My partner gets angry at every little thing and starts ignoring me, do they love me?
For many people. love is seen as a contract of happiness.
I make you happy, you make me happy.
Her thinking probably goes like this …
- She deserves to be happy
- You, her partner, are meant to make sure she’s happy
- She’s NOT happy
- You must be doing something wrong
- Let's figure out what you are doing wrong
… and then she proceeds to start looking for all the things that trigger a negative emotional response in her, and blame you for them.
What she’s not able to do yet is to stop and recognize that her unhappiness has nothing to do with you. You’ve simply been give the responsibility of her happiness, and you’re expected to succeed.
Which, don’t fool yourself, is not possible, since the problem is within her.
She may love you, deeply, in her mind. Want only you, feel entirely dependent on you. She may imagine that hers entire life will be spent with you. But it sounds like what she’s expecting from her relationship - expecting from you, is entirely misguided.
Loving relationships are not about creating happiness
Happiness will probably happen, but only as a side effect of the respect, connection, appreciation, trust, intimacy, protection, companionship, attention, and life-experience-sharing that the relationships creates.
There will also be lots of unhappiness, even because of each other… but in a good relationship, that is a very small price to pay for the benefits.
So what can you do?
First, be straight up and honest with her. Be willing to lose her with your honesty, but try not to blindly hit the eject button, even though it may feel like it sometimes…
“I care for you deeply, but I feel like I can never make you happy.”
“I think you are expecting too much of me”
“I am worried about our relationship, because you never seem happy with me.”
And challenge her to look at other causes in her life, which are contributing to her unhappiness.
“What’s one thing you’ve always dreamed about doing that you haven’t done yet?”
“Are you happy in your career? What would you change if you could?”
“Something seems to be bothering you, how are you feeling?”
“How did your day go?” “Did you have anything really stressful today?”
Those last two are especially helpful because they can help her reflect on her current emotions. If she’s honest with himself, she’ll probably see that she was stressed all day about all kinds of things. It’s just that coming home to you, she can let out the steam that’s been building up. It’s not at all healthy. But, often, it’s the only way she can see to feel better in that moment.
Express real concern about wanting her to be happy, BUT, make it very clear that it is not within your abilities to deliver that happiness.
You are her companion. You are her boxing coach, in the corner with her, icing her bruises and giving her cold water. You are not the opponent fighting her. Help her see that.
How are Your Relationships?
To make matters worse, most people don’t know themselves well enough to know what they want out of life. So they can’t even communicate what they would like from each other.
Simply, happiness doesn't come from outside. You simply cannot make a person happy, and they cannot make you happy.