Relationships are work
Improving yourself is work, is hard work. Relationships are not easy. None of them.
People are deceived by chemicals in the early part of relationships to think that it is easy. And it is when you have all sorts of chemicals making you high on the relationship.
But those wear off.
People will spend hours/days and weeks on learning a career (and money too). People invest into making money but not themselves and relationships.
Improving yourself and your relationships means learning to be better than your models growing up and becoming more aware of your behavior in and out of a relationship!
Some of this MUST be done on your own! Some of this MUST be done with feed back from a partner.
On your own, do you need to learn what behaviors make you resilient and healthy and commit to doing them without external prompting. If this is not hard then you are probably NOT learning anything new. If your life is easy then you are only doing the fun& easy stuff, not real work.
The key is learning to be whole on your own BEFORE getting into a relationship.
Once in a relationship, you need feedback to become aware of how your behavior is impacting the other. A therapist can often do this better than a partner.
The goal is to create a healthy you and a healthy relationship for them. If either is not healthy (solo or together) then that is where the work must begin. Discovering what is going on and practicing corrective behaviors.
Even more curative is to find the source of the behavior (the root cause) and nullify it, neutralize it, remove it, heal it.
In the short term anything is easy. We can, in the short term, … ignore, suppress, bypass, tolerate, deny and lie well enough to get past problems. BUT THIS IS TEMPORARY. And like any problem, which is not addressed at the root cause, these techniques do not really fix anything.
The key is finding the root causes and addressing them. This is the part that is work, hard work. The work that everyone avoids. Probably because it is not easy.
Just like a takes years to get good and master any job. So too does it take years to improve ourselves and our relationships.
Healing our traumas just might be the top 10 most important tasks we have towards becoming whole.