Relationship Squabbles: Are You A Straight-Talker, or Just a Jerk?

When squabbles come up between you and your partner, are you a straight-talking truth-teller? Or is that just how you rationalize being mean? There is a better way, you know: you can actually handle these scenes in a way that brings you closer together, instead of creating a rift! If you are on this blog’s front page click the title of this article to watch the video, or else just click this link.

What Does A Healthy Relationship Look Like?

What does a healthy relationship look like?
This is one of the most-asked questions on the internet – which means that millions of people don’t know if they are doing it “right.”
Maybe you think you are “supposed to” hold hands all the time, and gaze into each other’s eyes, and make each other laugh, and have passionate sex every night – but instead:
“We never even see each other, and when we do we just watch tv and read without talking to each other – that can’t be right!”
Maybe your relationship feels right – but it doesn’t “look” right:
“We sleep in separate beds – is that OK?”
Or perhaps your relationship “looks” perfect, but you are unhappy anyway:
“We have great jobs and our kids are high achievers – is it me? I’m just screwed up, right?”
Or maybe…your relationship feels and looks totally wrong:
“We hate each other, hahaha!”
Or else you are alone, and don’t want to be, but you’ve never even been in a “healthy” relationship, and even though you long to create one, you don’t even know where to begin –
Or – my last example here – are you confused because you have a relationship where the good seems so good, but the bad seems so bad…and your inner (subconscious) and outer (environmental) voices are so…conflicted…that you are blocked from even knowing the truth of your own heart…
(Where the answer shines on as it always has…)
So let’s make this very simple –
Are you ready?
Here it is:
– Your relationship is healthy if you are truly, deeply fulfilled by it.
– Your relationship is healthy if, despite how hard and lousy it feels sometimes, you and your partner are consciously working together to create that reality of being truly, mutually, deeply fulfilled.
The whole reason to be in a relationship is to be truly and deeply fulfilled – any attempt to create a healthy relationship must start with this understanding, this goal, and work backwards.
It’s not that you will feel this all the time – at first – but rather:
That you are both committed to creating a relationship that does indeed fulfill both of you. When pursued with devotion, this intention (and the actions it inspires) will actually create a relationship where you are deeply fulfilled all the time….as your definition of what fulfillment really means evolves along with your own maturity…
The state of being “truly, deeply fulfilled” is an experience that only you can judge – and getting to this state is a journey of self-discovery. That means that as you get to know yourself better, you might discover that some things you thought you needed actually do not really fulfill you…
For example, many men and women have a “checklist” of what they want in a partner – a certain profession, a look, a talent, a certain income level or social status – and rejoice when they find the partner who meets these specifications…. but after a few years, this checklist often leaves them feeling empty…unfulfilled….
Another common example is sexual chemistry – the sex is hot at the beginning, but after a few years of marriage, that heat, and/or the connection it once inspired, seems to vanish, leaving both partners feeling lost, wondering what happened….(don’t get me wrong – you can have amazing sex all your lives with that same partner – as long as the nature of that experience changes and evolves while you both mature together…but that is another topic…)
Notice that when I use the words “truly and deeply fulfilled,” I am describing an internal state of being – an experience that has nothing to do with external circumstances.
It comes when both partners make sacrifices for the relationship – and at a very deep level, those sacrifices fulfill them far more than actually getting “their way” – because they are instead creating something new and special –
Building a house of love…
And nothing makes them happier than to care for their partner’s heart…
When both partners live in generous joyful surrender to each other, both partners end up getting everything they really want anyway…and the things that seemed so upsetting, things they thought they “needed,” simply lose all their urgency and fall blissfully away….
It is possible to feel very “fulfilled” in a relationship for stretches at a time – when you are making love, perhaps, or sharing a particular experience – but then that feeling disappears, and you feel unhappy…in such a case, the “fulfillment” is more of an emotion-
And I am not talking about emotions here, which come and go and have no long-term reality if one is committed to personal growth.
Again, our goal is a state of being that you share with each other:
Truly, deeply fulfilled. This state of being is dependent on the quality of connection you create with each other: a shared experience of care, and safety, and warmth, and support, and trust, and interest, and intimacy, and connectedness…
You know if these words describe your relationship.
And if they do not, you also have a sense that it may be possible to achieve this state, if both of you want to do the work. All it takes is for both you and your partner to be clear that this is what you want – and to be sincere in your commitment to doing what it takes to get there.
This is the work I do with couples all the time – and when that breakthrough comes, it is a beautiful thing!
So wipe away all the pictures of who you “should” be, all the checklists, and all the voices you’ve internalized and adopted and mistaken as your own…all voices of other people (even your current partner) – telling you what’s right for you….
Trust yourself. Remember how to really see.
Ask yourself the question once more: what does a healthy relationship look like?
And then:
Open the eye of your heart.