Our intimate relationships provide a space for some of our greatest joys. With joy, though, there is also the opportunity for challenges and pain. Here's a heads up on framing these challenges so you can manage them.
It's confusing: We all have experiences that form our perspectives and beliefs about ourselves and the world. Our partners will often challenge these perspectives and beliefs because of their own experiences. There is usually a gap we have to bridge as we are sifting through the new information we receive from our partner. This gap can be confusing as we are making sense of it. Our perspective plus our partner's perspective creates new perspectives and beliefs.
You Will Be Uncomfortable: We all want the growth and expansion that comes from bonding with another, but growth requires stretching beyond our comfort zones. We need to be willing to sit through the aches and pains while our relationship muscles are becoming more flexible.
You Won't Know Who To Trust: Your partner may have a different belief or perspective that confronts/contradicts your own. Because we love and respect our partner, it is easy to begin to question how we are seeing things! Questioning how we are seeing things regularly can lead to an erosion of trust in ourself. You may begin to wonder if your beliefs about everything need to be altered. It's destabilizing but you can trust yourself to be open minded to a different point of view. You can trust yourself to allow the process of questioning.
It's not about longevity: Not every relationship is meant to be forever. To believe this does not mean we don’t want a long and satisfying relationship. Instead, holding this perspective allows us to balance our own needs alongside our partner’s needs and understand which negotiations need to take place in order to make the relationship work. Allowing yourself to imagine the contrast of not being with your partner, you will get clearer information about what is needed for the relationship to last!
It Takes Time: We will share a lot with our partners about how to meet our needs and make us happy but it may take time for even the most attentive partners to remember and really “get it” when faced with new information, people often understand things intellectually or even intuitively but it takes time for that to translate into action. Assuming that our partner WANTS to make us happy is a wonderful way to not be on edge when they screw up.