(SUBSTITUTE YOUR OWN PARTNERS TAG FOR ‘WIFE’)
Whether you have been successful in maintaining the same loving relationship for-everrrrrr, or are experimenting again with a new lover, we can all use a few tips now and then.
I could have several times in my life.
Now in the fourth year of what I describe as the first ‘Adult’ relationship of my life, and with the benefit of ten years of sobriety — Here are a few tips that I have gathered from various sources.
Work on Your Shame:
I had no idea I was so fucked up until everyone left.
Then, later, I realised I wasn’t so fucked up after all — in fact, most people are, and I was just a little extreme. Typical!
It turns out that the original life carers that we have, Mum and Dad, have a huge influence on the rest of the relationships we are going to have.
If M and D have a perfect relationship and therefore convey to the child all the appropriate love and care that the vulnerable little tyke needs then all’s well.
Modelling the way that loving adults act towards each other and ensuring the needs of the family and home are met is a great way to ensure that Johnny and Joanie grow up fully-functioning and NOT shame-bound.
But that’s rarely the case — if ever.
John Bradshaw in his Best Selling tome, ‘Healing The Shame That Binds You’, shed light on this for me and many others. Himself a recovering alcoholic, he was able to scholastically describe the dilemma that most families face.
If one or both parents are shut-down emotionally, the rest of the family ‘learn’ how to balance the ship.
It’s survival at all costs.
Bradshaw says that in the extreme cases, “To be shamed-bound means that whenever you feel any feeling, need or drive, you immediately feel ashamed.
The child is dependent for their needs, both physically and emotionally, and when they are let down or denied, they feel abandonment.
ANYWAY, there is a whole book of valuable and fascinating information that Bradshaw eludes to that the addict or neurotic will identify ENORMOUSLY with.
For the rest of you ‘normal’ folks though, to view the neurotic symptoms of the extreme case, is to garner an insight into most of us.
Secret 1. Heal your shit before it hits the fan.
In personal relationships you are at your best and worst, so heal your shame by recognising that Mum and Dad weren’t perfect and that’s okay.
Get on with the adult part of your life by realising you are not perfect by design. Give up that pretence for a start.
Once we realise our imperfections it is easier to accept our partner’s flaws too.
Sex, Security and Society…Your Instincts Gone Awry.
In alcoholism as in everyday life, our basic instincts are usually unbalanced, inappropriate and unhelpful. Buddhism…medium.com
Know Your Part — Preservation of The Species
In 1925, Carl Jung wrote an essay entitled, “Marriage as a Psychological Relationship”.
He posited that we seek out partners instinctively, based on our experience with our parents, and do so only for the sake of society.
“The individual will for self-possession is broken: the woman becomes the mother, the man, the father, and thus both are robbed of their freedom and made instruments of the life urge”. C.G.Jung
Poor Mum and Dad are getting the blame again!
Actually, what Jung said about MY choice of partners verily made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. (Hardly a CHOICE really, at all!)
“Here the relationship remains within the bounds of the biological instinctive goal, the preservation of the species”.
The essence of what I’m hearing from Uncle Carl is that the original contract between me and my girlfriend to get married and have children had most to do with the drive to preserve the species, and on the relationship, I had with my Mum.
Nothing about how I did my hair or those sweet purple trousers I was wearing that night!
Secret 2. We’re all here for a short time to do our bit for humanity.
Life in 2018 is so intense. Slow down and realise how UNIMPORTANT you are. And the then realise how IMPORTANT you are.
Our impact is primarily on the One we sleep with and the little Darlings we produce.
Woo-Up on The Judgement
Gabrielle Bernstein is a #1 Best Selling author and spiritual nut!
We love her enthusiasm for life and love.
Gabby has a lot to say lately about judgement, and we all know that we do a lot of THAT.
But when we judge, we are ONLY seeing our perspective of a person, thing or event. In the extreme that’s called Myopic…and it’s hurtful!
“This separation from love is the force behind everything from playground bullying to systemic racism, xenophobic world leaders and even terrorism”.
Gabby suggests we all take a Judgement Detox.
So often our worst behaviour is saved for our partner.
By taking a step back occasionally and seeing how our judgement might be a little skew-whiff, there is a great chance that the relationship we have at home will get a big repair.
(P.S. I always think that this is a great idea for my partner to do. WRONG!)
Forgiveness offers YOU freedom from the bondage of judgment and hate. By unloading this emotional burden you feel lighter, happier and more peaceful. You begin vibrating at a higher frequency and attract all you want into your life. Gabby Bernstein
Secret 3. Realise that our view is not nearly as true as we thought
Forgive yourself and your partner for being strong on a perspective that you’re holding… then let go.
It’s alright to have an opinion, just let her have one too.
She may not be right but there is no ‘I’ in tomorrow, either!
Would you rather be Happy…or Right?
Proud Mary Keeps on Rolling
Deluded pride is described by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso as a mental factor that feels arrogant for slight reasons.
Geshe-la, in the text ‘Joyful Path of Good Fortune’, goes on that if we are handsome, or good at something, or enjoy a good reputation we can believe that we are someone special and develop Pride.
When we have pride it’s like we are on a mountain top looking down on everyone else.
As in the Gabby Bernstein chapter on judgement, pride can be a difficult character defect to deal with in a relationship.
So here is a little tip that I picked up at AA.
Consider the Good Fortune you have as a Blessing — not something that you can feel prideful about.
Really, there is nothing about me that I can claim I did on my own anyway.
When sperm hit the ovum back in ’63 I was created from the action of two people I hadn’t even met yet.
Then I was given certain privileges that others were not.
I grew according to laws I have nothing to do with.
Through circumstances beyond my control, I was educated, socially conditioned and kept relatively healthy by strangers.
…Here I am.
So tip number four is…
Secret 4. Pull Your Head In
That might be an Australian only saying, I’m not sure.
It simply means stop thinking your ‘shit don’t stink’. (oops, another Aussie slang, maybe?)
My Antipodean brain is trying to relate that when you are prideful the other person is not valued.
There is an oft-told tale of the teacher and the student. The teacher pours too much tea into the teacup until the student exclaims, ‘Teacher, Stop!’.
“Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?
AND finally, as I like to say to my students, “If you take my advice and it works for you…Let me know, and I’ll try it myself”.