People often dream about the day when they will meet their perfect person, fall in #Love and live happily ever after.
For most people, we honestly believe that our feelings of loneliness and unworthiness are caused by the absence of that person and think that when we do meet them, all of our relationship problems will be solved. We're not wrong to think this; media, music, and movies have been trying to convince us of this since we were children. For those of us who have been in Love, the rush of it is so incredible--of course we would want to find a way to have that forever and of course we would hope that it is as simple as finding the right person.
We are not wrong to think this or to hope for this, but we are incorrect, and until this idea is corrected, we will be lost.
For those who have been around the block a few times, you have probably realized that it's not that easy. For some of us, this may have led to despair. Others perhaps were led to a deeper commitment to find out, "How do I find happiness in a relationship?"
Anyone can get caught up in the rush of new Love, and it is exciting. If you're like me though, you've found that the "new love" inevitably wears off, and if it doesn't become something deeper, it wanes and disappears.
There are many tools and strategies that, when put into consistent practice, have the power to transform a relationship. To be successful with any of them you must practice them and do so consistently. The great news is you don't have to practice them perfectly. If you find yourself in a relationship that is waning, or seems to have become distant and disagreeable even after many years together--this is the one insight that I've found that is able to save any relationship.
We must always seek to GIVE to our partner rather than try to GET from them.
People attempt to get Love, validation, worth, and value from a relationship, but this is the wrong approach. No relationship can be successful in this context. Many people enter in to relationships thinking that this person, this relationship, is going to make me happy. This is incorrect. Your happiness is not their responsibility--it's yours. And here is the catch...
Their happiness is also your responsibility.
A successful relationship is built on the premise of two people coming together both willing to be responsible for their own happiness and the happiness of the other person. This means that if I am upset, angry, sad, frustrated, etc., I need to actively seek a way to overcome this. I need to find a way to get past this, not only for my own happiness, but because it's important that I am at my best for my partner.
Now, as I said earlier, this doesn't have to be practiced perfectly--I'm not saying that you're never allowed to have a bad day. What I am saying is that you shouldn't allow yourself to stew in it. You should recognize that your not being at your best impacts your partner and impacts your life together.
Don't make it their job to fix you.
You may share with them vulnerably, let them know what's going on for you and how you're feeling, you may request their support, or ask them to talk--but all of this is done with the intention of overcoming the challenge your facing. Ultimately, you succeeding in your own happiness will lead to the success of your happiness together.
When your partner is not at their best, make their happiness your responsibility.
This is not suggested as a burden or as an obligation, but as an opportunity to be there for the relationship where it really matters. I am also not suggesting that you be a martyr or a victim to the situation. You should never compromise your happiness or dignity to serve your partner, but it is possible to allow yourself to find happiness and dignity in the service of the other. Developing your own character to such a degree is exactly what will lead you to a successful partnership.
A relationship in which both partners are constantly looking for how they can add to the relationship, how they can bring themselves forward in a greater capacity, and how they can better serve their partner and the relationship is sure to succeed. This insight truly encompasses all that is required to have a relationship succeed, for this is what gives birth to all other relationship principles.
Do your best to always be at your best.
When you are not, let your partner know what's going on. Let them support you, and be committed to overcoming the challenge and moving on. Most importantly:
When they are not at their best, be there for them.
Let them know that you are there and Love them in the way that most speaks to their heart.
Our relationships can be a refuge from the world, the place we go to for safety, nurturing, growth, and healing. It is up to each of us to have them be so.
It is up to you.
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