The other day a good friend of mine asked me why relationships between couples suffer so much and why among a lot of our friends (I am sure you know some as well) are suffering from divorce or are about to get separated.
Now, I am no expert in relationships or have a certificate on some sort of psychology, but I am married the second time, had a “not so easy” divorce and got two children. Plus, I am what you would call a “Do-Hower”, a maker, a innovator, someone that does things and not only talks about it, well I guess you got the idea.
That said, I personally think that a lot of people got the relationship, or better said the meaning of it, wrong. I know at least a handful of woman (and man) that think of a partnership as something that impels spending each minute together or think they have to give in to many compromises to appease the partner.
Well then, why do some many partnerships break up if that is true? Do you need some proof?
There are (again) a couple of people (and maybe you know some as well) that as soon as they enter a partnership they “abandon” the time they spent with their friends. Then you start hearing friends saying “well, she/her got a new boy/girlfriend, that’s why she/he not around so much anymore…” or “…she/he is now doing that new hobby, because she/he is doing that…”. There is somehow the understanding that one has to spend each minute with the partner or “become” like she/he. But as with all things that you compensate more then needed they get boring. Partnership is no difference.
Coming back to the point, I think we have to give our partners more freedom in the sense that we have to accept our partners the way they are and not try to change them to what WE THINK they should be! Simply think about what attracted you to your partner at the very beginning when you first meet.
If people would simply accept their partners the way they are, then I am sure there wouldn’t be so many “problems” in the relationship and the endless “you don’t make me happy”. Because after all, it is not the partner who has to make you happy and feel good, it is your own duty to do so. If your partner supports you, then the better, but don’t expect your partner to entertain you. If you want to be entertained go the zoo or a concert.
There is a favorite song that starts with “Don’t go changing to try to please me…”. Just imagine what possibilities there are when your partner does not try to change you AND of course you don’t try to change your partner.
Somehow in our education we must have learned that by manipulating our surroundings we got what we wanted and from that the mindset (paradigm) of changing our surroundings set in. It is therefore no wonder that we try to apply the same “rule” when we enter into a relationship. But when we want our relationships to work, we have to stop forcing people to see the world in our way, to stop telling our spouse how to treat you and foremost to stop thinking that if the other person changes we will be happy.
To love someone, to really love someone, means to accept and respect your partner the way they are and love them for their uniqueness.