At the cost of sounding a bit preachy, the best relationship advice I can give all couples is to develop an equation with one’s partner in such a way that one can have the most uncomfortable dialogue in the most comfortable setting. Sounds weird? Well, the norm in most relationships would be to either avoid or procrastinate sensitive issues with the fear of either a discourse or a distress setting in. Couples need to learn the art of being able to talk about anything under the sun, especially about unpleasant yet necessary issues with freedom and ease.
There was this couple who supposedly got along beautifully. They were very proud of the fact that they never had any skirmishes in their relationship. They claimed to be very understanding with each other. Despite wearing the rosy glasses of their perfect relationship, something was amiss and they landed up with me. Didn’t take too long to figure the couple had a very superficial relationship. Both the partners were inhibited in expressing any negative emotions. They had conditioned themselves to insulate themselves from the unpleasant realities of their marriage. They only shared good things with each other. These included sharing meals, outings, entertaining guests and regular holidays. While this would sound more than ideal, there was a big vacuum between them. They shied away from sharing their darkest fears, unpleasant truths and disinclinations. They hardly had any differences thanks to this partial and deliberate obliteration. But in the process, it costed them their closeness. Eventually the mask they donned of completely different entities than they actually were, took a big toll not just on their relationship but on themselves. There was discomfort with a false sense of comfort.
Another couple used to have frequent bitter fights, with the husband getting over possessive about the wife interacting with any of her friends. The wife was so fed up that she severed all the ties with them only to spare herself the trauma of his possessiveness. This came with a cost. Her socializing decreased which in turn affected her mental health and her equation with her husband. In trying to mend one disturbing aspect, she ended up with a disturbed mental state herself. An intimate relationship always gets priority but not at the cost of disturbing one’s mental equilibrium. A better option would have been to try and tap the husband’s insecurities leading to possessiveness. Even after discussing and putting him at ease with a lot of assurances, if he continues, he should seek professional help. When such a behaviour reaches pathological levels, it’s dangerous for both the partners and the relationship.
Once again, I maintain one should strive to make a relationship strong enough to bear the manifestations of the most uncomfortable talks in the most comfortable situations. The husband and the wife should be able to sit across each other without any reservations to share their deepest of concerns about themselves or each other. A relationship in which both the partners can express their apprehensions, insecurities, fears, guilt and sadness freely is a mark of a healthy relationship.
Please get out of your comfort zone to take your relationship to a stress-free zone of comfort to discuss anything ranging from unacceptable, undesirable, unreasonable, unimaginable, unthinkable to uncomfortable. Unbelievable but not unachievable!!!