When I got married, my father gave me some sage pieces of advice
Love one another
Live for one another
Never go to bed angry
At 21 these seemed fairly easy, but after 7 years of trying – even with Dad’s sage advice, my marriage ended. It was a friendly parting done in love and we stayed friends, but we just couldn’t salvage that love into a marriage – no matter how hard we tried. And looking back, I see we were doomed from the start. There were too many things working against us – many of which are likely working against you too.
We did love one another. We lived for one another too. And we never went to bed angry – but we couldn’t really resolve some major issues either. It became a huge problem, having the same argument over and over again and nothing ever changing.
Over the last 20 years, I’ve made a study of people and relationships and I’ve learned some things about having a healthy relationship that my 21-year-old self didn’t know. These are some of the issues that I work with my clients on. Over this series of articles, I’m going to go into the biggest issues that affect my clients in their search for a healthy relationship. You’ll learn the most significant challenges we face in relationships and how to overcome them. Let’s look at the first one now:
First there is the issue of how we have been culturally conditioned. Every movie, book, cartoon, etc. has trained us that to be in relationship, we need to give our power over to our partner and ask for theirs in return. This is a HUGE mistake. There is rarely a reason to hand over your power to someone else. The minute you do it, you feel the loss of it. Initially the Oxytocin chemicals override your spirit’s warning bells, but eventually the inevitable happens: you feel like the other person has something you need and they aren’t giving it to you. This makes you clingy and needy. After all, how can you possibly be standing in your power and being solid in your being if you don’t have your power? It also results in power struggles. And no one wins in a relationship power struggle because if someone wins, the relationship loses.
A Balanced Relationship Is a Healthy Relationship
Instead, you should each hold your own power. This means that you retain the responsibility to take care of your own needs, provide nurturing and care for yourself, and build your life around your own goals. If your partner does something nice for you or takes care of you in some way, this should be a bonus – not a requirement.
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