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Understanding relationships and how we relate to them is important in you getting the best from yours. If there is one lesson that was instrumental and pivotal in transforming my own marriage it is this – ‘My relationship is not me, and I am not my relationship.’ Once I understood what this really meant things changed. It became so much easier to deal with the issues my husband and I needed to deal with in order to get to where we desired to be.
Is Your Relationship You or You, Your Relationship?
I know most of us think, ‘Oh, my relationship is basically me, it is who I am.’ Well maybe, but I really hope that you do not see your relationship in that manner. See your relationship as a separate entity from you. See your relationship as having the components that bring you what you aspire after. That means taking the time and effort to build these components into your relationship. If you see your relationship as you then you are likely to think those components are already there. Don’t!
When you see your relationship as different from you, then issues are seldom about either of you. Issues are more likely to be about the relationship. That way it is not always personal, it is not always a fight with your own feelings. You are not placed in a defensive mind-set where every little thing becomes a threat to how you see yourself. What it is likely to become is an issue of what you want to get from your relationship. Now you flip the script and make it a matter of what you will receive from the relationship rather than what the issue will take from you.
Knowing What You Want Will Get You Where You Want To Be
Relationships take work. They require a keen sense of what is desired from the relationship. Some of us have little or no idea of what we even want from a relationship. Even with the vaguest idea, such as “I want to be happy”, we have little clue about how to get it. Some of us will even go so far as having a cynical attitude about our relationship to protect ourselves while still expecting ‘to be happy.’
I have a girlfriend who, after some bad experiences literally refused to trust anyone of the opposite sex. Yet she kept on telling me how much she wanted a relationship. When I asked how she expects to have a long term relationship when she finds it hard to trust – her reply was “trust is overrated.” In fact, according to her, trust does nothing for her, but hurt her.
Well, long story short, she quickly came to realize that trust is not ‘overrated’, as she puts it. Trust is essential.