Relationship Expectations and Self-Help

Relationship Expectations and Self-Help

One of the reasons the separation of couples is so common in modern life is because the types of relationships that people have wanted to achieve over the last 100 years are very different from relationships that had been the norm since humanity's beginnings.

In the distant past, humans usually lived in small tribes. Choices of partners were limited for that reason, so separation was not a good option. Another factor was that women were considered to be property by much of the world in the past. They were exchanged as commodities for the pleasure of men or used to try to mend conflict between one tribe and another.

For those reasons and others, we historically have only a relatively short track record as a species establishing relationships between complete strangers trying to find each other in large areas. Perhaps surprisingly, it wasn't as common in the past for people to establish relationships strictly for love, compatibility, enjoyment, companionship, and potential family building.

To ensure good relationship building in today's challenging environment, the most important thing that a person can do is engage in self-help. And if problems exist in a relationship, the most effective way to deal with them is to participate in therapy (individual therapy, couple’s therapy, or both). It will pay off tremendously in terms of savings of time and money and avoidance of unpleasant relationship drama. Other crucial tools for relationship building and repair are prayer, meditation, and writing (in the form of journaling).

When you're with someone, you need to determine if the relationship should continue and be taken to the next level. This begs the question of how much time should elapse Before an individual or couple makes such a determination. Based on my experience in recovery and consultation with knowledgeable people, I believe that six months is usually an appropriate period of time.

In the time preceding the decision of continuing a relationship or deciding not to, things can be difficult. Scary moments, difficult questions, and sometimes unpleasant soul searching will have to happen. And if it becomes necessary to terminate a relationship, one or both partners must be prepared for a painful period of grieving prior to their moving on.

One thing that is a tremendous deterrent to good relationship building is addiction. A person in the throes of addiction cannot exercise the good judgment and emotional maturity that is necessary for one to have if they are to continue in a relationship or determine if a relationship should end.

People in addictions pursue things motivated by their desire for pleasure. This causes them to ignore warning signs pointing to relationship problems. They don’t want intimacy at a deep level. As they use their substance abuse or negative behavioral addictions to alleviate emotional pain, so will they use their relationships for the same purpose.

If you are involved in an addiction of some kind, it doesn’t mean that you must be celibate. It means that you need to work on yourself. And it also means that you should be aware that you’re likely to pick a partner who is also in addiction. The addictions of one or both partners could be related to traditional substance abuse problems, or as is common in many relationships they could be related to love, sex, emotional drama, or pain.

Relationships involve many things in the realm of psychology and wellness. But people cannot become psychiatrists and diagnose themselves at a professional level. Having said that, if you’re in a relationship then it is your duty to examine yourself, your own mental health, and your own consciousness and strive for needed improvements. Ask yourself these questions:

Where are you right now in your life in terms of your understanding of your own consciousness? Are you in any type of addictive cycle? Are you willing to explore, discuss it, and hopefully let go of it? What have you experienced in the lives of others close to you regarding addiction? Have there been addictions in the lives of your parents or primary caregivers?

After you ask yourself the various questions, write down the answers you discover in your journal. And as you explore some of these difficult and potentially disturbing issues, do so at a pace that is appropriate (often somewhat slowly) and seek professional psychological help if need be.

Self-understanding and self-help are crucial for anyone in a relationship. To be the best that you can be, for both yourself and for the individual who you are in a relationship with, you must engage in the hard work that will be necessary. And be aware as you do so that it will pay off tremendously in the long run.

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