“Your partner’s flaws are your own, because you’re projecting them.” – Byron Katie
Being in a romantic relationship with someone is easy. Keeping the relationship fulfilling, happy and alive is a process that also requires an ongoing inside job.
Let’s be honest with this one. We often tend to either blame the other for making us feel in certain ways (sad, angry, frustrated, unloved etc.). Or get into a defense mode during sensitive conversations and shut down for communication by applying others “the silent treatment.”
What we are not aware of is that, whenever we accuse somebody else of the way we feel, act and think, we sound like a victim. We give our power away.
Here are some good, supporting questions I have learned to ask myself whenever it feels like things don’t go in the right direction in my relationship:
– How did I contribute to this situation?
– What do I need to let go of?
– Where could I be more forgiving and understanding?
– How does this situation serve me?
– How do I want my love life to be like?
– How do I want to feel in this relationship?
– What can I do to get there?
– What would I do differently next time?
If I get angry, I know it is wiser to wait until my husband and I get calmer before having a sensitive conversation. When we are calm, it is easier to take a step back and listen to what the other person has to say.
Another good instrument I make use of is showing genuine curiosity. Ask questions and find the real reasons and concerns behind my partner’s actions. What was his intention? Most conflicts between people arise because of the fact that we judge our actions based on our intentions (like “Sorry for that, I didn’t want to upset you!”) and judge other people based on their actions, without knowing their true intentions.
The key? Instead of blaming the other person, take responsibility for our actions and start with ourselves.
Also love ourselves enough, so that we can love another. We can’t pour love, care and attention from an empty cup. That’s not about blaming or judging ourselves; it’s all about taking an honest look at what actually happened. It is an exercise for us to grow in kindness, wisdom, and compassion.
Sara Fabian is a Women’s Empowerment & Career Coach and inspirational speaker, on a mission to help professional women to discover their unique strengths, gifts and talents, boost their confidence, find their calling and live a meaningful life of purpose. For weekly inspiration, subscribe to her free newsletter at www.sarafabiancoaching.com or follow her on Facebook.