Now, without a doubt, this view is difficult for many of you to accept, because the alternative of seeing your own limits is so exposing and revealing. Very few people are willing to be that transparent. The more typical path is to make up some story about yourself and your partners, so you can feel impressed with yourself. After all, who doesn’t like being right and looking good to the world about your selection of partners. It sounds good for our friends to hear that we could have had great relationship if it
weren’t for the behavior of our date, wife, or companion. But you need to ask yourself, if you are so convinced that you are better than your partner, then why are you with them? Do you have nothing else to do? Are you just feeling charitable? Or why are they hanging out with you since you devalue them or don’t love them? I have seen numerous couples in my practice repeat this same egotistical game year after year rather than acknowledge and being honest about their real intent; I am just using my mate to
Rather than accept the humbleness of seeing that you are no better than your partner and that they are merely a reflection of who you really are, we prefer to spend enormous amounts of time and energy proving that we are better or less than our partners. I call this verbal and emotional preoccupation THE DIFFERENCE GAME, in my book entitled, We’d Have a Great Relationship If It Weren’t For You. In playing the difference game, there is no task, perspective, or activity that cannot be used to prove that we are better or less than our partners, such as, "I love you more, I am more sensitive and open, I am brighter, I have better judgment, or I am more successful".
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Imagine if you dropped this ego attachment and no longer participated in this game within your relationship. You would then have time to listen, love, share, and be sexual to a much greater extent than you have known in your relationship. Of course, you would no longer be able to use your partner to inflate or deflate yourself, and you would be on very unfamiliar territory.
To see if you are ready for this, imagine saying
She loves me as much as I do her
He is just as open as I am.
He is just as vulnerable as I am
She is just as interested in me as I am in her.
If you can say comments like this without hedging in any way, then you are ready for an equal and mutual, intimate relationship with your partner. However, if you hedge or justify in any way, then there is still room for you to continue playing the difference game and maintaining a non-mutual attitude. Being accountable for your relationship and giving up being a victim and clinging to justifications, such as “I am with him because there is no one better”, or “I am still here because of the children” all of which
takes courage to admit.
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There are two major characteristics of a mutual relationship.