Jennifer Johnston-Jones, Ph.D.
Relationship mood killers
What are intimacy and relationship mood killers? So you’re annoyed your spouse. But there is the stereotypical image of your spouse leaving the cap off of a toothpaste. You’re really frustrated and you’re really annoyed about that and you can’t believe every time you left the cap off the toothpaste, I can’t believe you did it again, I just told you this morning, you left it off again. Stop. What are you really mad about? Is it really about the cap on the toothpaste? I know it’s been an issue and you’ve been bringing it up, but I promise you that is not the only reason that you’re upset.
Stop talking about the toothpaste. Talk about why aren’t you hearing me? Why is it that when I express a need that you do not respond? Why is it that you are so bothered this particular instance? Was there something about your childhood or something that happened to you in a different relationship where your needs weren’t met, where you were not listened to, where when you had something that you were annoyed about, people just ignored you and just didn’t even try to change. Address that as one of the relationship mood killers.
And bring up the real question, the really thing that’s bothering you.
Is it really about the toothpaste or when was the last time you had sex? When was the last time you looked at each other in the eyes for more than one second? When was the last time you held hands? I guarantee you, if you’re pissed off about the toothpaste, it’s not about the toothpaste and the toothpaste is only a warning sign for you to work on deeper issues.
My recommendation is don’t bother to waste time talking about the toothpaste of whatever issue is annoying you. Do some relationship fixing first then talk about the toothpaste. Spend some time, have sex, go on some dates, work on the basic things first. You’ll find that that dissipates, but it’s simply a symptom of the fact that your relationship is needing some help. Relationship mood killers can be avoided if you know how to recognize them.
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