Getting in Touch With What's Missing in Your Relationship

Updated on June 8, 2018
Glenn Stok profile image

Mr. Stok writes about improving life and emotional well-being that he learned from his studies of social behavior and personal experience.

If you’re in a relationship or you’re already married, and you love your partner but you feel that something might be missing, this should help.

If you’re not feeling right in your relationship, I’ll help you discover how you can get in touch with what you already have­—and what you think is missing.

I will present 14 revealing questions for you to consider, along with my thoughts on each. As an exercise, try to ponder my remarks with each question—especially the ones that trigger a strong emotional response. Get in touch with your feelings by answering the questions yourself.

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What Gets in the Way

I can think of three things that get in the way of a happy relationship:

  1. Your spirit is broken.
  2. You become frustrated.
  3. Your expectations are shattered.

We sometimes overlook some of the things that are most important, leaving us frustrated with a broken spirit, especially when our expectations are shattered.

Let’s try to discover what we’re overlooking. It just might enlighten you to the positive things you already have with your partner. The exercise that follows should help you get your spirit back as you begin to recognize the future you have been expecting to have with your partner.

You and Your Partner

Do you share the same values about life?

Being in a relationship, you both should be on the same page as far as your values are concerned. Do you know how your partner feels about being kind to others, about preserving the environment, about treating animals well, about appreciating friends? Do you find this is how you yourself feel?

Do you feel you work together as a team?

How do you both manage stress? Are you there for each other during hectic situations?

How about the way you both handle difficult matters? Do you shy away and let things go without resolving the issue, or do you work on it till it’s accomplished? Do you find that you both work as a team in these situations?

Are you both compatible with everyday life situations?

Do you both share the same ideas of where to live—small town or big city?

Do you have similar social desires, such as getting together with friends or having parties? How about the need for alone time? Do you have compatible requirements with that too?

Compatibility also includes things such as eating habits, music interests, and travel choices. Do you share the same desires? Does it matter? Maybe it doesn’t, and that’s a valid choice too.

Do you both have similar plans for the future?

Where do you both see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, or 20 years? This is important to know or else you may drift apart in the future. Better to know this now so you can decide what’s important and what’s not. Be honest about deal breakers. Sometimes they can be worked out with compromise.

Are you intellectually compatible?

Some men seek beauty before brains. Some women seek strength before appearance. If intelligence is important then nothing is going to compensate for the lack of it, in my opinion. It will become an issue over time, in the way you both think, in the way you relate, and in the way you see the world.

The good news is that it doesn’t necessarily have to stand in the way. If all other aspects of the relationship are healthy, and compatibility is confirmed, as you will determine from all the other questions in this article, then differences such as this could become unimportant.

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Communication and Respect

Do you find it difficult to communicate with one another about personal issues?

When things don’t go the way we would want, some people back off rather than confront the situation by talking about it. That stifles a relationship. It’s important to keep the intimacy alive by sharing feelings, discussing what’s bothering you, and asking for input from your partner about their thoughts and feelings.

If you find that difficult, consider the following two questions.

Have you learned that you can depend on your partner to respect your feelings?

If you haven’t gotten to the point where you can expect your partner to respect your feelings, this can stand in the way of emotional intimacy. Try to get past that. Work on it by talking about it. It’s important. If you don’t get that respect, and give it too, then the relationship may be doomed to failure.

Mutual respect is an important factor in feeling wanted and desired. I like to think of it as a team. The two of you are in a mutually beneficial team.

Do you feel relaxed? Can you be yourself?

If the answer is “no” then you need to understand why this is the case. Is it coming from how you were treated when you were growing up, or from the way your partner is treating you now?

If you can’t be yourself because your partner doesn’t accept your behavior, or the nuances of your lifestyle, then a deep heart-to-heart talk is necessary. Don’t let this go without discussing it. It will only eat at your self-esteem and get worse over time.

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Knowing What You Want and Need

What do you want with your relationship?

If you find it easier selecting a career or the location where they wish to live, than you do with deciding what you want in a relationship, then you may need to change your focus.

We tend to ignore many things when it comes to selecting friends or working with business acquaintances. We never consider some of the important issues that can make or break a relationship. Maybe it’s time to think about it.

What do you admire most about your partner?

If you find yourself losing the desire to continue your relationship, try giving some thought to what you might be overlooking about what your partner already offers.

Think about what you admire. Give your partner some recognition for it. Show that you’re aware of it. The communication might have a powerful affect on how you feel.

What have you found that you both enjoy doing together?

Try not to lose sight of the wonderful times you share. Bring it up for discussion and make a mutual decision to repeat those events you both cherish doing together. Don’t let the few good things go unnoticed. Identify. Acknowledge. Repeat.

Do you both have a particular personal heaven where you feel confortable?

Some people call it a Man Cave. Women have one too; they call it their Lady Cave. It’s a room set aside just for their own use and enjoyment.

