Being in a relationship has an upside as well as a downside. On one hand there is the butterfly effect – the increased heartbeat, emotional overload, great sex (usually) and the desire to communicate. Then as you transcend to a couple and become more familiar with each other, there is the tendency to fall into complacency. What used to turn you on, becomes a focus of fault finding, personal habits become annoying, and the ‘unconditional love’ felt so strongly at the beginning of the relationship begins to wane. Although it is true to say, that there are those who willingly compromise and choose not to make a big issue over little things that can aggravate from time to time.
It is helpful when feeling somewhat irrational over what the other partner does or does not do in your relationship, to stop and ask yourself “What is going with me right here, right now?”
Behaving in a totally functional way in a romantic relationship is not easy. I would suggest that in every moment if you check in with your thoughts and inner dialogue. It is possible, if you are determined to be open and lower your resistance to whatever the issue is, you may see that through owning your own feelings you can handle things differently. Pointing fingers is never helpful. I am not saying that it is easy though.
I have a friend (let’s call her Amanda), who relates with her partner in the most amazing way I have ever seen. Every time she feels pissed or upset, she writes her anger out. She never verbally attacks him in response to something he does, she simply finds some space, and writes and writes and writes, until she has got it all out and feels better. I joke that I wouldn’t mind seeing what she has written from time to time, profanities and all. Then she burns it – pages and pages.
The reason Amanda does this is because she believes, her anger and her feelings of not being heard, misunderstood or whatever the case may be, is hers. She very clearly sees this as her own stuff. She deserves a medal in my book. She has explained that when her partner (in her view) is being insensitive, selfish or belligerent, and she feels her angst begin to rise, she recognises that angst as being hers. So she chooses to deal it with it in a way that does not involve, reacting verbally, complaining, manipulating or attacking her partner. This is a completely new paradigm when it comes to relating.
I confess I watch in awe as she handles herself, and also watch it work! Amanda’s partner was so used to being in relationships where he had to dance to another’s tune. Now, he as a person has changed because of the dynamics of this relationship with Amanda. One example is, although Amanda never nagged or complained, he no longer drinks as much as he used. This has occurred in increments of his own volition. Yes, it was her desire that he not be such a heavy drinker, however through her own example of not drinking, complaining or making him ‘wrong’, he has cut back more and more.
It is amazing what one can achieve in a relationship when there is honesty, and this is with oneself as much as with a partner. What we need to understand as individuals, is that when we feel a pull of againstness, for whatever reason about another, we need to check in with ourselves and ask the question “What is going on here, what are my feelings about?” then it is likely you will come up with responses and answers from within that guide you to becoming a better person within your relationship and yourself. After all it is never about another…how can it be? What is theirs is theirs and what is your stuff, is yours.
There is a great little eBook that has been written called “How To Be Single Again”. It can be downloaded from Amazon and is available in Kindle. This book is a significant tool as far as relationships go, in that it is filled with great examples of how to become more of who you are without expecting someone else to do it for you. There are some interesting case studies to help you see how repeated behaviour patterns are carried from one relationship to another and how to go about changing them. Grab a copy and enjoy the shift in your awareness.