Some Opening Thoughts on Relationships

The human body is a complex machine. It must create balance among a great many systems and work together to support the entire entity. An automobile is much the same as our bodies. A car is a machine that's made up of systems that need to stay in balance to support the functions of the entire vehicle.

We should look at relationships in a similar way. A relationship is a complex entity consisting of many parts. These parts must stay in balance so that the relationship can function like a well-oiled machine. Like mechanical things, when parts of a relationship are not functioning properly then it's only a matter of time before the entire relationship breaks down.

Of course the two primary components of a relationship are the two people in it. The two people must function well emotionally, mentally, and physically as individuals to ensure that the relationship itself is healthy.

We are all familiar with fad diets. They are programs that make promises of helping people lose weight or get healthy very quickly. But they are often lacking substance or are based on incorrect scientific information. They might promote weight loss in the short term but have very negative side effects of intoxicating a person’s body.

There are fad relationship improvement programs. They surface all the time. They may be well-meaning and they may offer intelligently expressed concepts that are easy to remember. But it's necessary to look at the entire system of a relationship recovery program to determine whether it will work over the long term.

It can be complicated to fix a strained or broken relationship. It will take time to do so, often more time then both parties expect it to take. This is the case because relationships have many different components and dynamics. Human minds are very complex, so it’s not surprising that human relationships are quite complex as well. In order to fix a relationship, it's necessary to isolate the components of that relationship, examine them, and build them back up if they are broken.

Both partners in a relationship need to ask themselves if they were happy before the relationship. They must do deep soul searching about that, and they must write down what they have determined. Some who ask themselves about their own happiness might think that they were happy because they had friends and a successful career. They may have been lonely but otherwise doing well in their own estimation.

One considering the question, people need to ask themselves if they had symptoms of emotional problems. They have to ask themselves if they were behaving in a way that made them unhappy or if they had addictions, anxieties, or depression.

It's important to determine where you were at before you began a relationship. In essence you took a break from yourself when you fell in love, and the relationship became your new focus for a time.

Perhaps you are single right now and have recently broken up with someone. If so you're likely experiencing emotional pain. That doesn't mean that you're not a happy person. It just means that you're having a rough time and need to move through it.

Whether or not you're in a relationship, you need to look at yourself. You must decide what you need to do to either make your current relationship the best that it can be or make yourself the best that you can be in preparation for your next relationship.

In any case you must face yourself honestly. A good place to start is to make a list of whatever addictions that you have that you need to surrender. And you need to keep in mind that you may have addictions that you don't think are serious but which are keeping you from diving deep into your own psychological problems. Addictions numb us from feeling and keep us from thinking clearly.

Feelings are incredibly important. They help us understand where we are in time and space and where we are in reference to any sensation we’re experiencing. We need to incorporate feelings in the process of changing negative thinking to positive thinking and negative behaviors to positive ones.

Relationships should be seen as workshops, and we must understand that the work will be hard at times. Character defects and personality defects in one or both partners will make the work that much harder. Both partners must commit themselves to working on their own characters and personalities.

If you're in a relationship, it's inevitable that you and your partner will fight at times. When that's the case, understand that there will be a piece of truth in what your partner is saying even if their delivery sucks. Sometimes you must see a partner's complaint as an opportunity for you to engage in personal growth.

Speaking for myself, my ultimate objective is to become an enlightened being. I want to have a view of the world that I had in my infancy. At the same time, I want to have the knowledge that I've accumulated during my life's journey. I want to be able to live in the present moment and see the good in all of it. I want to have a healthy process of grieving and then returning myself back to proper balance after I experience pain and difficulty.

As I am in the process of writing this book I am happy. I’m not in an addictive or anxious state of mind. Because of that, I have clarity, but I will not take my present fortunate state of being for granted.

It's vitally important for all of us to understand our ultimate objectives in life. One of my objectives is to move away from the emotional baggage and mental difficulties that I experienced in my 20s. My primary reason for needing to do that is that I'm deeply in love with my wife and I want to serve her with as much love as I can. I know that emotional baggage will keep me from being able to do that. She has character defects and so do I, but her character defects are minimal in comparison to the things that I love about her.

I don't find myself to be needy anymore. That's the case because I've worked hard to fix some of the things that were broken within me in the past. I've looked hard at some of the turbulent relationships of my past and concerted how my actions contributed to the relationship failures. Therapy and journaling helped me in that process.

The fact that I'm not needy as an individual is helpful in my current relationship. It's not difficult for me to get my basic needs met. I'm not looking for my mommy to save me, love me, and feed me. I'm just looking for the basic love that my wife provides me with in her touch, eye contact, words, and actions. She provides me with love in those ways, and I don't have to manipulate her for her love.

That's huge. In the past in relationships I did practically have to beg the other person for primary simple needs such as touch, compliments, and basic affection.

Many people can identify with that. In some relationships, one partner might just need a nudge to open up and become loving. But sometimes a person just withholds tenderness. They might not be doing it deliberately. Or they might be doing it deliberately as a protection mechanism. It's possible that your partner simply doesn't love you.

if you're insecure or unsure about your partner’s love for you or lack of it, you should be able to determine what's going on with a 10-minute conversation. If you were able to have that kind of honesty, you could just terminate the relationship, pack your bags, and leave. You would have to go through the grieving process, but then you could move on.

But a more positive scenario might happen. The person could say, “Yes, I love you, but I'm very angry.” You could then ask what he or she was angry about. Their reply might be, “The things that you did triggered me such that I felt the anger that I felt as a child toward my mother. You never put down the toilet seat, you don't do the dishes, and you're lazy.”

You could then ask if your partner loves you. He or she might then say, “Yes, I love you very much.” If that happened, at least you would have a basis to work together to improve things.

From that point, you could say something like the following to your partner: “I know that you're angry with me, but we have to work on something. It's very important that during the time that you're angry with me you can still be loving. If you need a day or two to process the anger, I need you to come back and talk to me. I need you to touch me and express your feelings to me. I need for you to be engaged in the healing.”

Relationship problems can be worked out. It won't always be easy, and in large part that's because anxiety will sometimes bring out the worst in one or both partners. This book will explore the nature of relationships and the difficulties that partners will encounter in their relationships. It's my fervent hope that some of this material will help you better understand relationships in general and your own relationship in particular.

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