07 Nov Unhappy In Your Relationship? It Might Not Be Your Partner’s Fault.
Ever go through phases when life just isn’t happening the way you want it to? Times when you’re unhappy and discontented? If you’re in a relationship it’s easy during times like this to point the finger at your partner as the reason why you’re just not right.
As a marriage therapist, couples work with me to fix all sorts of relationship problems, so I know more than anyone the many things partners can do together to create relationship happiness.
But what about the times when it’s really our own personal “stuff” that’s keeping us unhappy, rather than relationship “stuff” that we need to work on and resolve together?
We each need to be personally happy before we even stand a chance of creating a relationship that’s happy.
Blaming our relationship for our own personal unhappiness keeps us disempowered. If we think our discontent is our partner’s fault, we can’t take responsibility for finding solutions, and we can’t fix our own personal unhappiness.
If you’re not as happy as you could be, it might not be your partner’s fault.
If you’re not feeling as happy with life as you’d like to be, and you’re in a relationship, you might be looking at that relationship as the cause of your discontent. But it makes sense to think outside of your relationship and look at yourself too.
Here is a little checklist of questions that have helped others do just that:
1. Am I as physically healthy as I can be?
I can’t emphasise enough how connected our physical health is with our emotional health and happiness. To whatever degree you can be healthy, do it! As a Naturopath I regularly witness people turn unhappy lives and relationships around simply by taking responsibility and getting empowered with their physical health.
Go on a detox, loose weight, exercise daily, cut out junk food/sugar/alcohol, quit smoking, treat insomnia and fatigue, or attend to whatever physical issues aren’t right.
2. Am I as mentally healthy as I can be?
The way we think plays a huge part in how we feel, so to be happy and content in our relationships and in ourselves it’s really crucial to think in healthy ways. Unhealthy thinking is extremely common and very sneaky because it just creeps up and we don’t even realise we’re doing it. All we notice is that our life and relationships become tougher that they need to be.
Learn about common thinking errors, stop using them, and work at creating healthy thinking habits.
3. Am I as emotionally healthy as I can be?
Old emotional wounds, unresolved trauma, mood disorders, and old grudges and resentments really take their toll on both relationship and personal happiness. Just because we’ve been carrying emotional junk around until now doesn’t mean we need to continue doing so.
Work alone, with someone you know and love, or with a professional you trust to clear your emotional baggage. Life’s just too short to keep carrying it around.
4. Am I spiritually healthy as I can be?
When life isn’t great and our relationship and personal happiness is suffering it’s really easy to fall “asleep” with regards to our own spiritual connectedness. Whether it’s a particular religion that calls you, or simply nature, music, beauty, or whatever, there’s such enormous power that comes from cultivating your relationship with your own spirituality.
Cultivate your own connection to God, Mother Nature, or your Higher Self and stay connected with your spirituality.
Being in a healthy and happy relationship means attending to that relationship together, and being the very best partner you can be. But it also means attending to who you are within yourself. If your relationship is less happy than you’d like it to be, look to your own physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, and make sure you are the very best shape that you can be. You might find that your relationship falls into line.
Pamela Pannifex is a psychotherapist, marriage therapist, naturopath and founder of Sunshine Holistic Counselling on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. For over 20 years she has been helping people create personal wellbeing and relationships that thrive. Contact Pamela here.