Understanding Relationships & Why They Can be a Struggle – Podcast 1

by Diane Rooker


I am all about understanding relationships and I feel it is important to explain relationships on a deeper level in this first episode. So, here we start with the basics: What are the different types of relationships we have? What are the levels of connection we have with ourselves and our partner? What was modelled to us as children? All these elements play a part in how functional or dysfunctional a relationship can be. So, let’s dive in and seek to understand relationships and why they can be a struggle.


Understanding Relationships and Why They can be a Struggle

I’m so excited to be sharing with you my podcast series. I have worked with hundreds of couples for 10 years and I have gained extensive knowledge and understanding of how relationships function. Of course, I’m not saying that I know everything because I don’t.
I can only share with you what I know.

I hope it resonates with you and that you can apply the knowledge and tools to help your relationship.
I am passionate about supporting couples and individuals to reach the goals they want to reach with their relationships.

I will also give you a few tools that you can apply today…….. to help your connection with yourself and your partner.

Fulfilling RELATIONSHIPS is SO important to me personally because I didn’t have the connection I wanted with my parents. I wanted something different with my kids, a different relationship

I want to start with the basics here as I am all about wanting relationships to be happy and satisfying. I feel it important to explain deeper about relationships

What is a Relationship?

It is to show a connection……. either to your partner or with yourself

What Determines a Great or Poor Connection?

This depends on how you relate to yourself or your partner – so whether you are connected or not.


Let’s Look at the Connection with Yourself First

You are connected with yourself if you are;

  • Aware of what your feelings are and you can allow yourself to feel them, be it anger, happiness
  • You are aware of your thoughts and you control them, not the other way around. Many people allow their thoughts to create stress.
  • You know what your needs are.
  • You know what you are triggering in certain situations
  • You take responsibility to remove any unnecessary baggage that has been with you for years.
    You have clear boundaries

So you can see how it is essential to understand the relationship you have with yourself, always look at yourself first, and what is going on because that is something you can change when you have more awareness.

It’s truly amazing how light and free you can be when you do this and how it impacts your relationship with your partner in such a positive way.

After you have a healthy relationship with yourself you have clear boundaries. It takes one to change a relationship and it takes time.
Then you can focus on how you relate to your partner.

An indication of a Connected Relationship Between Couples

They understand each other, meaning;

    • They are aware of each other’s needs
    • They know each other’s Love language
    • They’re aware of their personality traits, the good and annoying.
    • They know when to move towards or give their partner some space.

To have this type of relationship does take work but before that, there needs to be a willingness to get to know and understand your partner at such a deeper level.

It’s a very respectful act to say;

  • hey, I’m here for you,
  • I care about you
  • I want to know about you
  • I will prioritise you
  • I will make time for you.

How would you feel if your partner treated you like that?

In an intimate relationship, we all want to be acknowledged, feel important, and be accepted for who we are.

When we choose to be in an intimate relationship there is a level of responsibility to the other person, as you are no longer one but two.

It’s like being in a bubble together, both of you, not one in and one out or one foot in and the other out
It’s both feet in 100%


Why Couples Struggle with Relationships

There are many reasons but mostly it’s because of our childhood – what happened to us as children and how our parents modeled how to do relationships.

Your Partners Early Connections

Imagine having a relationship with someone whose parents modeled completely differently from your upbringing.

It can seem like you have come from different countries as it’s difficult to understand how they think or behave.

Your first relationship is with your mother and this begins in the womb.

How a parent relates with their child in the first few months is very important for the child’s development

If a child is born with parents who provide lots of love and make sure the baby has its needs met then this baby has a higher chance of being more resilient as an adult.

If a child experiences negative interaction between the parents, domestic violence, or their basic needs are not met, this can stay with them into adulthood and can show up as unhealthy behavioral issues, triggers, and negative beliefs.

Most of these unresolved issues in a person are not known at a conscious level. But it’s the subconscious that is driving the behavior that can affect the current relationship.

Choose Your Battles

Your partner is your ‘person’. Take the time and get to know them. Learn why they do the things they do and come up with a plan together for how you want your family to be taking the good parts from your family of origin. Create guidelines about how you are going to be in a relationship with each other. Create the unique relationship you want to have together as a couple.

When couples come to see me we start by having a couples session.

Then I will have an individual session with each of them and help them to explore why they do the things they do and remove these behaviours that are not helpful to either the individual or the relationship.

Transform to change.

Tools to help your relationship today

  1. Be present with yourself and your relationship, and stay consciously aware of what is happening within your relationship.
  2. Talk to your partner about what type of relationship you want to have together. Creating a plan and having an understanding is the first step to getting what you both want and need.
  3. Get to know your partner, get curious about them, why do they do the things they do such as their behaviours. They had a whole life before you. It’s about understanding and accepting. You are choosing all of them the good parts and the bad parts. Always be kind to each other, and focus on what’s positive. For every negative find 3 positives. Treat them like a friend you respect.

My podcast is called Transform Relationships. If you want more help understanding relationships contact me or find out more about my online and in-person relationship counselling 

Listen to Podcast 1 below – What are the five pillars to having a happy and satisfying relationship – and why are they important for all couples?


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