Many, many years ago when I was new in my search for figuring out who the heck I am and how I can make a better life or feel better about myself or something, I spent lots of time in a monthly workshop here in Los Angeles called “Making Love Work”. It was taught by the very young, unfamous married couple, John Gray (Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus) and his then wife, Barbara deAngelis. (John’s been married to his wife Bonnie for 26 years currently.)
Barbara and John talked a lot about relationships and healing the past emotional hurts that we all have accumulated. One of the things they said about relationships that stands out in my memory was a simple test. The simple test is this: is your relationship giving you energy or is it taking your energy away?
More from YourTango: Getting on Top of Your Mind F*@#s
Think about your current relationship. Do you overall feel enlivened by your interactions or drained?
In my first marriage most of our interactions left me feeling a wreck and definitely drained. (Wish I knew this stuff then – but then I wouldn’t know what I know now.)
Two main things were going on with us. We weren’t well suited for each other in many important ways and we did not have a clue about how to make a relationship work well. It is really hard on everyone when a couple didn’t realize their unsuitability and married and had kids and end up divorced.
More from YourTango: A Mother's Day Gift
We met in 1961 and married in 1965. No internet. No workshops. Nobody asking questions or writing articles about relationships that I ever saw. But now in 2011 you can marry and make it work and live happily ever after – IF.
- If you choose someone compatible and you can determine that by not making commitments until you truly know them which takes time and takes me to the next point -
- If you know yourself first. Not the version you want to be. Not the version anyone else wants you to be. But you. The Real YOU.
- If you learn the tools and techniques that you are missing which of course means you have to be honest with yourself first.
So do the test. Do you overall feel enlivened by your interactions or drained? Is it giving you energy or taking your energy away?