yourself and each other. You can create a new template for how you both show in your relationship, and get on the path to creating the closeness you want.

Please share this article with anyone who you may think will find it valuable and helpful.

Written by: Tonya Lester, LCSW
Originally appeared on: Tonyalester.com
Republished with permission
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6 Mistakes You Might Be Making In Your Relationship Right Now
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Tonya Lester

Tonya Lester, LCSW, is a psychotherapist in Brooklyn, NY. She graduated from New York University with a Master's degree in Social Work. Her post-graduate training includes a fellowship at Psychoanalytic Theory at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Theory and Research (IPTAR) and supervised practice in Psychodynamic Therapy under Drs. C.E. Robins and John Broughton. She completed training in IFS with Dick Schwartz, Nancy Sowell, and Pam Krause. Her training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) was with John Forsyth, Ph.D. She studied RLT with its creator, Terry Real. Additional writing and resources, such as journal prompt and values work, are available at www.tonyalester.com.View Author posts