"Everything was so great for the first few months, and then everything seemed to change."
As therapists, we can't count the number of times we've heard something like this. If you're feeling this now in your relationships, you're certainly not alone.
Maybe you feel like your partner's personality has changed, or that they avoided being upfront about things when you were getting to know each other.
You might feel as though you misjudged your relationship, and you're wondering if you can even trust yourself. You feel disillusioned, frustrated, and, possibly, quite angry.
Did you make a mistake and choose the wrong partner? What do you do now? And, can you ever regain the magic you shared at the beginning?
Why Everything Feels So Different Now
What if we told you that your partner is annoying you, disappointing you, or frustrating you precisely because of the love you're experiencing together? And that you're likely creating the same dynamic in your partner?
We all come into relationships with pain from our past, may it be from our childhoods, and/or from previous relationships. While, we may very much want to find a genuine loving relationship that lasts, at the same time we're also afraid that we'll get hurt again.
So, the closeness that you experienced with your partner in the early stages — when everything felt so wonderful — actually triggered the negative feelings you're having now. It's almost as if your mind is thinking, "Hold on now, this is getting really close, and that means I have the potential to really get hurt."
Your Mind Is Playing Tricks On You
When we feel as though we might get hurt — in this case emotionally by our partner — our subconscious mind cooks up all sorts of ways to protect ourselves from possible pain. Your subconscious knows that the closer you and your partner become, the greater the pain will be if you lose your partner. So your mind starts looking for ways to keep your partner at bay:
• You become hyper-vigilant about the way he or she does the dishes, drives a car, or makes decisions.
• You're annoyed at little things he or she does; behaviors you might have previously thought of as endearing quirks, now drive you crazy.
• You feel smothered when your partner wants to spend more time with you.
• You feel neglected because he or she wants to spend time with friends.
So you start nitpicking and bickering, fighting about the same things over and over. You're not realizing that your fear of getting too close is causing you to look for problems in the other person.
Falling In Love Again — Deeper
A lot of people jump ship at this point — only to repeat the pattern in their next relationship. And their unresolved issues will continue to bubble up to the surface, preventing them from ever achieving a truly intimate, loving relationship.
But now you know. You know that this rocky period is actually a normal passage in a relationship — one in which both of you are battling fears of getting too close.
If you know how to navigate this stage successfully, you can enjoy a relationship of limitless love and fulfillment. So let us make it plain and clear:
If you've ever felt disillusioned by your partner, there's a hidden cause.
If you and your partner are arguing over the same old issue, there's a hidden cause.
If you sometimes feel suffocated by your partner, there's a hidden cause.
If you often feel like you're not getting enough attention from your partner, there's a hidden cause.
If you don't know these hidden causes, you will keep trying to treat the symptoms (through fighting with your partner, withdrawing from a relationship, or leaving it altogether). But once you've uncovered your fears, it's like you've opened the door to a whole new world of love and harmony you never knew was possible for you.
If you're in a relationship, the power struggles will end, and a free flow of connection begins. Contrary, if you're single, you'll finally be able to attract a partner will truly be intimate with — for the long haul.
Katie and Gay's free relationship e-newsletter, Hearts In Harmony, explores the challenges and glories of lasting love. Based on the tools they’ve developed throughout their 30+ year marriage and taught to thousands, you’ll learn powerful insights and practical techniques you can start using today — whether you’re in a relationship or eager to attract one.