Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Relationships... the eternal challenge!

People have problems every day; at work, home and even socially and when you peel away the layers it all boils down to relationships. Many people are unable to negotiate relationships. We would like to think that love is enough to make a relationship survive but it takes more than that for it to be healthy. When the heady feeling of love and lust has ended the hard work begins to keep the relationship strong. The first thing you should know is that all your relationships are about you. If the relationship doesn't feed you on every level there will always be a gap in your life. What are the biggest triggers for relationships you ask? Here are ten examples that I see on a regular basis in personal relationships:

1. The people in the relationship think as individuals.
If you are not dreaming a common future and do not have the same dreams and goals nothing will save the relationship as you want different things. Therefore if there are too many “I’s” and not enough “We’s” it is probably best to let it go.

2. Fear of asking for what you need.
Most people know in their gut that the relationship is not what it is supposed to be. Not only do they ignore all the signs they are too afraid to speak up and ask for what they need from the other person. This fear is often driven by a feeling that should they ask for what they need the relationship would most likely dissolve. The strange thing is that if they eventually gather up the courage and ask, the result if usually favourable.

3. Not asking the hard questions.
It is amazing how many of us figure out too late that the other person doesn't share our values i.e. want to get married, or have kids, or how they feel about looking after aging parents or even how to blend two families, raising children . When these issues arise, and they will, it can cause an eruption in the relationship. Granted, some relationships survive the bump in the road but depending on the importance of the matter some don’t.

4. Think they can change the other person.
The fact is people change all the time however we are not talking about those changes. We are talking about traits that you don’t like in your partner right from the beginning. Thinking that you can change the person into your vision of what and ideal partner should be is a recipe for disaster. Love is warts and all, if you can’t deal with the character trait… move on.

5. The relationship is out of balance.
The relationship is out of balance when one of the people in the relationship gives far too much and the other takes without giving much in return. Two things happen in this situation. Firstly the person giving starts to feel resentful and used. The other feels guilty for accepting and frequently manipulated and emotionally blackmailed.  

6. Lack of mutual respect.
This is where one partner feels spoken down to and the other is always in control. It is a slippery slope where eventually one of the partners feels like nothing they do is ever right. Sometimes this is a mirror for the other person to see that there are control issues at work but mostly it results in one person feeling minimized. If this lack of respect is left unchecked it can spiral down into mental abuse.

7. Interests in and outside the relationship.
It is important to have shared interests however it is equally important to have interests outside the relationship in order for each person to retain their own sense of identity.

8. Not being present.
When you are together you need to be present in the moment. When one partner is distracted and not engaged with the other or the relationship it will eventually end.

9. Neediness.
Although some people actively seek out people who are needy, I call it the “Knight in Shining Armour Syndrome,” the game quickly wears thin. In the end the Knight will tire of all the saving and when that happens, the other person will end up feeling abandoned. It seldom ends well.

10. Jealousy.
Jealousy is a death knell to most relationships. The jealous person is suffering from low self-esteem and has much work to do to heal while the other person is often victimized within the relationship, blamed for things he or she has not done and left feeling anxious and fearful. There is a good possibility that jealousy will spiral downward into physical abuse.

Don’t worry… normally we don’t have to deal with all of these in every relationship and some of them never present. The key to dealing with all of the above is communication! It is essential to face your fear and speak your truth from a neutral position and take responsibility for your part in the relationship.

Love & Light