Reconnecting with your Partner

Written By: Heather
Heather Kempton Coquitlam Couples Counsellor

Are you no longer happy in your relationship? Are you feeling emotionally and physically drained after spending time with your partner? Everyone has an irrational side to their personality that can lead to self sabotaging behaviour and destroy their intimate relationships. Below I will discuss 10 characteristics that contaminate an intimate relationship.

1. You turn it into a competition

When you compete with your partner you lose sight of your intimate connection and compassion for that person by your desire to be the best. How can you possibly be a winner if it is at the expense of making the person you supposedly love a loser? Healthy relationships are built on compromise, empathy and compassion, not power and control. Competing against your partner will drain the joy, confidence and productivity out of your relationship.

2. You are judgemental and critical

Do you judge and criticize your partner’s behaviour or use sarcasm in order to point out their flaws and imperfections? Taking constant negative jabs at your partner’s character devalues them and creates distance and emotional pain in the relationship. Learning how to effectively communicate with your partner where you can provide constructive criticism that is designed to improve your relationship looks a lot difference. Stop putting your partner down with sarcastic comments and start speaking to your partner with dignity and respect.

3. You have to have it your way

Being a “right fighter” will drain your relationship and lead it into destruction. You cannot be self-righteous or obsessed with power and control while doing what is best for the relationship at the same time. Your relationship will remain constantly in a power struggle where eventually one partner will grow tired causing them to emotionally and physically disengage from the relationship.

4. You are dominating

When you have an argument with your partner, do you have an intense stare, a harsh tone and use hurtful words? You may experience a sense of power and control in which you get what you want in the moment, however, your partner will become filled with bitterness and resentment. While it’s easy to engage in self protecting behaviour when feeling angry and threatened, it’s much harder to repair the emotional toll it takes on your relationship.

5. You are passive

You try to control your partner by using indirect language and behaviour so that you can escape accountability when confronted. You will increase frustration in your relationship and a sense of confusion, as your partner will not receive clear communication from you and will be left guessing.

6. You use deception

You criticize your partner about one thing when you are really upset about another. You are unable to find the courage to communicate what is driving the emotional pain and creating problems in your relationship. You are unable to speak your truth, thus your partner is left in the dark with how you are feeling and what you are thinking. Eventually the real issues that are stirring up inside will come out in a toxic way, potentially leading to the destruction of the relationship.

7. You will not forgive

When you choose to hold on to anger towards your partner, you trap yourself in pain and agony. This negative energy will become all consuming for your relationship, holding your partner emotionally hostage. If you remain stuck in anger and resentment while refusing to forgive and move on, you will tear up your own life and your relationship. You can’t change the past but you can choose to deal with the resulting feelings and hurt by truly forgiving and letting go.

8. You are a bottomless pit

You undermine your desire to succeed by your constant need for approval and attention from your partner. Your partner’s behaviour is never enough as you are always wanting more love, attention, appreciation, and satisfaction. You will remain frustrated with your partners inability to make you feel “good enough” while your partner will show frustration with feeling unable to please you. It is normal to want reassurance from our partners, but constant reassurance and approval from your partner will leave them feeling drained. Free yourself from the internalized sense of inadequacy, and find other ways to feel self-worth and value.

9. You are too comfortable

If you have become too comfortable and no longer make an effort in your relationship, you are failing to meet your relationship responsibilities. By remaining stagnant in your relationship you lose your ability to contribute, stimulate and energize the relationship. Therefore, you risk the chance of creating emotional distance and losing passion in your relationship.

10. You have given up

When you become emotionally and physically distant from your partner the effort to engage can become overwhelming. You can begin to feel lonely, isolated, negative, and cynical about your relationship ever getting any better creating a sense of being trapped. It is essential to find the strength to confront your problems and look at finding a way to work together in order to discuss them. Simply giving up on your partner without exhausting all avenues will create a feeling of failure. It is important to recognize when you have done all that you can and it is time to end the relationship then to avoid facing your fears and having those difficult conversations.

You must remember that relationships take continual commitment and work on a daily basis where you need to remain engaged. Learning how to effectively communicate with your partner in an emotionally healthy way is key. Learn how to turn towards your partner to create empathy and understanding, as avoiding hot topics will leave you feeling angry, frustrated and dissatisfied. If you feel this speaks to you and would like to explore these thoughts further please feel free to contact me, as I am here to help you to achieve your optimal life.


Heather Kempton, MA, RCC, Life Coach