In intimate relationship, we find ourselves not once in serious problems that badly affect relationships. Problems such infidelity, abuse, financial difficulties, work stress and addictions are only few examples of “big challenges.” However, not once, relationships break down not because of these big issues but rather because of “the small matters,” such as papers on the coffee table, socks on the floor, dirty dishes in the kitchen, being late for meetings, talking on the phone for a long time etc. These petty issues (which carry an important meaning on the eyes of the interpreter) pile up to make the person in a relationship feel unloved, unheard, under appreciated and even controlled.
Yet, it is important to understand that these small issues pile up into a vast, submerged force when they take on a different meaning in your mind. When you are on a “mission to find evidence of a character flaw or moral defect in your partner, you definitely will find it. When you are involved in mind-reading or assuming the intention of your partner, there is a good chance you are going to fail. It is similar to a self-fulfilling view or attitude. The outcome of that search is that your partner is a selfish and self-absorbed and that his or her needs are always first.
Every annoyance in a relationship is really a two-way street. Partners focus on what they are getting (mostly on the negatives), not on what they are giving. But no matter how frustrating a partner’s behavior, your interpretation of the issue is the greater part of it. What matters is the meaning you attach to it.
One of the great expressions I have heard was “You don’t really live with your partner in your home. You live with your partner in your head.” Accordingly, if you want to stay in a relationship and have more fulfilling one, your perception needs to change to become healthier. That means for you to become more accepting, more forgiving and in short focusing on the positive things your partner has rather than the negative things your partners has (remember the half-glass full).
Challenges, conflicts and irritations are inevitable in relationships and are normal part of life. Individuals value things differently, view the world in different perspective, and has different needs and wants. This is why relationship is so much difficult, yet very interesting and attractive. To make it works, individuals first have to understand this concept, accept it and let go of the “ideal partners,” while believing that their habit, preference and life style must align perfectly with their partners. Thereafter, partners must learn how to be respectful and considerate, while focusing on how to negotiate and live with the irritants of their partners in a constructive way.
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