- Gender and Relationships
Why You are in a "Difficult" Relationship - and How to Turn It Around
The First Step is Always the Most Difficult
Congratulations! You've acknowledged that your life is not perfect and you are not living in a Mills & Boon Romance Novel - that took real guts!
We find it so very difficult to admit to this relationship "status" because it instantly triggers the emotional response that you are somehow a failure. You've convinced yourself that everyone else is blissfully happy and you are the only one who isn't.
Worse yet, you think its all your fault that everyone else is blissfully happy and you aren't. After all, it must be something you are doing or that you simply are bad at choosing partners. You may suddenly recall that every relationship you have ever been in has been difficult and its frustrating and agonizing to acknowledge.
Perhaps by now your parents are branding you the lifelong spinster or bachelor and drawing attention to the fact that you are not yet wed in blissful matrimony and are therefore a disappointment.
We Attract What We Need
The truth however is so simple and so freeing! The universe is always seeking equilibrium - be it in the way your body works or in temperature fluctuations, What goes up must come down and in relationships, nature is no different.
You are an optimist perhaps and your partner a pessimist - the universe achieves equilibrium through your seeming opposing views. Why? so that you can each learn from the other and grow in your view points. Perhaps your partner's pessimism teaches you a mediocum of realism and you don't give away all your money before realizing you haven't paid your bills yet; and in exchange your partner has come to see through your ever present enthusiasm and optimism that the glass IS half full on occasion and now enjoys life that much more rather than feeling guilty all the time.
The Truth vs The Fairytale
As blissful as we like to make relationships look for the romantic appeal - the truth is, relationships are challenging. Most of us barely know how we are going to look after ourselves, never mind another fully grown human being with their own baggage!
Once you accept that you are different, even opposing forces, you are more readily able to see the beauty that exists in your relationship. You are able to see how you partner's weaknesses bring out your strengths and vice versa and you are able to love and accept them for who they are - your destiny.
Making It Work - For REAL
As a BodyTalk Practitioner I find that most people's severe stress originates in their relationships - be it with their families, colleagues or partners. Usually, the problem they are experiencing with their partners is also mirrored in other areas of their lives, simply because a relationship is the perfect opportunity to see our own faults and work through our own personal challenges.
We attract a partner who mirrors back to us our personal extremes, the best of us and the worst of us. Initially we fall in love with the beautiful image projected and then slowly deconstruct the person and their "faults" because we are "exposed" to them regularly.
As an example, Theresa* came to me for BodyTalk in a time of deep personal distress, her relationship was on the rocks and she just couldn't see a way forward. Her husband was engaged in a series of extra marital activities, none of them sexual, but she was drowning in the anger, hurt, rejection and fear.
She could no longer remember who the man was that she married, she looked at him every day and felt hot, seething anger coursing through her belly. She no longer planned nice evening dinners or made the time to really listen to him as he talked about his day, she was quietly sneering at him in her mind and wondering who it was he had really been with or paid attention to that day as it certainly hadn't been her! She became paranoid and started watching his every move, simply waiting to be told they were over and her life would have to start again.
In all this time, Theresa had never sat down and told her hubby how she was feeling - they weren't able to resolve anything and come to terms with what the real issues were. He was now focused on her distant and hostile nature and she on his disrespect and betrayal. They were enemies in their own home rather than partners and allies.
In her first session, we addressed much anger in her liver and lessened the emotional attachment to those memories of his betrayal - this technique is called "Active Memory" in BodyTalk and is incredibly powerful in addressing hurtful memories, fears and phobias.
I encouraged her to spend some time writing down all the things she remembered about her husband when they first met and fell in love - his smile, sense of humour, romantic gestures etc. I asked her to not do them all in one day, but to think of two or three daily and write them down until next we met. the purpose behind this is to reconnect to those positive memories and break down the attachment to the new character she'd created in her mind of who he was.
In Theresa's second session, she was already notably less tense and angry and she was pleasantly surprised at how much less hostile she felt towards her husband. This did not mean that what he had been doing wasn't wrong, it just meant she had deconstructed the wall she had built between them so they were not able to address it. She was making an effort to actually listen to him and had also spent more time out of the house, even joining a gym to get back in shape and keep her mind on other, more constructive things.
Theresa mentioned that her husband's curiosity had been piqued by her sudden rush of joyful energy and he was paying more attention to her than ever, even texting her in the middle of the day to ask her to lunch - she was amazed!
We worked on her ability to communicate and discovered that her father had left her and her mother when she was very young - so she had a belief system that "All men cheat and leave", We released this belief system and I encouraged her to go online and look for marriage success stories and images and use them to focus on rather than the environmental "Hollywood" concept of marriages failing every other day.
By the third session, Theresa was asking me if she was meant to get over her betrayal this quickly!She and her husband were communicating better than ever. They'd sat down several times and had real conversations, meaningful, unaccusing conversations and he'd opened up and told her how he'd felt she had given up on him long before he'd gone looking for attention elsewhere. He spoke of how he had started flirting with other women because he'd felt she'd viewed him as a failure and he needed to feel wanted and encouraged again.
Their tensions at work and financial strains had driven their attention elsewhere and as a result driven a wedge between them. If only they had stopped and made time for each other first!
Several more sessions and Theresa and her husband have an incredible, revitalized relationship. They talk more than ever and truly discuss what's going on, rather than waiting for it to escalate and cause a bigger drama than necessary.
This Isn't a Movie - Relationships Take WORK!
There is very little truthful communication out there about relationships - we are all fed the fairytales and somehow fall into the rut of believing we'll meet our Prince or Princess, fall in love, and live happily ever after!
If that were true, we'd all be bored to death! Your true partner is there to challenge you to grow and explore yourself and your world.
Here are some tips on how to keep it working in the REAL WORLD:
1. Sit down and write a list of your best qualities, then a list of your partners and finally a list of your "ideal" partners - that elusive Prince Charming or Princess / Model. You'll notice that the ideal partner list is about 3 times the length of yours! Realistic? Never! You fall short of your own expectations - so will everyone else!
2. Now compare your partners good traits to your Prince / Princesses - notice how many of theirs are there but you just haven't paid attention or been grateful for them lately? Time to start a daily 'I love my husband / wife / girlfriend because..." and pay mindful attention to what they do RIGHT
3. Dump the old stuff. You can't possibly move forward with your partner if you are still holding grudges from 1986! You aren't the same person you were then and neither are they - so they screwed up, who doesn't? let it go! Don't know how? Get in contact with your local BodyTalk practitioner and release that painful memory and all its associated anguish for once and for all!
It also helps to write it all down and then burn it, but isn't nearly as effective!
4. Talk, Yes, really that's the secret! Plan a day or an evening to sit down and have a real chat - even if its not about anything important. Spend some time before your talk date and visualise them as your original hero., loving, kind, warm - whatever it was that made you want them as your partner! Now speak to them as if they are that prince / princess. There is no room for accusation or judgement now - just love.
5. Laugh together as often as possible! whether you need to go and watch a comedy or visit a loopy friend, laughter is amazing medicine and will help lift you up out of that heavy space. There is no need to go back there.
6. Do for your partner what you'd like them to do for you. If you want love, give it! If you want romance, give it! Perhaps your partner just doesn't know how to be romantic, don't punish them, teach them. It can be an amazing way to grow together.
7. Keep working on you. Realise that when you are stressed and angry or sad you are probably taking it out in your partner without even realizing it. Keep those stress levels in check with regular therapy or BodyTalk sessions, your partner will follow your example if they see its working for you and will appreciate the new happy space they get to live in and the Prince / Princess they get to share it with.