In order to have a healthy relationship, you have to be healthy inside. He/She can’t “complete” you they can only “get” you and be happy with who you are. People who are lonely are often hoping that someone will take the place of this feeling. Unfortunately when you find someone who is caught off guard by your vulnerability, they soon begin to realize that they are only filling an emotional gap.
There are exceptions to the rule. I know a couple who have been married for a million years. They are so enmeshed that they practically blow the others nose when they sneeze. When they show up for parties they look like Siamese twins. I have never seen them separate from one another, except I assume to go to the bathroom. Though I wonder if this ever happens. Since I know their background, I am aware that these people are from another time period and that they grew up without emotional security. It is pretty rare to find a soul mate such as this and I am not even sure I envy them. Some women would. Some men would.
For the most part I meet couples who started out going in a certain direction and at some point got to know the other half and realized this isn’t the one. By this time there are children, quite a few years and lots of grudges that built up along the way. It causes one person to become the aggressor, one to become the victim; as the once united two begin to separate and go off down other paths. The victim will often turn to alcohol, drugs, “friends,” psychological illnesses, and/or making their children their everything. The aggressor continues to mentally whip the other with the lines, “You used to…,” “I don’t understand why…,” and/or becoming a stalker; constantly focused on where they are, when they are coming home; investigating pockets, internet websites, passwords, status updates, etc… LES MISERABLES!
This is when I turn to individual therapy as the answer. When you have gotten this far apart from each other, it is time to look within – spend time with the self. We could sit in couples therapy week after week blaming and arguing over who is right and who is wrong. We could do exercises and workshops. You could blame me for your problems, but I guarantee this will only last for about 50 minutes and then you have to go home to the same one. The same problem.
Working on the self is very important to a marriage. It might mean the end of the relationship but it could also mean a healthy parting of the ways. It might also be what brings you back together – as most people pray will happen. Actually I should say one party in the relationship is actually hoping this will happen. It is not often that both really mean it when they say, “We are here to keep our marriage together.” This is because you have realized that He/She is not your everything. You are hoping that someone else will be “the one,” and that maybe you started out to quickly and if you leave, you still might have time to find them. Nope. Not going to happen until you solve what is happening right now.
When you realize who it is you really are and what it is you really want, it might not be what you have. However, there are responsibilities. The lesson needs to be learned. It isn’t the others fault that they couldn’t fulfill all your emotional needs. If we are strong and centered as a human being, what we need is different than if we are looking for someone to take care of us. I can’t promise you what the answers will be when you finish doing work on yourself. I can’t promise your marriage is safe and that you will stay together. What I can promise though is that if you choose to give up, without really finding the answers now, you will never find happiness anywhere else. (Note: if this is an unsafe relationship – yes you do need to get out and then do the work on yourself once you are safe).
Two people coming together must have integrity to the self as well as with others before they can be connected into one. As the saying goes, what comes around goes around. If you put out desperation than you will be rewarded with a body who seems to take care of your needs for a moment. If you put out happiness and security, kindness and honesty, you will bring in the same. It is tricky because sometimes what you think is what you want later becomes what you don’t want. That is because you have grown as an individual.
We all make mistakes when we are young. We look for the one that will give us what our families did not. The couple I mentioned above is a freak of nature, it is meant to be, they just came together and it happened. No one else in the same family has had much luck at all, or it has taken forever to find it – or finally they just compromised with what was. Comparisons are good for seeing what is missing in yourself. Take this absence and learn why it is there – instead of holding it in and denying its existence. Be conscious of your actions, your self and who you present to the world. Don’t look, let them find you.
- An Inside Look at Sexual Fantasies (psychologytoday.com)
- Bridging emotional distance: How to find a way back to each other (sacbee.com)
- Six reasons why people cheat on their partners.. and why January is the worst month for affairs (dailyrecord.co.uk)
- 10 Beliefs That Can Keep You Stuck in a Relationship with a Personality Disordered Loved One (dechirementblog.com)