You were attracted to each other. Was it because your partner reminded you of a parent? Because he/she is the total opposite to you? It doesn’t matter what it is. What does matter is that you accept the similarities, which is easy, but more importantly that you accept your differences. Everybody is unique and you fell for the unique combination of traits and characteristic of the other.
You totally loved that at the start of your relationship, but after a while the endearing clumsiness becomes highly irritating. The fact she always wants to have the first bite of your dessert, because: ‘I never eat full desserts’ is annoying. And that he can never bother to hang his towel up after a shower, turns into a repeating nuisance. Relationship issues pop up almost by surprise.
It’s all about being different. And as it can be irritating, it is also a great source of opening your mind to new perspectives. As my friend says to his partner: ‘It must be so interesting to be you. I don’t understand half of it, but find it fascinating.’
It’s great to learn from each other and enjoy each other’s difference.
Three important truths to avoid relationshipissues
You don’t have the power to change the other person – nor should you be asked to change. Sometimes it makes sense to discuss behaviour and suggest a behavioural change. But that is as far as it gets. The example of the towel is about behaviour. If he respects you and your request, he will change his behaviour. But it won’t change the fact that he couldn’t care less if there was a towel on the floor or not.
It is not fair to ask your partner to give up something they love – nor should you give something important up. Just to please your partner. My partner loves to go to a cricket test match with some mates; he leaves early and is usually home late after a wonderful time. He left me! For a day! To do something he really enjoys. Is it fair to ask him not to do it, just because I can’t join in? Of course not. In a balanced relationship there is space for both to pursue their personal interests. I love to go to the cinema with some girlfriends to watch a soppy movie and have cocktails afterwards. Allow each other space for your individual thingy.
You can learn from each other. It is very interesting to know more about stuff that is alien to you. It broadens your mind and offers new experiences. Like the girl who went to gigs with her partner. Not because she was interested in the music, but interested in what music scene he was interested in….
In celebrating and honouring your differences, you create the space for you both to be the person you really are. The person you loved when you met in the first place.
Sometimes it seems that so many ‘bad things’ have happened in the relationship that it looks like there is no way back to the good times. If you are not sure, but want to have a chat about it, you can book a FREE confidential Clarity Call with me. You have nothing to lose.