Whatever the apparent concerns may be, however we perceive them; most underlying conflicts come from relationships. Of these, the lion’s share (maybe we should start saying the Apple’s share) involve intimate partner relationships. Most of us have had one. Whether we realize it or not, when we connect so deeply with another, sharing feelings, trust, and safety; the vulnerability it requires wakes up the dragon. Even if we have overcome our issues in all other contexts, with family, business mates, and friends; when plunging into love and romance, the fun begins. If you think of your issues and their defenses as invasive jungle bushes, and if you believe you have removed them to their roots; when finding love you may discover deeper shoots. Because intimacy takes us to a deeper emotional level than most other relationships, when we find it we may also find that our stuff is not as finished as we thought it was. This often generates another problem because, since we believe our issues are resolved, they appear to be with all others, and our friends and family say it couldn’t be our fault; we assume that the problems in our relationship come from another person, place, or thing — often our partner.
How Love is Transformative
Just when we thought we had finally licked those pesky perturbations, like hypersensitivity to criticism, seeing ourselves as a victim, fearing abandonment, or feeling controlled; in strolls our sweet Prince Charming or Princess Soul. Since deeper love brings deeper truth, such relationships can help us heal and grow, if we let them. If we are willing and able to face this deeper truth and take responsibility for our part in it, then we can develop greater self awareness, self acceptance, and self control. Our relationship can be the catalyst for growth and change. It can help us truly overcome such issues at the deepest levels. Their defenses, often the flipside of the real issue, will accompany them when we ditch them in the dialectical dumpster. For instance, if he has a hypersensitivity to criticism (inadequacy issue), then a common defense against inadequacy is to be a know-it-all. If his relationship, through its deeper connection, helps him recognize and overcome this ego issue (hypersensitivity to criticism), then he will also rise above its core defenses (being a know-it-all, being unwilling to admit mistakes, etc.).
Helpful Hints to Improve Your Relationship
In addition to the healing benefits mentioned above, here are some things you can do to strengthen your relationship including the one you have with yourself). Since a healthy relationship incorporates the individual self care of both partners, along with the welfare of the couple as a whole; it is important that neither one is sacrificed for the other, or for the union. Can you be your authentic selves, bring the best out in each other, and love each other as you deserve to be so cherished? Give these eight ways to improve your relationship a try. Since the little things in life add up to big things, make the every day the special way to love. In this disposable world, people don’t want to do the work to reap the benefits. Relationships are hard work, require commitment, and get off track sometimes. Those who succeed in long term relationships do so by striving untiringly to love their mate rather than relying on the warm and fuzzy feelings. If you are already married, and caught in a scary downward spiral, take back your marriage and live in harmony today. This Kindle book, written by my friend and colleague Dr. Bill Doherty, will bring you answers to those questions along the way. His groundbreaking work was quoted here by The New York Times. If you want to improve the communication, intimacy, or closeness shared with your honey, here are 101 ways to do it.
How do you succeed in matters of love? What things have helped you improve your relationship? What are the ways you want to be loved? How do you like to show love to your honey? How do you deal with the differences between how you like to give love and how your sweetie wants to receive it? Please share your success experiences, loving observations, and wisdom in the Comments section below.
Photo Credit: Marc Joseph Gerland Marasigan