Tag Archives: conflict

Relationships are a pain in the ass

Relationships are a pain in the ass @changethisweek
Relationships are a pain in the ass @changethisweek

Relationships are a pain in the ass. Well, they usually start out wonderfully. Then they become a pain in the ass.

The question is, do you know why you’re in it? If you don’t, then the pain can be severe and pointless. But if you know why you’re in it, the pain may be a signal for you to examine how you can improve your participation so the two of you can actually have the relationship you’d like.

The pain in the ass I’m referring to is the work required to cohabitate for the long haul. If you’re just looking for fun, then have your short-term recreational relationships and get out at the first hint of “relationship issues.”

But if you want a long-term partner, if you want to nurture an intimate and loving relationship, where you both are listening to each other and supporting each other to grow, to heal, and to find joy, now that’s gonna take work.

It’s work because as the honeymoon fades and the full-dimensional truth of who you both are becomes more and more apparent, you’re each confronted with childhood issues that are begging to be examined and healed. And until they are, they’ll continue to wreak havoc in your relationship.

If one of you is afraid of conflict, and the other addicted to chaos, the chasing and the running will lead to endless arguing and possibly more violent forms of confrontation. If one of you is a bully, and the other never had a voice as a child, the frustration levels could rise to unbearable levels.

And while these old issues are played out in your relationship, your kids are witness to the blow-by-blow of their parent’s contentious marriage. As they’re watching, storing each and every memory, they’re developing their definitions of what a marriage is, what a man and woman are, and what they’ll likely create for themselves as they enter the dating and marriage world.

That’s why it’s so important for you to know who you are, what you want and why you’re in your relationship. Without that clear information, you’ll struggle to make sense of it all while your partner’s lack of clear information muddies the already muddied waters.

But there is an upside.

When you do this important work, you have the potential of sharing a spiritual journey with someone you adore, are sexually mad about, trust and respect. That, is worth all the work. With a strong foundation, the two of you can build a family and support one another through the challenging stages of your kids’ growth and your own maturation as parents, empty nesters and then grandparents.

So, read, go to counseling individually and as a couple, listen to podcasts, eat well, exercise, be spontaneous, listen to each other, go out of your way to love each other, and never forget that becoming complacent is the first step toward losing what could be the most wonderful part of your life.

Guest blogger Wayne Levine
Guest blogger Wayne Levine

Wayne M. Levine, MA, is a men’s life coach and director of BetterMen Coaching in Agoura Hills. He teaches men to be the best men, fathers, husbands and leaders they can be through individual, couples and group coaching, both in office and via the phone. Wayne is author of the best-selling book, Hold On to Your N.U.T.s—The Relationship Manual for Men. To find out more, get a copy of Wayne’s book and register for the BetterMen Weekend Retreat at www.bettermencoaching.com.

Hold on to your nuts by Wayne Levine
Hold on to your nuts by Wayne Levine

When in love, Watch where you step!

When in love, Watch where you step @changethisweek
When in love, Watch where you step @changethisweek

Hi family, Last week I made a commitment to be more out of the box in my thoughts and my actions each day and report back on how I was doing. The results of last week personally are not great at all. I did create some new spaces for myself and got out of my comfort zone somewhat, but not as often as I wanted. I’m not going to beat myself over it though, that’s not the point of this website.  So better luck to me on this week’s commitment.

For those of you new to this www.changethisweek.org site, I challenge myself every week to make a new commitment to make a change in my life over the week. I then post this commitment in the blog and encourage others to join in my commitment or make some of their own. I want you to celebrate with personal successes so choose a commitment that is attainable, something significant that will improve your life and hopefully in turn improve the lives of others.

This week I really felt inspired to talk about making changes in the aspect of love and being in a relationship. I have a lot of thoughts that went through my head about what to write and right now as I am laid back on my old green super comfortable couch in my office, it is all rolling out through my fingers.

First, let me tell you a little more about myself.  I am a total romantic. I am definitely the man that will tell you and show you that I love you. I am the man who will commit to a romantic relationship. I am affectionate with my words and actions. I am thoughtful and generous with my heart. Those are important parts in a relationship that I am usually getting right.  What I’m not getting right sometimes is effectively communicating with my partner in the relationship.

This is not easy territory for me. I feel like I am usually a great communicator and then sometimes in the relationship just when I think I am getting it so right, I get it so wrong. Some of it is part of the nature of two people being in a romantic relationship but most of it is my issue of being unaware or unclear in the moment. A misplaced word, a delayed response, an uncertain look, a shift in the wind, lol… Any factor may come into play that makes for a misperceived communication. In love, these can be costly mistakes. Sure in time, the moment will pass and when I am with the right partner all will be explained and forgiven, but in that moment there has definitely been the feeling of, “Oh crap, what on earth did I just do?”

No guy wants to get in this situation with the woman of his affections, but it still will happen from time to time. So, what to do? What commitment can I make to improve this situation when it occurs? I’m going to offer this.  Stay clear and steer clear. That is my commitment, to do my best this week to stay clear and steer clear.  So what does stay clear and steer clear mean to me?

Well think of the last time you really stepped into the proverbial dog doo with the person you love. How did you feel? What did you do to fix it in the moment? How did that work for you? As a man, I have an innate tendency to immediately want to solve and fix the problem occurring live in the moment of the relationship. This more often than not is a total mistake. Hence I suggest through experience and countless trial and error stay clear.

If you have stepped into the pile of unpleasantness and there’s an argument or thick tension, stay clear. Be loving and attentive but if there’s no movement that will happen at that moment, let it be and stay clear. Take a breath, walk away, give some space. Forcing dialogue and/or a resolution in that time of tension is more often that not going to further amplify the tension. When you’re in a loving relationship, a little time, space, patience and the lack of forcing a solution or a “fix” in that moment can go a long way.

And the second part of this statement is steer clear. When you are with a partner and you have tense moments or disagreements, learn from them after the emotion has subsided.  Learn how to steer clear of the next one. Try setting yourself up for success in your relationship by staying away from the land mines that you have walked into before. Steer clear of some common bad habits such as the need to be right or win the argument. As an example, If you are both not speaking, in separate rooms or driving away alone in your car, what on earth did you really “win” by insisting on pressing your point? No matter how “right” you may feel when you are in a relationship, the insistence on making your partner wrong never sits well (even when they ARE completely wrong lol.)

So even though it really is not simple and takes loads of practice, that is my commitment. Stay clear and steer clear. It has great potential to make a change in my relationship and possibly yours too.

I hope you enjoyed the read. You can always join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @changethisweek. I’d love to hear if you try this out, how it works, and what else you may be committing to this week. I have some great guest bloggers coming this week as well so stay plugged in. Have a great week. Make a change this week. You’ll be surprised how much change you can make no matter how small it starts.

Loving the California sun @jayryla
Loving the California sun @jayryla

Jay Ry is raising his two daughters and living and loving life in Los Angeles.  You can reach him on Instagram @jayryla and @changethisweek