Problems In Your Marriage
If you have been in your marriage or relationship for any length of time, there are areas of your relationship you probably find challenging. Even very good and solid relationships have problem areas. That is normal because we are all human with our own thoughts and opinions. Of course no two people get along perfectly.
Adding Cancer To A Relationship
When you have a good marriage and add cancer to it, some things get better and some worse.
My husband and I had what I felt was a good marriage. We got along well, had lots in common and overall enjoyed just being with each other.
We also had our challenges. I used to tease him that he was “high maintenance.” Not in the way of being vain, but in the way of needing things to be just right. He was annoyed by certain sounds or things not being done a certain way. He had strong opinions about how other people and the world in general should be and was not shy about sharing these opinions. For the most part, I accommodated his needs and it didn’t bother me to do so. He knew he was particular and I think he was thankful I put up with it.
Dealing with my husband’s cancer brought us closer in so many ways. I was his partner and I wanted him to always know he wasn’t alone. It also seemed to me that his strong opinions about others became even stronger. Some of his relationships with family members became strained and I often found myself in the middle trying to make peace. Where I used to accommodate his opinions easily, I began to feel anger and resentment. I held those emotions in and they began to fester.
Ask Yourself Why
What I didn’t do at the time was ask myself why I thought he was pushing family away. I didn’t ask myself what he might be thinking or feeling. I was too focused on my anger and frustration with his behavior. I wanted him to change.
Understanding Their Behavior
Just like you, your partner’s behavior is the result of one thing and one thing only. Their thoughts. It is not you, or the world, or their cancer, it is their thoughts about those things that leads to the actions they take.
Taking A Step Back
To really see this perspective, you need to take a step back. When you are alone with your thoughts or have time to reflect, and something your partner did is still bugging you, ask yourself what might they have been thinking or feeling to take such action.
Might they have been fearful or angry?
Did they feel powerless or alone?
When you are able to think about what might be going on internally for your partner, it might be easier to understand their frustrating or madding behavior. You may be able to let go of the anger and resentment you feel toward them. You may even feel some compassion.
You Don’t Have To Be A Saint
I’m not suggesting you do this for their sake. I’m suggesting you do this for YOU. Anger and resentment feel terrible. We are the ones that feel these emotions, not them. So we suffer when we feel this way.
Just like gaining perspective on your own thoughts can give relief to the emotion you are feeling, gaining perspective on your partner’s thoughts can provide you relief and understanding.
What About A Conversation?
You can always choose to talk to your partner about the actions that anger you. It is always good to be honest in a relationship. You need to have that conversation from a place of calm. By seeking to understand what they are going through before you even talk to them, it will be much easier to stay calm yourself and approach the conversation from love versus blame.
This is exactly the type of work I do with my clients. If you are struggling with your relationship, then let’s talk and see if I can help. Sign up for a consult with me by clicking here.