All relationships have their ups and downs. And all of us go through periods of not getting what we want. But what if that denial becomes a long-term pattern that begins to really bother you?
The first step is to communicate. For couples in sync with each other, this can work fairly quickly. But sometimes communicating your desire doesn’t produce results. Only frustration. A lot of frustration. Especially if one of you isn’t a great communicator.
You could decide to just end the relationship, but if you really like the person and you’re heavily invested, this might be too drastic. You could resort to manipulation, control, or threats, but eventually you’re going to be met with resentment. Then you’ve only created another problem. So what can one do?
Join them. Try doing whatever it is that they are doing that’s bothering you. And do it bigger. For example, if they’re not being affectionate enough, stop giving them affection. If they aren’t being neat enough, stop cleaning. If they’re being too clingy, smother them. Get distant, messy, and clingy right along with them, even if it goes totally against you’re nature. You’re not really becoming that person. You’re just showing them what it feels like. You’re just making a point.
Sometimes we all need a little reverse psychology to help us really see that point. We need to be put in the same position to experience how our actions are affecting someone else.
I call this the non-resistance method. You’re taking strong action, but you’re not resorting to nagging and argument when the frustration builds. You’re simply showing them how you feel.
When someone is being selfish, lazy, or generally unreasonable in a relationship area, the last thing they want to keep hearing are complaints. You could be completely justified in wanting something they’re not giving you. Your friends, your family, or anyone else that you’ve expressed your frustration with over your significant other might agree. But your partner has to be the one to decide how they’re going to proceed. Any badgering on your part is only going to conflate the issue.
This method isn’t going to work in every situation. For example, if they’re mistreating you with physical or emotional abuse or habitually spending all your money, then your best course of action will be to leave the situation permanently. But for couples with the potential for a good relationship, this works beautifully.
A Tale of Two Relationships
I dated one girl who was very good at employing what I have recommended above. To this day I greatly respect her for it. At one point early in our relationship, she wanted a little more time for herself. When you first begin dating and you really like someone, most of us want to spend a lot of time together, at least initially. That’s natural, and is known as the honeymoon stage. You don’t know their deepest darkest secrets or the undesirable habits of your partner yet, so it’s all magical when you’re together—the sex, the cuddling, the conversation, and all of that other stuff we term quality time. I was in that stage. Rightfully so, because our schedules were opposite and I wasn’t seeing her very much anyway. But at the time she couldn’t help that. She was going through a busy season at work, and when she wasn’t working, she needed the downtime for herself to take care of some personal issues. She had communicated this to me on more than one occasion, but I wasn’t paying enough attention. I was pushing to be near her. So she waited for the opportune time, like when I needed some sleep, and she smothered the hell out of me. At first I liked the idea. But I very quickly begin to feel that smothering. And then I figured out the point she was trying to make. Very effective. Let’s just say she got the downtime that she needed. 🙂
I once lived with another girl who handled her desire quite differently. At one point in our relationship, I had started a personal project and was spending a lot of time with it. To the point where I stopped helping around the house. She was doing all the work. Although my project was important to me, I didn’t have the right to neglect everything around me, including her giving nature. She was washing my clothes, cooking and cleaning, and for a time letting me get away with a lot of other responsibility. Instead of making her point by letting my responsibilities pile up to the point where I could no longer ignore them, she started nagging. But she continued to do those things for me, and I continued to let her. The nagging increased. Soon we were having some pretty bad arguments, which made me want to focus more on my personal project. Yes, I was completely in the wrong and she had every right to be upset. I was young, a little dumb, and immature. But the point is, if she had handled the situation like the other girl, she would have gotten what she wanted.
Never Force Your Desires on Anyone
People don’t change unless they want to. We are all our own person with good and bad habits. And we all have moments where we lack the clarity, and sometimes the experience, to see a need in someone else.
Sometimes you’re going to want something that you may never be able to get from your partner, and if they’re important enough to you, you’re going to have accept that person the way he or she is. But with minor stuff, a bit of reverse psychology can be enough to give them an experience that opens their eyes. That gives them clarity. That gives them the very experience they need to feel your wants personally.
As I’ve already mentioned, this method isn’t going to work in every situation, but if you decide to try it, give it two or three weeks. If they’re still not getting it, you may want to reevaluate how this is going to affect you in six months or a year from now. That might give you the impetus to exit the relationship.