Treat others the way you want to be treated. This is the essence of a truly spiritual life. We all yearn to be treated lovingly – with kindness, compassion, understanding and acceptance. We need to treat ourselves this way, and we need to treat our partner and others this way. Relationships flourish when both people treat each other with kindness. While there are no guarantees, often treating another with kindness brings kindness in return. If your partner is consistently angry, judgmental, uncaring and unkind, then you need to focus on what would be loving to yourself rather than reverting to anger, blame, judgment, withdrawal, resistance, or compliance. Kindness to others does not mean sacrificing yourself. Always remember that taking responsibility for yourself rather than blaming others is the most important thing you can do. If you are consistently kind to yourself and your partner, and your partner is consistently angry, blaming, withdrawn and unavailable, you might want to look below the surface. Controlling behavior is generally a cry for connection, and when you can be compassionate about this, much can heal.
However, if your partner is unavailable for opening to learning with you, then you either have to accept a distant relationship, or you need to leave the relationship. You cannot make your partner change – you can only change yourself.
Learning Instead of Controlling
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When conflict occurs, you always have two choices regarding how to handle the conflict: you can open to learning about yourself and your partner and discover the deeper issues of the conflict, or you can try to win, or at least not lose, through some form of controlling behavior. We’ve all learning many overt and subtle ways of trying to control others into behaving the way we want: anger, blame, judgment, niceness, compliance, caretaking, resistance, withdrawal of love, explaining, teaching, defending, lying, denying, and so on. All the ways we try to control create even more conflict, and they all create a disconnection with your partner. Remembering to learn instead of control is a vital part of improving your relationship.
For example, most people have two major fears that become activated in relationships: the fear of abandonment – of losing the other - and the fear of engulfment – of losing oneself. When these fears get activated, most people immediately protect themselves against these fears with their controlling behavior. But if you chose to learn about your fears instead of attempt to control your partner, your fears will eventually heal. This is how we grow emotionally and spiritually – by learning instead of controlling.
If you and your partner agree to these 3 choices, you will be amazed at the intimate connection you feel with your partner!
To begin learning how to love and connect with yourself so that you can connect with your partner and others, take advantage of our free Inner Bonding eCourse, receive Free Help, and take our 12-Week eCourse, “The Intimate Relationship Toolbox” – the first two weeks are free!
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