Stop hiding or suppressing dissatisfaction

Not discussing things that do not work for you in your relationship makes you loose the relationship. Learn why this is the case in this long read blog.


The Love Balloon

10/16/20234 min read

woman holding white printer paper
woman holding white printer paper

In a relationship, it doesn't work to swallow dissatisfaction.

Not speaking up to each other is one of the biggest pitfalls a relationship can have. In this blog, you will find tips to prevent suffocation in your relationship because not expressing your dissatisfaction can eventually cause your feelings for each other to disappear completely.

What Is Relationship Suffocation?

Who hasn't had those moments when your partner does or says something, and you decide at that moment that it's better to let it slide. Nothing wrong with that. But if you keep swallowing complaints and dissatisfactions for an extended period and don't communicate enough, entirely different problems arise. Not speaking up to each other is one of the biggest pitfalls a relationship can have. Because of its insidious nature and to impress upon you its seriousness, I call it "relationship suffocation." It easily goes from bad to worse if you don't break the pattern. This happens when you repeatedly choose not to express irritation, either indirectly or indirectly. In all these cases, the essence remains that we don't clearly communicate our true feelings.

We hold back for various reasons, usually because we think it would harm the atmosphere and the relationship if we were to say something about it. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. What you're actually doing is suppressing your feelings about it. But what you suppress, you also store and must keep suppressed, just like pushing a ball underwater. If you make it a habit to keep pushing away a small or larger dissatisfaction toward your partner, the ball keeps getting bigger. The small irritation you felt initially grows as the ball grows. This usually goes unnoticed, but in the long run, keeping that thing underwater becomes very tiring. What you do notice is that more and more of your partner's traits begin to bother you, and you feel increasingly uncomfortable when you're together. It also takes more and more energy to motivate yourself to do things together, and you start distancing yourself more and more.

This can happen actively by making annoying comments, or passively by limiting the time you spend together or not doing certain things anymore. It Can Get Worse If you still don't discuss these unpleasant feelings now, negative experiences continue to pile up, and after some time, your feelings can turn into disgust. When you reach this stage, you emotionally and physically reject your partner. This can happen actively by seeking (sexual) attention outside the relationship or passively by having distant or no sex and burying yourself in hobbies or work. Some people then end the relationship. If you keep hanging in there without doing anything to reverse the process, the very last stage eventually sets in. You've suppressed and repressed your feelings for so long that you've lost your ability to feel towards your partner. There's hardly a trace of human warmth left. You're completely numb. This is the stage of Repression.

So, stop this destructive habbit.

Break that destructive habit by starting to share your true feelings. Take it slow and in small steps because both of you might need time to get used to it. Be aware that this is about your personal truth, not an absolute truth. The better you can tailor your communication, the better your partner will understand you and think along with you. If you've never done this before, you have some work to do. Doing nothing is not an option. It's at your own expense and the expense of your relationship. Discuss in a safe space and avoid blame. Ask your partner to support you in this process. Discuss why it's necessary to do this. Also, explain what you need to be able to share in safety. Both of you should realize that it involves meeting the bottom two Relationship Needs that all the others rest on. The need for Safety and Support, and the need for Acceptance. You can use the blog about making deals if you want to make agreements after talking about it. But just sharing can be a relief without immediately having to do something about it.

You can learn not to communicate in a blaming way while still making clear what you need. This prevents a lot of trouble. You do this by being aware of how you say something and correcting yourself if it doesn't have the desired effect. If you can't improve the atmosphere, you can at least significantly reduce its impact by stating your feelings and separating your request from the here and now. When we don't understand why our partner reacts negatively, we tend to take it personally. Such an introduction also works well when the atmosphere is normal, but you want to discuss a sensitive topic. Good Communication Examples of such introductions include:

  • "Honey, you know it's important for us to be honest, and..."

  • "I would appreciate it if you could give me some space to listen to my request..."

  • "Darling, you know I'm not always good at explaining, but..." "You would really make me happy if..."

  • "I just want to get this off my chest..." "I feel bad right now, and it's not your fault. I just need some time alone because..."

  • "Sweetie, I had a really rough day, and I'd like to ask you to..."

  • "I feel terrible right now, but I'd like you to help me..."

  • "You don't have to do anything; I just like expressing my opinion..."

I'd like to finish with one last heartfelt tip. Check in with your partner – even if you're not suffocating, you might be surprised one day by an "out of the blue" statement that the relationship doesn't feel the same as it used to, and the connection is gone. Regularly checking in with each other to see if there are things to discuss is a good habit to develop.