Marriage Education News Research

Survey Says: When it Comes to Love, People Want to Be Heard, Not Fixed, Ignored, Dismissed

Is a “love knot” sabotaging your marriage?

“I can’t ever win with anyone, not even my wife.” … “My boyfriend doesn’t love me as his girlfriend, but only as his property.” … “I’ve accepted that distance is comfort.”


Love Knot couple
Find out if a “Love Knot” is sabotaging your marriage?

A recent PAIRS Foundation global survey found striking similarities in the behaviors that cause problems in romantic relationships.

Given seven choices of hidden expectations and assumptions, known as “Love Knots,” that often lead to unhappiness, distance, and marital distress, more than a third (35 percent) of 995 adult respondents choose:

“When I tell you how I feel, you interrupt, disagree, give advice, or dismiss my feelings. That’s not what I want. I distance myself from you.”

PAIRS Foundation Outreach Director Moeed Ishrat said the nonprofit marriage and relationships skills training organization was surprised to see how similar responses were from people across the globe.

“Despite differences in geography, nationality, culture, and religion, there are many similarities in what couples want from each other,” Ishrat said.

Many respondents included comments about how their partner’s actions impact their relationship:

  • “I end up frustrated for sharing my feelings and being totally naked emotionally.”
  • “We have similar feelings but are terrified to open up to each other. Instead, we do things to make each other jealous.”
  • “I’ve accepted that distance is comfort – I cannot share with her.”
  • “He wants to help, but all I want is for him to listen.”
  • “No matter how many words are spoken, none are truly heard.”
  • “She is immature and selfish towards my feelings.”
  • “I can’t ever win with anyone, not even my wife.”
  • “He doesn’t care about me. He doesn’t want to make the effort to make me happy. He just cannot feel me.”
  • “I’m the one who is wrong. All the time.”
  • “She should listen to me with her heart and try to understand me.”
  • “My boyfriend doesn’t love me as his girlfriend, but only as his property.”
  • “He thinks I love him so much that’s why he takes me for granted.”
  • “She is always irritated when I share my feelings. She never apologizes. She doesn’t care about me.”
  • “He knows all and that leaves me the stupid one.”
  • “I’m always wrong. I’m no good. He thinks I don’t trust him.”
  • “If you dismiss my feeling, then you don’t care about me.”
  • “Only few guys really knows how to listen when girls open up their feelings to them.”
  • “Other people don’t care about what I feel. I don’t have anyone to talk to.”
  • “Since he’s a professional adviser, we’re not partners. He’s always the master and I’m always the student.”
  • “When I try to explain how I feel, he gets angry at me instead of just listening.”
  • “I feel neglected, hurt and abandoned.”
  • “I have no right to feel.”


Is a Love Knot Sabotaging Your Relationship or Happiness?

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