Saturday, 1 August 2015

Learning To Bend But Not Break Within A Relationship

We are taught that true loves means that you love the person and respect the differences.  If you truly love them, you love them as a whole and would not want them to change.  If you want them to change it means that you aren't really in love with them and the change will build resentment and cause a rift that will eventually tear apart the relationship.

But my problem with that is this.  Our partners are not our clones; so there are going to be differences.  For the most part we can accept these.  But what happens when one of those differences causes us pain and distress?  Do we just shut up about it and slowly feel our soul become stifled?  Surely, we should assert our own needs?

We develop habits as we go through life. These habits may serve us and even work within some relationships. What happens if a habit cannot be tolerated by a new partner or similar? Do we say "stuff you, this is me, like it or lump it" or do we, out of respect for the other, modify our habits enough to keep them happy without feeling we were forced and therefore creating resentment.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle

Our daily lives are often a series of habits played out through the day, a trammeled existence fettered by the slow accretion of our previous actions. But habits can be broken or modified, as difficult as that may seem sometimes. Is the other person important enough to you that you are prepared to make some changes in order to keep them? Some habitual behaviour may serve you when you are single for example, but would not be appropiate within a relationship.

We are all unique. if we are looking to find someone who is exactly like ourselves we would have a long and fruitless wait. Even if we did find that person the chances are that the relationship would become very dull indeed. Differences are good. Celebrate them as long as they do not cause distress.

Our partners, the people we value most, will bring out aspects of our personality otherwise overlooked. Ideally, our relationships make us better people because they encourage us to be more than what we would be alone. In this sense, there’s nothing wrong with taking on some of your lover’s interests, or quirks, or patterns of thought. There’s also nothing wrong with evolving your outlook and behaviour to match a new stage in your life. It’s fine and acceptable that someone may change slightly after making a significant commitment to a relationship.

There is something very wrong when the changes are more than slight. For it would be very wrong if a chameleon stopped changing colours so it might better match all the other changeless creatures in the animal kingdom. Thus it would be very wrong if a person stopped being who they really were to better match someone else. It would be worse still if they never sought to be themselves in the first place.

Having a well developed sense of identity is vital to relationship success. Without it, the chance of waking up one morning feeling totally lost and confused and isolated is greatly increased. And, if you’re not already lost before you begin your love affair, there’s a good chance you may be consumed by it. This is dangerous and unhealthy. Yes, you’re creating a partnership, but effective partnerships ideally require two independent, effective people.

Love? What is it anyway? Some may claim that when you are truly in love then that love does not to be expressed. The knowledge that you are loved should be all encompassing and not require expression.

So about expressing love....

Love should be expressed in every way possible, through words, music, gifts, action, whatever you feel like and maybe more importanly what the object of your love needs.

The problem with the present communication system is that we talk a lot but express a little. The concept of expression has taken a back seat and the concept of social media quickies is in full speed drive. If you do not specifically let someone know that how much you love them, it might take a little time to reach them through other sources and that little time might cost you a lot.

If you do not make someone feel loved, what is the use of loving. Feeling loved is one of the best feelings in the world. We all live for that surely? There is no use of hiding your feeling and thinking that some cupid is going to do it for you or that the other person knows you love them so why bother expressing it. You should tell who so ever it is, how much you love them and how important they are in your life. Maybe not always out loud, maybe not always with words at all.

Circumstances might dictate how you express your feelings too. If you are apart from your loved then that is one of the the most important times of all to make sure they know how you feel. The object of your love may not need to have your love expressed constantly when you are together, but time and distance can bring issues of insecurity and fear to the fore.

No one is perfect. No one will ever be perfect and that is why happy couples don’t look for perfection in their partner. They are considerate, patient, communicate and learn to deal with their partner’s weakness and strengthen them with love.

Understanding your partner’s boundaries is the first step to respecting them. It can be difficult to make the choice to respect your partner’s boundaries when their boundaries don’t match up with whatever it is that you want, but that doesn’t make respecting their boundaries any less important.

If you want to respect your partner, then you have to be able to see yourselves as a true team together. You should think like a team in your mutual decisions and always think of your partner when you make individual decisions. You should think about you both striving toward goals that make both of you stronger instead of feeling like you have opposing needs and wants. If you truly look at yourselves as a unit, then you’ll be able to give your partner the respect that they deserve.

If you don’t agree with your partner, discuss the situation respectfully. You can’t always be on the same page as your partner, and that’s perfectly fine. However, when differences do arise, it’s important that you discuss them respectfully. As you move forward in your relationship, you will find that there are some ways in which you and your partner are fundamentally different. Though you can change a bit to suit each other, you can’t change completely, and you have to learn to accept and appreciate your differences if you want to truly respect your partner.

The golden rule in relationships is – ‘You get what you put in’. I believe a couple is supposed to practice this before even thinking of changing one another’s habits. If one finds that their partner has some annoying habits, let them get rid of their own annoying habits first and from that change, a partner can also notice what they can change too. It creates a war when one notices the others annoying habits and wants to change them when they also have their own annoying habits that they haven’t done away with.

With true love, a couple can afford to overlook certain things that they know could easily start-off the 3rd World War in their relationship. I am not suggesting you overlook something then bring it up later when having a heated argument but to overlook it and have the discipline and self-control not to bring it up again.

Arguing shouldn’t always be seen as a negative element of your relationship. In fact, compared to a couple that never argue, it could be that your relationship is actually in better standing.

Why? Because arguing is indicative of two people who each have their own views and opinions, and are willing to share them. Arguments can mean that there is communication, and a desire to share the issues that are important to the people in the relationship.

In a relationship where there is barely a heated conversation, it could be that one or both parties don’t feel safe enough to express themselves. They doubt whether they can be honest about their feelings and be heard, respected, and still loved.

A lack of argument can also signal a lack of commitment. If you just don’t care about the longevity of your relationship with someone, you might just keep your head down and ignore anything that comes up because, ultimately, it won’t matter in the end.

There will be those who disagree with what I have put here. Maybe some would call me a hipocrite. We can all change, we can all learn. Life is not stationary, we must learn to adapt.

1 comment:

Patricia Singleton said...

Well said, Jan. My husband and I have our 43rd Anniversary coming in later this month. Our love is as strong as it has ever been because we talk out our differences and sometimes we agree to disagree. Either of us is perfect, we are both strong-willed. Neither tries to change the other. The only person I can change is me. We continue to grow as a couple and individually.


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