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What have you learned / worked on about yourself in your current relationship?

(8 Posts)
ladybee28 Tue 27-Oct-20 10:02:35

When DP and I first met, he was a bit of a hothead –used to fly off the handle about things and go and shut himself in his studio for hours to cool down, slamming the door on the way in.

At one point I put my foot down, and told him that I needed him to address the problem, because I couldn't live with someone who behaved that way.

When he told me he couldn't help it, I said that that was a shame, and in that case I would need to think about whether or not I could stay in the relationship, given that it couldn't change.

He hasn't done it even once in the three years since.

He's become more open with me about his feelings, and if he's annoyed about something and needs to go cool off, he'll tell me: "I need to be by myself for a bit – I love you and we'll talk, I just can't right now."

It's one of the reasons I love him so much – when I address things that aren't working for me, he does something about it, even things that feel impossible to him, he'll try.

It's made me more conscious of how I behave with him, too, and want to work actively on things I can do to make our relationship better.

I see a lot of chat on MN about things our DPs need to work on, reasons to LTB etc., and I'm wondering – how / in what ways have you grown in your relationships?

Is there anything you're actively trying to get better at?

OP’s posts: |
LuckyLinda3 Tue 27-Oct-20 10:07:50

@ladybee28 I'm so jealous....my ex had MH issues and increasingly spent more and more time on his own, withdrawing from me and the kids. We were together almost 28 years, married nearly 21. I asked him to address his health and re-engage with us but he chose to walk away. Its fantastic to hear the good stories where the love for someone motivates everything. All the best to you both.

Roberta268 Tue 27-Oct-20 10:29:11

I thought I was a good listener but am I REALLY? I’m working on making sure my DP is heard, really heard, and that I don’t brush his concerns under the carpet. I can tend to be a bit domineering and he is a milder personality, but that doesn’t make his concerns any less valid.

Pyewhacket Tue 27-Oct-20 10:55:55

You sound hard work. Not sure I anaylse my marriage in that way. Been happily married for twenty years, and neither of us has had to work too hard at it. Life is hard enough, certainly at the moment , without having a shit marriage to cope with. Sorry, just come off my 3rd night duty and can't sleep. You don't want to know why.

Echobelly Tue 27-Oct-20 11:04:31

I've got better at standing up for myself - my mum is great but I think she erred in kind of teaching me 'always compromise for the sake of an easy life'. I actually decided my kids need to see me standing up for myself in an argument, even if sometimes I'm wrong. But DH comes from a shouty family, and I didn't want them to just see 'fold for the shoutiest person' as an outcome.

I've learned if I disagree with DH, always find a positive counterargument - not 'No! Your idea is awful!' but 'X would be so much better because....' and that wins over with much less defensiveness and argument.

DH has also learned things - I pointed out to him that when was exasperated he had this patronising habit of going 'Oh Echo!' (and that really put my back up, and he stopped doing it.

@Pyewhacket

Also because he cannot apparently remember any social plans, he learned to believe that if say I did tell him, than I have told him, rather than getting cross that I 'didn't tell him', and that the issue is him, not me!

We are both the kids of successful marriages between people where at least one can be... challenging, so I think we always had realistic ideas that marriage is difficult and sometimes gets pushed to its limit, but also that you can survive setbacks.

@Pyewhacket - sorry to hear things are so rough for you.

LilyWater Tue 27-Oct-20 11:28:42

Pyewhacket

You sound hard work. Not sure I anaylse my marriage in that way. Been happily married for twenty years, and neither of us has had to work too hard at it. Life is hard enough, certainly at the moment , without having a shit marriage to cope with. Sorry, just come off my 3rd night duty and can't sleep. You don't want to know why.

How on earth does the OP sound like "hard work" ?hmm

Just because she's reflective and is actively looking at ways they've improved their marriage (most relationships would benefit from people being more reflective and considerate!)

It's often those very people who think everything is all hunky dory and perfect, or sweep things under the carpet, who end up having the rug pulled under their feet by "shock" splits. Often they've been too self focused and been oblivious to, or ignored issues until it's too late.

ladybee28 Tue 27-Oct-20 12:31:36

Roberta268

I thought I was a good listener but am I REALLY? I’m working on making sure my DP is heard, really heard, and that I don’t brush his concerns under the carpet. I can tend to be a bit domineering and he is a milder personality, but that doesn’t make his concerns any less valid.

This is lovely to read–I hear a lot of people trying to make sure they voice their opinions more clearly, but I rarely hear more 'dominant' types thinking about how to make more space for other people.

OP’s posts: |
newnameforthis123 Tue 27-Oct-20 15:01:03

Pyewhacket

You sound hard work. Not sure I anaylse my marriage in that way. Been happily married for twenty years, and neither of us has had to work too hard at it. Life is hard enough, certainly at the moment , without having a shit marriage to cope with. Sorry, just come off my 3rd night duty and can't sleep. You don't want to know why.


But OP did have an issue in the marriage, so spoke about it as sensible adults do and both parties have compromised so they're now happy.

Not everything needs to be perfect for it to be a happy relationship. It's lovely neither you or your partner have had to work hard to compromise on stuff but it's a bit off to respond on a thread like this basically saying your relationship is superior and anyone who has had to work at something in a relationship is in a shit one.

I'm sorry you're tired and maybe that was why you sounded grumpy, but it's not OP's fault!

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