5 Relationship Mistakes Couples Make

I have coached many couples now, and I can see that there are some really common themes coming up in those sessions, so I wanted to share with you today 5 of the big ones that I see coming up over and over, so hopefully you can avoid slipping into these potholes in the road of love. 

1. Talking about important topics via text

Now we all know that we are living in a fast-paced world where technology is has invaded much of our world. So that see us messaging via SMS and facebook messenger to communicate on a day to day basis.  I’ve done it myself- where my husband and I have been in bed with a little person between us sleeping, and we are sat in bed messaging each other, so we could talk without waking the little one. However, there is a big difference between messaging for simple things like ‘can you get milk?’ or ‘would you like a cup of tea?’ and messaging about something is that is really important to you.  

When it comes to communicating via text, there is no space for tonality, which means that messages are very open to interpretation and how the reader thinks the information has been shared- and we know that in the our language our tonality or the way we say something can give different meanings to the specific words- be it sarcastic, or in a joking way, for example.  Along with tonality we also have body language, we read people and what they are communicating by also looking at their facial expressions and how they are standing or sitting. All of this gives us important information about what is being communicated and all of this will likely be missed in a text message. 

Misinterpretation can create a foothold of resentment “

When a message is taken the wrong way it can open a space for resentment and frustration to enter in and can be challenging to take back and the aftermath can be a break down in communication, even if you have the space to clear the air later.  So a good rule of thumb is the agree to never have an important conversation about things via text message and do not take offence to a text message as it lacks the nuances that make up our spectrum of communication.  

2. Expecting your partner to read your mind.

This is something I hear over and over again. I wish he/she would just do that for me because they should know I would want it. I wish they would help me out with some things because they should see that I need it, and they are expecting their partner to be more like a paid employee that is always looking to please their employer- and while they aren’t thinking of their partner as an employee they forget that they do have their own stuff going on as well- they may have had a day that was really challenging for them, or have a problem that is on their mind and it may not have even occurred to them that their partner needs support and help, not that it means that they don’t care, love and support their partner, but they just aren’t showing in the way that the other would like. 

There is a simple rule of thumb to live by when it comes to getting what you want, and that is to ask for it! Even though you fall in love and decide to build a life together, it doesn’t mean that all your history is suddenly taken away and you are now privy to the others through life.  Along with having our own minds, we also have our own love languages, personality energy types and individual history. 

The love languages is an idea made popular by Gary Chapman- the concept is that we all have a different way that we feel loved.  The 5 love languages that have been identified are Physical Touch, Quality Time, Gifts Receiving, Words of Affirmation, Act of Service.

Now if you are someone that gives and receives love by spending quality time with people and your partner is someone that receives love with gifts, then you may feel that your partner is trying to buy your love because they are giving you gifts and not spending the quality time that makes you feel loved.  And if neither of you has communicated this and spend time talking about what makes you feel loved and how you give love, then both of you may feel unloved in the relationship, simply because you are expecting the other to just know how to love you. 

Personal Development

Personal development is also another mind reading area where I see couples starting to strain.  Here is the common scenario: The wife (for demonstration sake) goes and has coaching, and suddenly starts learning a lot about herself and while she finds out why she has been taking the actions she has and why she has been having the struggles that she has, she might then start to make decisions about how she wants her life to be in the future and how she is going to show up in the world.  The journey for her is amazing, exciting and she is keen on starting growing and developing.   While she has been having these amazing revelations in her life, she may not have been communicating them to her partner or sometimes during her life, she may have taught the people around her to treat her in a specific way and now wants to change that.  That behaviour could have been trained into the partner for decades so that when she makes that decision to change and interact in a different way, she might expect that her partner will just fall in line and do what she would like straight away.

Now in the scenario above, she has literally just rewritten the rule book on the other and may not have even explained that.  She then might proceed to get annoyed that the other is not falling into line. But just like if you have been playing a game of cards in a certain way for 10-20 years and then suddenly the rules have changed, you would expect for it to take time for you to get a grasp of the new rules- you might get them right for a while and then accidentally slip back into the old rules for a bit before remembering ‘oh no, this is the way we play now’.  That is normal, very normal for creating new pathways in the brain and is not an indicator of love and commitment. The indicator would be if the partner doesn’t even try, and are not interested in communicating about the new rules and shut the whole thing down. 

If you want something, ask for it!

If you want to make a change communicate about it! “

3. Having a lack of empathy

Emotion researchers generally define empathy as ‘the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling’. 

As an Accreta survivor myself I get to speak with a number of Accreta survivors and one of the most common themes that I see happening is a lack of empathy of both parts.  We want our partner to be our everything, but they actually cannot be our everything, just as we can’t be theirs.  We all express ourselves in different ways, some cry, talk, don’t talk, draw, walk, run, etc and we need to understand that our way of dealing with things is not the only way nor the right way for everyone.  

So I when I say empathy, I mean that just because a situation or event no longer has an emotional hold for you, it doesn’t mean that it won’t still be there for the other person, and you won’t need to understand and support them as much as possible- because hopefully, that’s what partners do- they are there for each other and supporting each other the best they can, even if that means signing to check for your partner to get the help they need to get back on track. 

4. Not creating a money plan

Money is a really big issue in relationships and even more so when you are not on the same page.  We all have our own money history and story that we have developed growing up, watching our parents with money, and we have created our own money beliefs that affect how we spend, save and make money. 

Now the way you decide to deal with money is completely dependant on the both of you, but it must be something you communicate about and agree on. Even if it’s to agree to have your own spending money and combined family money that you spend together and agree on. 

“Wealth is not about having a lot of money; it’s about having a lot of options.” – Chris Rock 

5. Waiting too long to get help!

This has to be the most common mistake I see with couples looking to get help, that they are waiting too long- they wait until they are on the brink of divorce before they decide to finally get help.  A great marriage comes from putting the relationship first and doing what is needed to keep it great.  You in no way, shape or form need to wait until there is a problem or communication break down to decide your relationship is worth taking to a deeper level of understanding, love and commitment.   But just like the person who doesn’t get their car serviced and waits for it to break down before taking it to the mechanic, so many couples are running their relationship like that and don’t realise that the longer they wait the harder it gets, the more decisive work is required to get the relationship back on track and rebuild the trust. 

So just like you care for your expensive belongs by giving them a service, remember that your relationship is even more important, and the foundation from which much of your life is built on. So take care of it, continue to work on it. Correct any communication mishaps as quickly as possible and don’t leave things to fester. 

If you are ready to develop a stronger better relationship then consider booking in for relationship coaching (Click Here).  You will not only learn more about your partner but also more about yourself. 

Many Blessings

Christina M. 

Naturopath, Herbalist, GAPS Practitioner and Life Coach