Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

The Dangers Of Sulking

We’re perfectly capable of explaining things to others. Such as what we’d like to have for dinner, what we enjoyed about the movie we just watched, or what our plans are for the weekend. But there’s one thing that we often refuse to elaborate on.

Our mood when our lover has unknowingly upset us.

Instead of telling how our special person hurt or disappointed us, we throw up a wall and pretend like everything is fine. Even though they can clearly tell we’re anything but.

The reason for our sizzling silence?

We believe that our true love should know what’s going on inside of us without being told. Seeing our cohort struggle to decipher our inner world is evidence that they don’t love us deeply enough. And that they can’t take care of us.

No wonder we close down, we feel like we’re with the wrong person. 

But that’s an incredibly childish view. Literally. It’s a remnant from our past, when our desires were simple and our caretakers could give us what we wanted without us having to say a word.

If we were lucky, our parents made us feel like the centre of the universe. And we didn’t even have to do a thing to earn our cosmic significance. We were loved and understood despite being loud, inarticulate poop machines. 

Our parents’ love was a monumental gift that we did nothing to earn. It was charity in its purest sense. And something we should never expect to receive from anyone ever again.

Our adult desires are far too complex to understand, let alone fulfil. 

We don’t even know what we want half the time, so how could our significant other?

If we want to be better friends and partners, we need to accept that we’ll often feel misunderstood and overlooked, and that it’s our job to teach others how to take care of us. 

The trouble, of course, is that what upsets us is often rather small and embarrassing to admit. We don’t want to communicate how fragile we are or how deeply we need our partner’s affection.

Understandable, but also entirely unhelpful. Because if we don’t speak up now, we’ll just grow more resentful of our partner. And it’s precisely our growing feelings of resentment that will ultimately break down our relationship. 

Being misunderstood is not a sign our partner doesn’t love us enough, it means that we’re failing to explain who we are. So we should do them the favour of speaking up.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach