When You're Fed Up With What You Once Loved
They say you can never have too much of a good thing, but for many us, that simply isn’t the case. While the qualities you love and admire about your partner can draw you closer and help establish your bond, they can also be the very things that irritate you or become off-putting down the road.
High-Standards? Or Highly Critical?
I worked with one couple recently who struggled with this [we’ll call them Mike and Sara]. Although Sara initially admired Mike’s high standards for quality in everything he does, she eventually started to resent his highly critical attitude.
His constant nit-picking and desire for everything to be perfect began to make her feel as though she was never good enough. No matter how much she tried, it was never good enough because for him, things could always be better.
During our sessions, Mike realized that taking a step back to balance out his perfectionism with positive words of affirmation and a lots of gratitude went a long way in letting Sara know that she’s perfect just the way she is.
Laid Back? Or Uninvolved?
While we were working through that, Mike took the opportunity to point out that while Sara’s laid back and quiet nature was initially attractive to him, he now felt that it was getting in the way of them working through their issues together.
He used to feel good that her demeanor allowed him to be more authoritative and take the lead, but he often feels that she withdrawals from many of their more serious conversations, leaving him to handle the brunt of the responsibility and decision-making.
He needed a partner, not a spectator.
For Sara, being a little more vocal about her opinion or thoughts when they’re making tough decisions or talking about serious topics helped ease the burden off Mike and allow them to make decisions together as a team.
The key to make sure your best qualities don’t turn into your biggest liabilities is moderation. Take the time to recognize where those qualities work for you or against you and your mate and discuss ways to find the right balance so you both feel comfortable. I guess too much of a good thing isn’t so great after all!