Common Mistakes Couples Make In Relationships

mistakes in relationhips

Perhaps you’ve noticed that the way you attempt to get your needs met does not work in your relationship. The common mistakes couples make in relationships occur when a woman chases a partner who ends up withdrawing by ignoring her emotional needs.

If you are suffering from unmet love and need love from your partner to avoid feelings of insecurity or rejection, you could actually be pushing him further away from giving you the one thing you want.

You could be protecting yourself from feeling hurt, rejected or not being good enough in ways that actually pushes your partner away.

As a couple, do you fall into these traps in relationships that causes your partner to  withdraw when he misperceives your request for love as an attack on him? 

When this occurs, you are each not attuned to the other’s needs and cannot hear each other, but become stuck in the ways you protect yourselves from getting hurt. By doing so, the way you react reinforces the negative pattern of interaction.

The actual truth is he is not really rejecting you, he is just scared of upsetting you further, so he backs off.

Instead of plugging into your emotional needs, he is unable to give you the emotional response you need, by pulling away because he feels encroached upon. He misreads your behaviour as demands or an attack on him. So he never understands your feelings. He feels overflooded with how he hurt you, so he pulls away to regain his sense of self and avoid escalating your reaction.

It is not necessarily because he doesn’t care: he doesn’t know what to do. He is not in touch with his feelings, unlike you.

Couples counselling is designed to interrupt this pattern of interaction, and assist each partner to understand and respond to each other’s needs, rather than protecting themselves.

So, how do couples get stuck in these positions?

When a husband doesn’t pick up his wife’s feelings of rejection or ignores her feelings, this can often feel like he is unavailable to meet her emotional needs, causing her to feel unloved or wanted. If she has an insecure anxious attachment style, she could end up putting a lot of effort into getting her partner to respond to her needs within the relationship.

By misreading each other’s feelings, couples mistakenly react in relationships. A distancer withdraws further, until they feel safe to come back. This can be depicted as stonewalling. Often, the more they are chased to respond, the more they want space. Forcing them to give you time or talk can feel like pulling teeth.

A person will not feel ready to come back into the relationship until they feel safe to do so. If you chase him when you feel distressed and feel rejected, you are protecting yourself by instigating a response in order to see if he will respond, as proof that he cares. This can often  push him away further.

When a man pulls away when a woman wants to talk, it is often because he feels afraid of her reaction. Whereas she is protesting as a desperate bid for connection, when she feels rejected.

It’s like the rubber band effect: the more you pull for something from your partner, the more they will pull the other way. The more you let go of them, the more they will get there in their own way. Sometimes chasing a partner will hinder them from coming closer. If you put your fears or anxiety onto them in the hope they will give you what you need, it will do the opposite because they will feel deterred from doing it themselves.

It’s a bit like the toddler who is afraid of the parent who yells when they do not do what the parent requires of them. The toddler will not willingly want to do what they are being told, often being labelled as defiant. Similarly, the partner can be labelled or blamed in the relationship, causing them to pull away.

What Are The Typical Problems That Occur With Couples

  • You don’t recognize when you’re triggered and blame your partner for how you feel.
  • You accuse them of rejecting you rather than check out their intentions.
  • You blame rather than ask curious questions, for instance blaming sounds like, “You are just ignoring me”, instead of saying,”Is everything okay? I noticed it is difficult to get hold of you lately.”
  • You constantly test your partner to prove their love, but nothing can ever make you feel good enough.
  • You project you past wound onto each other and want your partner to meet those unmet needs.
  • You make them responsible for how you feel and want them to make it up to you.
  • You want them to put the same amount of effort into the relationship as you do.
  •  He feels attacked when you feel rejected, misunderstand you.

Prevent making these couple mistakes.

I see how many couples mistakenly chase a partner  who wants space, rather than letting them come back.

In fact, a typical error that couples make in relationships, is when a partner seeks to get all their unmet needs met through their partner, who then feels responsible for meeting all their past hurts, and make up for them.

If the partner does not meet these needs, they are perceived to be unloving or rejecting, and therefore responds accordingly by pulling away. It prevents the partner from wanting to get close, and, often, they fear the response they will get when they do get close, so they back away.

When your partner doesn’t know how to express love and gets told,”You don’t love me”,”You do not care about me”, it deters him from wanting to get closer when he feels bad. It’s like the child who feels bad for not doing what the parent wants: the worse they feel, the less they will want to do what the parents want, so they get labelled.

You can prevent your partner from wanting to get close if you are finding fault in them for not meeting past longings of unmet love.

If you have childhood wounds of abandonment or felt unloved, no one can change how you feel about yourself.  Unless you change how you feel about yourself by sorting out your feelings.

Once you start to love yourself, you will meet your own needs and find fulfilment within yourself, instead of meeting everyone else’s needs in the hope to get loved back.

Once you let go of putting your past needs onto your spouse, they can come closer when they feel the need to for themselves.

The exception is when the partner is not available at all.

If you feel unloved or unwanted from your childhood, you could make it your mission to search for love so that you can escape the feelings of being unworthy or rejected. When your partner cannot always be there to meet these needs, the relationship can feel unsatisfying, where these feelings of being unwanted surface and get projected onto your partner as if they do not want you.

If you can become mindful of your fears and deal with them, it is less likely that you will feel disappointed. In this way. you can be attuned to your relationship, allowing your partner to come closer towards you.

To avoid the mistakes that couples make, it is wise to wait until your partner feels ready to come back, to talk. They will feel like coming back into the relationship on their own accord. Instead of making assumptions or accusations, it is a good idea to become curious and ask open questions. Once they feel heard or understood, they are more likely to respond to your feelings or needs. In which case, you can express how you feel, so they can give you the emotional response you deserve.

If a partner is completely emotionally unavailable to your needs once they return, perhaps you need to work out why you are holding out for something when you are getting nothing back in return.

As a relationship therapist, Nancy Carbone has a M.Soc. Sc (Couns). You can visit her   website for help to overcome problems that couples make in relationships.  You can sign up on her newsletter for free advice and tips

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All Content is copyright Nancy Carbone 2018

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