6 Week Relationship Challenge
Week 2: You Don’t Make Me Happy Anymore

Last week we took a long, hard look at just how often and how likely it is you’re looking at your partner to change. Waiting for them to just stop the nagging, or snuggle up to you like they used to. And instead shifted to exploring what you can do to pitch in around the house (probably like you used to) and what just might make you more open to being snuggled yourself! You’ve taken the first glance into the mirror to see just how far you’ve gotten off track in being the best partner you can be. Today will be no different.

That’s right, we’re STILL not going to put your partner under the microscope. We’re simply gonna roll up our sleeves and get a little bit deeper into our relationship rescue.

To begin the shift within your relationship, you will need to cultivate honesty. I don’t just mean coming home every night and avoiding affairs. Sure, those are HUGE components to building and maintaining trust; but the scope of honesty spans much deeper. To be honest in your relationship you must learn to be honest with yourself. About your feelings, your needs, and how you can start taking responsibility for coming to the relationship with them. When you feel slighted or rejected, that means you tune into these feelings rather than shrugging them off. Or pointing a finger and wondering aloud, “You just don’t make me happy anymore.”

And this, folks, is where a couples therapist can lend a hand. Because we’re not all designed to be eloquent, flexible, emotional gymnasts. We weren’t always supported to reflect and assert ourselves growing up. So we do the best we can and sometimes that means you unload and unpack your “baggage” at your partner’s front doorstep. And when they don’t appreciate this gesture (ha!), you simply roll your eyes, walk away and mumble, “You don’t make me happy anymore.”

This is a pivotal moment. You’re staring down a moment of truth: In this split second, you have a choice. To start owning your happiness and begin to take charge of exploring your needs. To stop outsourcing your wellbeing to your partner by instead asking yourself some really important questions.

“What am I struggling with right now in my life?”

“Why does this leave me wanting to lash out, to the point of questioning my marriage?”

“What does make me happy and how have I lost sight of that?”

“How have I neglected my own happiness, maybe even in good faith to keep the peace?”

“And are my contributions working for me anymore?”

“How do I push my feelings and needs unfairly onto my partner?”

“When am I making it their job to keep me happy and in charge of my feelings and wellbeing?”

Woah. Deep breath. These questions can bring about a mountain of emotion that years of neglect and minimizing have shrouded. Just remember that you don’t (and won’t!) have all of the answers right now. Bit by bit you’ll start to reclaim important pieces of your wellbeing that have been shrugged off over the years. And just as it took years to get here, let’s not be hasty. Be patient and kind to yourself along the way.

Honesty comes in all shapes and sizes. These microscopic questions can create a monumental shift in your relationship dynamic and connection. Because when we stop blaming and start owning, we stand a much better chance at happiness.


Stacy Griffin, MEd, LPC-S