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Do you ever wonder why relationship has to be so hard? Do you find yourself in small rifts with your partner daily or big, blowout arguments sometimes? You're not alone. One of the most common difficulties in relationship can be recurring struggles.
Many of these difficulties can come from our many differences as individuals. Every person is unique. Everyone lives in their own private universe. Each has different thoughts, feelings, behaviors, desires, beliefs, experiences, and perceptions. Our defeats and accomplishments, strengths and weaknesses, interests and passions, personalities and temperaments all vary. So why are we surprised or dismayed when there is conflict? Conflict is a natural part of life; what is unnatural is our response to it.
Many times our response to conflict is to try to change our partner to fit our own rhythm, viewpoints, and set of values. Is it possible that it is this pressure (and not our differences) that creates the conflict? Perhaps if we tried to explore, understand, and honor our partner's differences as faithfully as we try to alter their behavior and habits, there would be very little conflict. What would happen if we sought to support our partner and encourage them to grow and reach their full potential as much as we obsessed and complained about their faults? What if we focused on the positive and highlighted all the good and kind things they do instead of nagging—subtly or overtly—about their idiosyncrasies that annoy us?
Let's face it, it's impossible to change anyone but ourselves. One of our most important jobs in relationship is to build a bridge between two very different universes so that love can flow and expand every day. Below are some questions to ask yourself when you find your relationship hard. Asking yourself these or similar questions will help you remember what is really important to you. By taking a minute to reassess and shift your emotions, you will understand your partner better and gain more appreciation for their differences.
- When you hear yourself saying, "Why can't she/he ...," stop and ask yourself what it is you want. Chances are that what you want (maybe a tidier or more motivated partner or a bigger bank account) is not nearly as important as the relationship you cherish.
- When you begin to argue, ask yourself, "Do I want to be right or do I want to be close?"
- When you get frustrated because your partner doesn't do what was expected, ask yourself, "Did we really have an agreement, or did I pressure them to go along?"
- When you feel misunderstood and start doubting how much your partner really cares about you, ask yourself, "How true is this? Are there other ways they show me they care?" Find these caring ways and keep them securely in the foreground of your mind.
- When you're angry because your partner seems more plugged into the TV or their ipad than being with you, ask yourself, "Have I been ignoring him/her lately?" And decide that's it time to carve out some special time together.
Every moment is a choice to love. Love doesn't just happen. So next time your relationship seems harder than it's worth, dig deep, then identify and recall what's really important to you. Seek to understand rather than change the person you love. Honor their differences and find the gifts their unique qualities have come to teach you. Then relationships blossom, and every conflict becomes just one more opportunity for understanding and closeness.
Jennifer Williams' passion lies in helping parents and couples create loving and harmonious homes and communities where everyone can thrive. Jennifer's life mission is to give children and families the support and skills they need to flourish and to help build a society in which all children are loved unconditionally.
She is the founder of the Heartmanity Center and is a highly sought-after relationship expert and behavioral consultant with a proven road map to heal relationships from the inside out. Yet, Jennifer still prides herself most in being the mother of 3 grown children and in a happy marriage of 32 years. To learn how to quickly shift your life and relationships, visit www.Heartmanity.com.
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The class has helped me to be more aware and conscious about my children and their behavior. Parenting can feel like walking through fog, not knowing why things turn out the way they do, and not knowing how to influence things.
Your class is a great tool to lift the fog so we, as parents, can see the treasures (children) and help polish them versus scratching and breaking them.
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