The margin of error between success and failure in any relationship is very slim indeed.
You only have to look at how people can fall out over the slightest things in any relationship, to see how true this is. Qualities such as reflective listening, paying full attention to your partner’s concerns, having a regular check-in with your partner, and, more than anything, respecting them are critical to the success of any relationship.
But then again, so is working on your own issues, so that you’re not triggered by the things which your partner does or says to you.
You have to understand, that in any relationship, a considerable amount of personal work is necessary for a couple to be happy together. No relationship is going to work if the couple don’t do personal development work, to overcome their baggage from the past.
It’s an expression we use quite often – “baggage”. What in fact does it mean? Well, to start with, each and every one of us is wounded – emotionally wounded, that is – by the experiences that we have as we grow up.
No matter how good or how well-meaning a parent is, such wounds are inevitable.
Video – heal your inner child.
And the consequence of these wounds is that we are left with sore points which are triggered when people in our adult life behave in the same way as the people who wounded us, albeit unintentionally, when we were children.
Now the cure for this is to delve into these wounds, do some personal development work on them, explore them, understand them, and then find some way of healing them.
Very few people do this, because it’s a time-consuming business, it can cost money, and of course it takes effort – not to mention the fact that you have to delve into the emotional pain which you experienced in the first place!
Yet the consequences in terms of the health of any relationship are well worthwhile. You see, love is a fragile thing: although there have been many definitions of love, and there are many ways of considering the subject, it’s certainly true that one of the ways in which love is diminished is if somebody behaves in a way that triggers a person to recall the wounds and experiences of childhood.
Generally either a man or a woman will interpret this behaviour as disrespectful; not understanding that the origins of their reaction lie in their subconscious, they will tend to blame the person with whom they are in relationship as being disrespectful and inconsiderate.
Yet of course their partner is only behaving in that way because in their childhood, that was an acceptable and commonplace thing!
So you see that we have a dilemma – a dilemma which is practically insoluble, because it consists of emotional wounds which we probably don’t understand, stemming from childhood, rubbing up against our partner in the wrong way, and stimulating both of us to emotional reactions which are inappropriate for the present day.
So what’s to be done about this? Well the answer to this is quite complicated. You can do personal therapy or counselling, you can take group work causes such as shadow work woman within, the ManKind Project’s rather interesting New Warrior Training Adventure, but at the end of the day you have to take action.
And if you don’t take action, then the truth of the matter is that your relationship is under threat – even if only slightly, even if only threatened by the absence of affirmations between the two partners.
What does all this mean in practice? Well for a woman, it means that if she wants a man to fall in love with her, she has to find ways in which she can persuade him that she is a worthwhile investment of time and energy for the future.
And if it’s a man, trying to persuading a woman to fall in love with him, then it’s necessary for him to respect the issues which are sensitive to her, and the fact that men love differently to women.
If you want to know more about the nature of the process by which men and women fall in love, you can see information here.
But don’t take it too seriously – at the end of the day, what’s more important than anything else is that a couple respect each other and want to settle down together and grow into a permanent relationship. Without that intention, it’s very difficult for any relationship to succeed.