You have two people (who may as well be from different planets) trying to build a life together that involves negotiating all their differences, beliefs and values. No wonder it’s such hard work.
To top it off, at the beginning of a relationship, our brain is on drugs so we’re not endowed with the best partner choosing radar to start with. Mother nature wants us to procreate, so floods us with all these feel good hormones that last about 18 months (about the right amount of time to get pregnant). During this time we’re madly in love and overlook many of the things about our partner that might indicate trouble in the years to come.
Our ‘different planets’ also involve different attachment styles. About half of us are lucky enough to have a secure attachment style, which means it’s easier to be in a relationship. We’ve had good relationship role models, and home and family have been a safe haven.
The other half of us have insecure styles – either anxious or avoidant. Relationships are either too precarious and we’re on edge about rejection, or too overwhelming and we become too independent.
So we all bring all this stuff from our own world and expect that our lives together will be like a Hollywood romance.
This is good to remember when we start to question whether our partner is right for us.
Of course we’re going to have difficulties. Of course we’re not going to agree at times. Of course we’re going to think our partner is doing things the ‘wrong’ way. Or is deficient in some way.
I’m not advocating that you stay in a relationship that is abusive or violent by any stretch. In fact get yourself help to get out if you feel that is happening.
If you find yourself questioning if your partner is right for you, take stock of the situation. Ask yourself these questions.
- Where are you compatible? Sometimes it’s easy to focus only on the negative. Looking for what does work can give you a good reality check.
- Is this just an unsolvable problem? rather than a reason to leave. Every couple has unsolvable problems. Maybe you both need help to learn how to deal with it better. But don’t kid yourself that the ‘perfect partner’ would come without unsolvable problems.
- What are you doing in the relationship that could be affecting your happiness? Sometimes it’s easy to think that if only our partner would change or stop doing something we would be happy. Relationships are 2-way streets. What you do influences what they do and what they do influences what you do. Taking an honest look at what you do that infuriates/pushes away/upsets your partner can go a long way to seeing them more accurately (as someone who reacts to you), reducing the negative thoughts about them. It also gives you more of a sense of control if you can make changes that will affect both of you.
Sometimes the grass is greener but more often it’s not. Your partner may be a pain in the arse but if you’re anything like me, then so are you. The point is we’re all butt pains. And no-one is ever completely right for anyone else.
If you’re still unsure after asking yourself these questions then it may be a good idea to talk it over with someone.