I personally don’t know anyone who goes as far as to separate their domains in such a way, but people do. I guess as long as it’s accepted and appreciated by both, then it’s okay.

Looking Ahead

Did your life change for the better after you got involved?

Are you focusing more on what you feel is missing than on how your life changed?

It’s normal to remember the bad times more than the good times. It’s the same as how people complain about bad customer relations with a company, but never show appreciation for good treatment.

That seems to be the way humans behave, but try to overcome that with your relationship. Try to recall the changes your partner brought into your life that had a positive effect. Then acknowledge it and show appreciation for it.

Can you see definite reasons for a great future together?

Taking into account what you now realize, how do you visualize your relationship going forward?

Do you have a stronger feeling for the companionship you share?

Repeating a question I asked you earlier in this article, where do you see yourself with this relationship in 5 years, 10 years, or 20 years? Is the answer any different now after doing the exercise of answering the questions I posed for you? Do you see a great future together?

Final Thoughts

Whatever your dream is of the perfect mate, you need to be realistic about the type of person with whom you are compatible.

Once you have worked on these questions and you had honestly answered them, you may realize that you already have everything you’ve ever wanted.

Did This Help?

Did you discover that you actually do have what you always wanted?

See results

© 2018 Glenn Stok

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    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      You made an important point Audrey. I don’t think any of us can fix what we don’t acknowledge, so you’re not alone. Speaking from my own experience, it takes several repeated mistakes before we realize what we’re overlooking.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      3 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      In your final thoughts you have said, "Whatever your dream is of the perfect mate, you need to be realistic about the type of person with whom you are compatible."

      It took 3 divorces before I realized this wise truth. I'm embarrassed to admit this Glenn, but I can't fix what I don't acknowledge. Whether the opportunity comes along for me to test this, remains to be seen.

      Excellent article and very informative. Sharing with others.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Thank you Natalie for your comments about my article. Being that you are a Clinical Psychologist, your positive review means a lot to me.

    • Natalie Frank profile image

      Natalie Frank 

      3 months ago from Chicago, IL

      Always an important topic. I especially like the way you approach the subject through the use of questions. It seems to make it more immediate and personal. It's hard not to consider something when it is posed in the form of a question. I appreciate your insight and the way you explained the different points. It was very clear and I am sure many will find what you have discussed here as applicable to their lives and their relationships. Thanks for the article.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Pamela Oglesby - That sounds great! Having similar views sure does make a couple feel secure in a relationship.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      3 months ago from Sunny Florida

      This aritcle is excellent on the many aspects of relationships. I have been in a relationship that had many of those problems you listed, but I am happy with my current husband. We are fortunate to have the same views on most things.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Glenn, I'm presently missing the entire relationship, but I consider these questions very appropriate and helpful for those involved. Expectations must be communicated early to help decide for or against having the relationship.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      4 months ago from Long Island, NY

      dashingscorpio - You gave a lot of tremendously good advice. Thanks for taking the time to write your comment. Everything you said is a wonderful and helpful addition to this subject.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 

      4 months ago

      "Knowing What You Want and Need" - This is the key!

      Each of us (chooses) our own friends, lovers, and spouse.

      Each of us has our mate selection process/must haves list.

      Each of us has our boundaries and "deal breakers".

      In essence we should have figured out who (we) are and what we want before pursuing relationships. A lot of people allow "impulsive connections" and "happenstance" to dictate their relationship choices.

      It's the equivalent of going shopping without a list!

      In other instances some people are bored with peace, serenity, and comfortability in a relationship. They've bought into the ideas spread in Hollywood movies and romance novels that relationships should be filled excitement, drama, and passion or elements of uncertainty.

      One has to be honest with them self. If you need the thrill that comes with being with someone "new" you're never going to be happy in any long-term relationship or marriage. All good relationships between compatible people eventually reach a "comfort level".

      Knowing each other very well is a strength which allows a couple to build a future together without having to worry about insecurities.

      One of the smartest things is recognizing you have what you want.

      Know yourself, Love yourself, Trust yourself.

      There are only two ways to experience joy and peace of mind in relationships. We either get what we want or we learn to be happy with what we have. Accept them (as is) or move on.

      The choice is up to us. Choose wisely!

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 

      4 months ago from Canada

      Lovely article, Glenn. Now all I need is a relationship... Seriously though, lots of helpful insights. Thanks for this one.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      4 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Vladimir Karas - Thanks for your feedback on this article. That was my intention when I wrote it. The poll I placed at the end will show how successful this has been.

    • ValKaras profile image

      Vladimir Karas 

      4 months ago from Canada

      Glenn---Quite an informative and inspirational article---everybody could find something in it which, once applied in their relationship, would make it better.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      4 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Poppy - The best thing you can do is exactly what I discussed under “Communication and Respect” - go back and read that one again.

    • poppyr profile image

      Poppy 

      4 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Mine and my fiancé’s relationship is great except for the fact that we never have sex... what would you suggest to make him want me? :(

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