7 Uncomfortable Things That Happen When You’re Around a Happy Couple And What To Do About It
Have you ever noticed that sometimes happy couples and not-so-happy couples just don’t gel? Some couples do not want to be around those sugary happy couples because showcasing happiness and joy only highlights the lack of happiness and joy in their relationship. It is uncomfortable and even painful at times for unhappy couples to be with a secure couple.
The disconnect is real.
Here are 7 things that are really happening to you when you feel uncomfortable around a happy couple:
- Drink /eat too much
- Get quieter at dinner
- Check your phone at dinner; excuse yourself from the table enough times that your partner whispers: “Is everything okay?”
- Pick a fight at the very first opportunity (most likely, the car)
- Hate on the happy couple and nitpick the things that are so wrong about them
- Drive too fast
- Disconnect from your partner immediately after coming home. No going to bed together. Drink more. Scroll through a device. Watch Netflix alone.
The first three on the list are just a precursor for the real problem: the fight.
And it begins with a fight over absolutely nothing to do with your relationship, (even though the problem is the relationship). The fight is a mask for the underlying problem of disconnection in the relationship.
Your partner slams the car door, starts the car and barks: “This car is trashed. Why do you leave all this shit in my car?”
The car is the very first opportunity they have to dump on you and so the immediate surroundings are an easy target and take less thought. Especially since the fight has been brewing since the happy couple held hands at dinner. The car appearance provides the low hanging fruit of the conflict. Instant fight. Easy peasy.
And maybe you don’t like swearing so adding a “sh*t” is one strategy they use to super charge the fight. Yeah, now they are on a roll.
Images of the subtle intimate look the happy couple shared between them flood your partner’s brain with fury. Your partner is pissed.
And then your partner starts criticism. “Did you notice the way Meghan fake-smiled throughout the dinner? I mean, she’s so shallow.”
You did notice and thought that she seemed super happy. You reflect on this for a moment but your partner continues.
“And Kyle is trying to impress us by picking up the tab for the second bottle of wine. I don’t need some guy who gets his fu*king fingernails manicured to pay my way.”
And your partner’s foot presses further on the accelerator and speeds up. You are still stung by his attack on you for the car’s appearance and for Meghan’s smiling face, that you are reluctant to say anything about speeding.
And you remember that your partner did not mind finishing that bottle of wine from the mani-paying Kyle. Wisely, you choose to say nothing and wait until you get home to try to smooth things over.
Yet when you arrive home, your partner dumps the keys on the dining room table a little too loudly, and fast walks to the fridge and grabs a beer. Plunks down on the den sofa without another word to you.
You follow them and say, “I thought the food was good at the restaurant.” Your partner continues scrolling through their phone and reaches for the remote without acknowledging that you said anything.
Your proceed anyway: “So you’re not talking to me now?”
“I honestly don’t see what’s so bad about Meghan and Kyle. They’re really nice.”
Still staring at the TV, your partner says, “He’s a douche. And she’s so phony with her every other word a compliment. If you can’t see through that, then you’re just as dumb and ridiculous as they are.”
You retreat to bed, stunned and hurt, wondering if in fact, you are stupid; that maybe you have bad taste in friends.
Your partner is downstairs, getting more drunk, watching a iZombie on Netflix and feeling (subconsciously) more and more disempowered. And more drunk.
The next morning, you are up early and in the garage, cleaning out their car and vacuuming up any remnants of food or paper scraps. You make it look like the freaking deluxe car detail fairy came in the night.
Your partner barely greets you and says nothing about the night before and goes for a run. You tidy up the kitchen; recycle their beer bottles from the night before, and go to Starbucks and get their favorite pastry and Vente. When you return, your partner’s car is gone and you receive no text about where they went.
You text your partner: “Hey! I have Starbucks for you. Where are you?”
You get a one word reply: “Out.”
You call Meghan and thank her for getting together last night. Meghan says she hopes your partner is okay because they seemed quiet.
A little too loudly and quickly you dismiss her comment and say everything is “GREAT.” That your partner was up for a run and out so quickly, getting things done today. “Super great day so far.”
Meghan says she loved the necklace you wore and wasn’t that from your grandmother? And Meghan remembers the story behind the necklace, about how it was given to your grandma your grandpa who didn’t have the money at the time to purchase it. And like the Gift of the Magi, Meghan says she still gets tears in her eyes every time she recalls that sweet story of how the necklace came about.
You wonder how Meghan remembers that story from like 12 years ago, and even more how she remembers the light blue heart pendant necklace that you hardly ever wear.
Because you are still energetically off from the disconnect with your partner, you feel yourself getting annoyed with Meghan and think, “Hey, my partner is right.” She is way too cheery. You get off the phone and decide to just keep Meghan a texting friend in the future. Yeah, her voice is just a little bit too sunny to hear.
When your partner returns 4 hours later, you are desperate for connection. You, of course, don’t realize you are completely disconnected from yourself. So you take whatever mood and attitude your partner brings to the table. Their mood is still sour and you super charge your sweetness and charm.
Your partner continues to shut you out and doesn’t comment on the clean car. Although confused, you let it go, hoping for a morsel of attention from him.
It doesn’t happen until that evening when you join him on the couch to continue watching iZombie on Netflix. You intuitively understand that just sitting next to him without interrupting this show you do not care for (At. All.) is the closest you will come to come to some sort of benign connection.
So you maybe have a glass of wine or two or three, fall asleep and wake up at 1:37 AM realizing you are alone on the couch with iZombie still playing.
Here’s what is really going on:
Both you and your partner feel disempowered.
You both feel that you’re not good enough and while you may be willing to identify and address it, your partner won’t or can’t. Your partner may never have the willingness to be vulnerable to look at what’s going on.
Introspection is not in their toolbox. Blame, criticism and projection have been the only tools that work for your partner.
And you believe you don’t have the words to address the issue, so you don’t say anything because you don’t know where to start. So you stay stuck. Tiptoe.
Walking on eggshells Master.
What if you could have the right words to speak to your partner? To get some relationship momentum going? To reconnect on a level that is better than mediocre?
And going to a counselor or a therapist may not be the first step. Here’s where you can be the change you desire.
Because here’s the thing…many women who cajole and plead with their spouse to go to therapy inadvertently shut them down further because they haven’t considered that their partner is one of those where the very word “therapy” is terrifying. Never going to get them there. They are defensive the minute you mention counseling.
So right out of the gate, you are already heading up a huge mountain. In your partner’s head, they have already planned their defense and possibly their attack on you—the total responsible party of the failure in your relationship.
So before you drag your partner to therapy, consider some “pre-help.” With a free 30-minute consultation, we can guide you to use the right words, the right approach, and the right timing to empathetically communicate with your partner. Click here to complete the “What’s on your mind” entry to learn the actual effective words to reconnect in your relationship.