People have this fantasy that “if only” their partner was kind, or respectful or caring or … (fill in the blank), their relationship would be great; this is not how relationships work. The idea that your relationship would be fine or easy “if only” your partner…, is a convenient way of taking the responsibility of creating a healthy relationship off of yourself. Chances are your partner is thinking the same thing about you – if only you would…
She said: “You never talk, it’s like I’m living alone!”
He said: “I would talk if you weren’t nagging all the time. Did you ever think of that?!”
She said: “Well, if you did something around here, I wouldn’t have to nag. Did YOU ever think of that?!”
…and on and on they go with little, if any, resolution to many exquisitely described problems.
To create the relationships you want, you have to be consciously working them in new ways. This requires that you look at your part FIRST, and when you’ve changed you, THEN, you look at your partner’s part. For example if your partner is treating you poorly, are you putting up with it, treating him/her poorly back, setting limits around it or just complaining about it?