Everyone says love hurts, but that is not true…
“Loneliness hurts. Rejection hurts. Losing someone hurts. Envy hurts. Everyone gets these things confused with love, but in reality love is the only thing in this world that covers up all pain and makes someone feel wonderful again. Love is the only thing in this world that does not hurt.”–Meša Selimovi?
FAQ: How Can I Make My Romantic Relationship Healthier and Happier?
Answer: When a problem arises in your romance, be willing to be vulnerable enough to truly explore the issue with your partner with the “intent to learn”, instead of the “intent to protect” yourself and your interests.
Happy Relationships… (Excerpt from Page 91 Of Turning Trials Into Triumphs The Way Of The Phoenix)
As I healed and decided to engage in healthier relationships, I realized I had a lot to learn. I devoured all the information I could find on happy marriages. Then I took a careful assessment of my own and realized forcefully that I had an unhealthy marital relationship. When I ended the relationship and became single, I took the time to listen to and read a lot of material on healthy relationships and how to get over a divorce. It was very cleansing. I looked at it as a time of rebirth for me.
I thought about what characteristics I liked about myself and what I wanted to accentuate. I thought about what my major objectives were in a marriage relationship.
One of the key principles I discovered in my reading is that some women love too much by giving up their own happiness for their partner’s especially if they have been abused in the past.
Another key principle that really resonates with me is that we are attracted to the people who have some element in their lives or personalities that represents unfinished business in our lives.
We are drawn to the people who will help us resolve our unfinished issues. If the person you bond with is also invested in learning, healing and growing themselves; you are in the best possible place to work out your “stuff.” If you partner with someone who remains stuck in their patterns, you often see the dynamics you found in your home or past relationships repeating itself.
In the final analysis, a relationship is healthy, nurturing and beneficial when both partners are growing together in their individual paths. If the growing stops, or only one partner wants to progress, the relationship will sour and become unhealthy. When this happens, however painful it is, your own growth and happiness depends on your courage to continue growing by ending that relationship. This principle is as true for friendships as it is for marriages.
The best chance for you to get what you want out of your relationship is to know what you want in the first place. Then you must be willing to continually work toward your own growth while learning and exploring the other person’s needs. Ultimately, we are responsible to make sure our own needs are met and not demand that someone else meet them.
Another crucial element in a healthy relationship is your willingness to be vulnerable with each other.
Do you approach the relationship with a need to protect or a willingness to learn about your partner and their needs?
Growth and true emotional and physical intimacy only come when you drop your defenses and interact with your partner with the intent to learn. Regardless of the situation- whether it’s a conflict or exploring their needs and desires; having open, honest discussion of the other’s needs, wants, and feelings will bring bonding. Together you can more fully achieve your desires when you work together from the intent to learn.
Every relationship will have problems to overcome. Without Effective Problem Solving skills, and a willingness to take personal responsibility for your own actions– the relationship will fail. You must be willing to address the problems openly and with the intent to learn.
Establish ground rules for resolving conflict before a problem arises. In the heat of an argument rational thought can often disappear. A valuable tool for resolution is for each person to ask themselves…
“What’s my part in this problem?”
Create Ground Rules For Resolving Conflict
(Excerpt from page 95 of Turning Trials Into Triumphs)
In our family the underlying factors are “This family talks out their problems.” The relationship is more important than the argument, whatever it is, and we have the skills to work it out to a successful conclusion.”
You must be respectful in your tone of voice while telling your side of the argument. This includes the adults speaking to the children.
Each person has a chance to express their feelings, and tell their side of the story. If a person cannot get past the anger to discuss things rationally and logically, they are excused and encouraged to go do something to “get the mad out.”
No one is allowed to ridicule, or insult another person. We stick to the issue at hand and don’t dig up a lot of old history because we deal with things as they come up instead of letting them fester.
If a problem comes up we deal with it immediately. “The schedule” is dropped and an attempt is made to solve the problem then and there. If it doesn’t reach a successful conclusion immediately, we set up a time agreed upon by all members to try it again.
Finally: All need to acknowledge what their part of the problem is, however small it may be.
Application: Examples of some effective openers for conflict resolution are:
What would make this feel better?
What do you need from me to make this situation better?
What do you want from me right now?
What do you see as my part in this problem?
What can I do to heal the wound between us?
If we could work together and get to the best possible outcome for you, what would that look and feel like to you? (Get them to describe their best possible outcome.)
Will you tell me what you need and I’ll see if I can meet any of those needs.
“I’m sorry” cannot be used just to get things over with or to manipulate the other person. If it can’t be sincere, skip it. It is often appropriate even when you don’t own the problem to say, “I’m sorry that you feel that way, I still love you” or “I’m sorry this has happened, I’d like to work this out.”
We end a conflict by some form of physical bonding, a hug, a kiss, a hand massage, foot rub, or back rub. It’s critically important to re-establish the touch connection. Nothing says, “I accept you,” more effectively than appropriate touch.
The two most important words for healing wounded feelings are “I’m sorry,” but only when the tone of voice and intent is sincere.
Being willing to honestly address problems (and take responsibility for your part of the problem) while being vulnerable, paves the way for true intimacy and a healthier, happier, romance.
Remember that apologies heal and don’t hold a grudge after a conflict– let it go and start with a clean slate.
The differences between men and women is the stuff that makes you laugh (or just get frustrated).