There are all kinds of ideas in the world as to how a relationship should be. These ideas are often shaped by popular culture, from influences such as Disney or Hollywood films. And by taking on board these perspectives, some people can come to expect relationships to be easy and straight forward.
And once this outlook has taken root in one’s mind, it will often define ones relational behaviour. Through this, one is likely to have a low tolerance for relationships that are not effortless and require work or commitment.
So this can often lead to the following scenarios: one will end a relationship as soon as any kind of conflict or tension arises, or they will end it once the honey moon period is over. This period can range from person to person.
And based on what one can learn through watching films and taking on board other influences; this approach can seem to be the right one. As soon as pain is felt, it is then time to find someone else.
This could go on and on and lead to one going from one relationship to another. Happiness is then just another relationship away and each person is seen as being the one to make this happen.
One may end up going in cycles of feeling optimistic about someone and then encounter conflict and then leave them for another person. Repeating the same process and then end up feeling frustrated and hopeless and then go through it all again.
The Other Outlook
As a result of what I have said above, it might then seem that one should put up with a relationship that doesn’t work and even tolerate abuse for instance. But this is just going from one extreme to the other.
What it comes down to, is that just because there is tension and conflict in a relationship, it doesn’t mean that it is a sign that one needs to end it. In the cases of physical or emotional abuse, it is likely to be a sign that one needs to end it.
The Rare Few
There will be some people out there who have relationships that run smoothly and when conflict or challenges arise, they are generally able to deal with it in a healthy and functional way. But these people are the exception and not the rule in today’s world.
And one of the biggest reasons is due to childhood development and how one was responded to by their caregivers and how their caregivers treated each other.
This behaviour is then absorbed and often becomes how one will treat another and expects to be treated by another in a relationship. And if these early relationships were dysfunctional and unhealthy, it is highly unlikely that one will have a relationship that is healthy and functional as an adult by doing the same things.
But at a deeper level these ways of behaving will be what are familiar and are classed as safe to the ego mind. So although they may not work and lead to endless frustration, pain or conflict; they will persist until ones awareness increases.
The early models that one has learnt will lead to one challenge and the other challenge will come about through the pain that was created in ones early years. For some people, this may include extreme to moderate abuse, but all childhoods will have consisted of moments of pain.
And that there was pain is not the problem, what leads to problems is when this early pain is not dealt with and stays unprocessed.
As an adult, one may only be semi conscious of this pain, but it will often define the type of person that one is attracted to and this pain will be triggered by the other person.
This means that one may need to change how they behave in order for a relationship to work and that a relationship can have the potential to trigger a lot of repressed pain. And as the mind will do all it can to avoid pain, the natural tendency can be to end the relationship.
It may seem as though the other person is causing the pain and so finding someone else who doesn’t cause one to feel pain can seem to be the logical thing to do. And this can also depend on how much of a connection one can have to the other person.
If there is some kind of connection, one may want to stay in the relationship, but this can also be influenced by how conscious one is. One may end up being controlled by their emotions and therefore leave the relationship.
The Path To Wholeness
Relationships are often described as vehicles that have the potential to lead one back into wholeness. At a deeper level this wholeness already exists; what gets in the way, is what one has picked up along the way.
Pain will come up in varying degrees and the desire to escape in some way may appear, but it is in facing this pain that the true self is realised. And as one goes deeper into who they are, one will have more to give and be able to truly connect to another. If one is not willing to open up, one can’t expect another person to.
There are many options when it comes to being assisted in this area. For some people, the assistance of a therapist, healer or coach may be required. And for others, it may involve finding the right information on how to change their habitual ways of behaving.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.