Expert Blog Compelling advice, stories, and thought-provoking perspectives straight from YourTango's lineup of Experts to you

Relationship Puzzle: What Relationship is Right for Me??


Contributor
Self

Trying to squeeze yourself into a relationship that is not yours? This this to resolve your doubts.

Relationship Puzzle is a real game.

Relationship Puzzle is a real game. We all play it every day, figuring out where we belong in life in relationship to others. When you find a perfect fit, your relationship feels great and you reflect this perfection in your looks. When you are trying to squeeze yourself into a relationship, a carrier, or an environment that are not yours, you feel exhausted and depleted and your life puzzle looses some bright colors.

Do you feel confident in your relationship?
Do you do anything out of fear of being abandoned (even for a few moment when your partner disconnects from you) or being punished (even by not receiving his/her token of love?
Do you feel obliged to do something for your partner or do it because you are happy to share and experiment?
Do you honor your feelings and use them as information, without judging yourself or blaming others for these feelings?
Do you make choices that feel right to you or choose the next step because it sounds right?

Being aware of your priorities within five important components of your relationship that you want to experience (I call them The Big Five: who, what, how, when and where) and honoring your answers to these questions can make you conscious about your contribution to the joy or frictions within some of your interactions. When you simply know what you want, it is easier to notice what matches to your desires and what falls out from your puzzle palette.

Here is a story of my client, young women who wanted to stay in her marriage for the sake of her children, even though she felt completely estranged from the man she married some time ago. As she explored her Big Five, she was empowered by listening to her inner guidance that helped her to create inner harmony and balance, that helped her making conscious decisions instead of experiencing emotional over-reaction and taking reactive actions in relation to others.

"Dear Lana,
There are many new developments in my life that I wanted to share with you. For several days after our conversation I was feeling much better, however, I realized that I needed to say what I had to say to my husband for a long time. I wanted to talk with you about it first, and after our session I understood that I was ready. I couldn't hold it anymore.

I know that I don't love him anymore, and frankly, I don't think I ever did. I have grown to like him over the years, but I'm not in love with him and all his nagging, his negativity and his insecurities have been too much for me to handle. I told him straight out what I felt and he was of course shocked. I told him that I deeply care about him and I would be willing to go to your sessions with him or seek professional help of a marriage counselor if he was feeling it would serve him better. I'm still hopeful that we'll be able to stay connected in a positive manner for the sake of the kids, although I understand that he will not be willing to stay together because he doesn't believe in marriage without love.

Honestly, I'm not optimistic that staying together at this point would help our situation either. However, I feel that I have to give it a try at least even though I'm just "screaming" inside for independence. That is what I truly want. I'm just taking it a day at a time as you taught me. It's not necessarily my husband, my friends or even a new lover that would make me happy at this point.

As we talked about the shift from co-dependency to independency to interdependency, I felt how much this was resonating with my personal shift. I think what happened over the years is my husband was taking care of a lot of things in my life all the time and I overgrew this way of living now. I need to do it myself to feel that I can. It's been a big issue for me. I know I'm capable of being independent and I just need to do it. The strangest thing is after feeling devastated, lost, confused, and really sorry for “doing this to my husband”, I finally feel GREAT inside.

I appreciate your assistance in helping me see the real issue behind my frustration and anger and understand what I really wanted! I now see that my need for relationships with other men outside of marriage was just a way to fulfill my desire for deeper connection, understanding and communication. Even though I had this longing, I never needed or truly allowed any sexual relationships outside of my marriage. That was not what I was looking for. I did not have an open intimate relationship at home, so I was always looking for understanding, companionship and feeling of camaraderie. That was what I was longing for and was able to find with others.

No one can or will make me happy, but myself!!! Thank you so much Lana. Whether I stay with my husband and work through our problems or not, the time will tell. But, I am a different person today and I need a change in our relationship, for certain.
After I became honest with myself during our session with you, I was able to communicate my need to complete the process in my family, I broke up with my “conversation partner”. It was his call. It was just the right thing to do at the moment. We both knew that marriage therapy would not be effective, if he would be in the picture. He is a great friend and he does not want to bear the responsibility for a broken marriage. He loves me and wishes for me to be happy. We both decided that we must move on and be open to the outcome that can best support everyone involved. I

Author

Contributor

Explore YourTango