Note: This article is for couples who have experienced love and compatibility but are having current challenges. This article is not for people who are in a relationship with someone who is abusive or unable to be present due to addiction. Abuse and addiction situations require other kinds of counseling.
Couples with the compatibility and love needed for longevity will find themselves in uncomfortable quagmires at different times. This is due to the complexity of being human. When you look at the combination of factors included in a human (background, emotional temperament, unique characteristics, drives and yearnings, goals, genetic factors, view point, soul calling, karmic lessons) there is a lot going on. Put two people together and you have a rich design that is sometimes a puzzle. For this reason, couples may feel challenged within a very good relationship at times. No relationship is a custom-made combination of 100% fitting characteristics. The beauty of a relationship is that our harmonious sharings give us great warmth while our areas of difference can give rise to deeper compassion and love. A relationship that is challenged is an opportunity for clarifying intentions, learning new ways of harmonizing, and growing in compassion.
In today’s world, people are apt to give up on a good relationship because narcissism is at play. Opportunities for deeper growth, bonding and love can be missed when someone can only see the value of his or her own needs.
Therapy is a good way to find deeper union in the face of challenge. Therapy can teach you to listen more deeply to the expressions and yearnings of self and other. In this openness, emerging solutions to chronic problems may come about in surprising ways. Where once two people felt unsupported, depth of care may be found.
Relationship is a path of learning, compromise and gratitude. Couples who make gratitude more important than dissatisfaction are better at sustaining love and care when differences cause temporary disturbance. Couples who share a clear, positive intention for their relationship’s evolution are likely to return to happiness and harmony. Those who invest in making one another the “sick, bad, or wrong” one may not be any happier in the next relationship.
Gratitude and intention can be hard to remember when our equilibrium is being threatened. Good counseling is a way to receive support from a non-judgmental party who can help both members of the couple to expand into new viewpoints. When one sees differently, it becomes easier to support the health of both involved.
Remember there are always two sides to each situation. When we step outside of an attachment to making one view point better than another, we see that both our partner and ourself carry valid needs and experiences. From this deeper listening we can find the way back to peace.
Often our lack of peace is the result of old hurts (our own, our collective society’s, or our ancestors’ which we may inherit genetically). When a skilled therapist assists us with transforming these hurts over time, we approach our relationship differently. Where once we felt trapped and stuck, now we might flow creatively.
To begin healing immediately take some time to reflect upon what you are thankful to your partner about. Let him or her know. Clarify to yourself, what you are seeking with your partner in most simple terms. For example, I desire and intend to return to a state of ease and mutual acceptance with my partner.
Look honestly to see if you might be carrying old hurts around with you. Might these hurts be affecting your ability to respond to a current situation with workability? Are you able to practice what you are looking for in the relationship yourself, or is undigested pain in the way? If yes, are you willing to get help for your side of the problem? Couples who each attend individual counseling as well as couples’ counseling tend to do better with altering conflict.
Ask yourself if you would be willing to release a view point or habitual emotional habit that is impeding your own goal for the relationship. Share all of the suggestions listed with your partner after you try them out yourself. Share the affects you experience from trying out these methods also. Invite your partner along for the rewarding journey. Find out if she or he is also ready and willing to do his or her work so that both of you may benefit.
While it is true that some people simply are not compatible, many give up before their greatest potential is reached. I invite you to look deeply into yourself with the help of an experienced counselor before leaving a relationship. Whether you stay or go, you are being given an opportunity to learn something precious which can stay with you forever. Once you find what you are looking for, you may also find that your mate is ideal for you after all! I have seen this happen many times, both while sitting in the counselor’s chair, and in the opportunities of my own life.
© Copyright 2011 by Laurie Moore. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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