Healthy Marriage and Relationships

Mar 8, 2019 by

Healthy Marriage and Relationships

Some people have an idealized version of relational love in their minds.  Even if they come from a home where there is conflict and strife between their parents, people still look for that special love; that once in a lifetime love that pierces the heart.  They see that other people don’t have that kind of all-encompassing, magical love and that other people struggle, yet, still, that ideal is alive and well in our minds.  In one way, this is a good thing because we are working toward something positive, but there are also drawbacks.

When we hold our partner responsible for our physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs, we become increasingly dependent upon them.  We hold them up on a pedestal of expectations that they cannot meet and then feel frustrated and resentful toward them because we are not happy.  We blame them for our dissatisfaction and frustration.  If they can’t meet all of our needs, it is hurtful and we come up with all kinds of stories to explain why they are a bad person and partner.

Many people are not in physical proximity to their families and they may be without close friends or confidants.  We are isolated, as a society.  Many Americans lack a sense of community.  This makes us even more dependent on our partner.

This dependency can cause our partners to become emotional triggers.  We react more intensely to little things they do and we find confirmation for our negative views and assumptions of them.  When we are emotional, our thoughts are distorted and we come up with all sorts of hurtful reasons for our partner’s behavior.

Love is a complex term with many meanings.  To me, to put it simply, love is a deep connection to another person.  The connection is established with time, shared goals and experiences, a strong commitment to your partner, putting some effort into accepting them, and allowing them to have space to grow.  People can feel smothered, even trapped, in relationships because they are using a lot of their energy and headspace to manage negative emotions and attitudes, rather than moving the relationship toward more intimacy, attunement, and value.

Here are five things you can do or not do which will have an immediate and drastic positive effect upon your life.

  1.  Try not to make assumptions, they are almost always negative and untrue.
  2. Try to listen to your partner with a new awareness that you are interested in what they have to say, and with the intent of validating them.  Do not let intrusive thoughts or physical reactions cause you to interrupt your partner.  If you can’t communicate well, how will you understand each other?
  3. Observe the thoughts that flood your mind when you are feeling intense emotions.  Or, observe the intense emotions that arise when you are caught in a negative thought loop.
  4. You deserve to feel good and to have your needs met, but don’t depend solely on your partner for this.  Reach out to others and allow yourself to be vulnerable.  There’s no shame in that.  It actually binds people through openness and compassion.
  5. Remember, most people are doing the best they can. Compassion and empathy go a long way toward connecting to your partner.



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