What do you really want of me? Some people seem to think they need to fulfil certain criteria for their partners, but really the answer is “I want you to just be you – the one I love.”
We don’t need to make decisions about our own lives based on what we think others want. Even if we think we know what they want, we are probably wrong!
Yes, obviously you do make decisions together about things that affect the workings of your life – logistic things – like when to have supper and what you might like to have, how to approach getting DIY tasks done, where to meet after work.
And these things certainly apply to jobs – how to work as a team to meet the objectives.
But they don’t apply to your personal choices about who you are being deep down, what you are interested in, how you behave in the world, what your lessons in life might be, what you want to learn, and do.
No one person should be influencing another to be other than themselves – this is not really love – unless they simply do not understand the implications of what they are doing, and would be willing to try to understand this in order to consider doing things differently. (Note that I said “consider” – if they do not wish to give you the freedom to be yourself even when they do understand the implications then this shows that they do not truly cherish you for who you really are, and may prefer to control you, or try to make you into someone to fit their needs.)
We should not have expectations of others, other than to be themselves, and try to make reasonable efforts to get on with each other and with things that need doing so that you can function as a couple or team. These things merely require the willingness to: communicate, compromise to reach joint decisions about practical things, and to actually get on and do your share. They have nothing whatsoever to do with trying to control or change who a person is.
If you want to try to change another to fit your needs, then you should look at why you think you have such needs. The idea of love is simply to give love and be loved in return. You love just as you are and just as they are, otherwise it is not love in the first place – it is merely some idea that you quite like someone and if you can just mould them to fit your needs they will do – but this can never work, not even if you are desperate!
We also have to understand that people are affected by circumstance, and make allowances for this – they may grow past it or not, but that does not mean we love them any more or less. Hopefully pure love will get you both through, but it is difficult if you don’t communicate. You have to not be afraid of talking – trust that the other will want to listen and at least try to understand. But it is not our job to try to ‘fix’ another, just to be there for each other. So as long as you can communicate enough to share your love, so that you do have some joy in your life together, you should be fine.
Perhaps part of cherishing is also being grateful for what you do have. Try to remember all the good things if you are in any doubt.
We should look at the good things in life in general as well, in order to cherish life itself.
Come visit our CHERISH board on Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.com/woodmanjulia/cherish/
See our slideshow here:
Discussion Times for Couples or Others needing to make an effort to get along
- Make short pre-arranged times to come together to discuss a few things so that people can prepare for this instead of having things sprung on them. Obviously ensure this is a good time for all, so that it doesn’t clash with favourite programmes or things that need doing.
- Prioritise just a few of the most important things needing discussion so that no one feels overloaded. You could make a few headings for things to come under (much like an agenda), such as Finance, House Management, Relationships.
- Make it a rule that everyone gets a fair turn, and others listen properly, but no one is allowed to waffle on too long, they must learn to be concise.
- Also, if anyone becomes too emotionally worked up, it is better to call a short break, walk about, stretch, get drinks etc, before continuing.
- The main thing about this as that everyone learns to trust each other to try to make this a constructive thing to do, that isn’t stressful, so keeping it short and fair is very important.
- Bear in mind that not everything has an answer, so don’t expect too much from your partner – sometimes it is okay to accept that there may not be an obvious solution to an issue, although that should not be used as an excuse to not give things due consideration.
- Also remember, that while you can ask others to consider your needs, you cannot necessarily expect them to fulfil them. Obviously everyone can try to take things into consideration to a point, but relationships are not there for fulfilling each other’s needs, they are for working together as a team, and loving with freedom to let each other be who they are in themselves, and each person should aim to be self empowered rather than too dependent on each other.
- Look for small steps rather than expecting everything to happen at once – for example, to arrange to pay small amounts on each bill until there is more income (or prioritise the most important bills), or go to the park if you can’t afford to go out for dinner to spend time together. Don’t assume your partner will only accept big solutions, don’t be afraid to suggest compromises.
- Try not to criticise each other – show what you do like by giving compliments and showing appreciation etc, for example “I loved the way you texted me out of the blue today, it made me feel so cared for”, or “Thank you for listening so carefully to my feelings”, and you could always ask them if there is anything they would like to share in return.
- Always try to leave room for each person to express themselves without interruption, as long as they don’t overdo it. If things get too much, then ask for a break, or suggest that they speak about it again when they have better collected their thoughts so that they can be more concise and clear, or so that the emotional levels are cooled a little. Don’t continue if you are becoming distraught, but do promise to speak / listen again when things are more calm, and things can be expressed better. Writing things down can help take the emotional heat out of it, and also help you clarify which bits are important, so that you can prioritise a few points and present them as clearly and concisely as possible. This is also a good thing to do if your mind is going over something at night to prevent you from sleeping, or anytime you are upset. (Sometimes a first draft of what we write would be long and emotional, but a second draft would be much shorter and make more logical sense, so you would never show the first draft to anyone else as it would only confuse things.)
- Try to leave room after your meeting to relax before going to bed. It is always better to go to sleep on good terms, rather than stew all night. It is much harder to regain a warm outlook towards each other if you have left it until the next morning. So reassure each other after your meeting, that you are done with the discussion for now, and anything else can be set aside until next time, etc. Maybe there is something you could add to help, like some relaxing music, or even meditation? Or rubbing each others backs in a warm bath?
- However, don’t always carry things over to next time, do try to conclude some things at each meeting, otherwise the meetings will become a drag. Okay, so if you did not find a solution for something at one meeting, and people have agreed to think about it until the next one, then it is okay to have it on the agenda again, to see if any bright ideas or different perspectives have emerged, but don’t dwell on something too much. Of course some things that need doing in stages or steps will have to come up again, for example revising payment plans, or if you have paid off one bill, then you would want to agree how to redirect the funds no longer needed for that one, etc, but these are generally the more practical things.
- Even though you leave space to settle down after a meeting before bed, it may not be the best night for sex, but remember that a cuddle does not have to mean sex. Closeness should be shown in many other ways. It is better to have warmth and friendship between you than to feel pressure to perform, then when you do want to try sex, it will come more naturally.
- Massage is a wonderful way to show your caring side and to treat each other (make sure it goes both ways, unless one prefers an alternative reciprocation, but it doesn’t have to necessarily be the same time, so one could be treated one night and the other the next, for example). It does not have to be a huge thing, just a few caresses or strokes is better than nothing. A few strokes, or even just a warm hand resting on you, can release a lot of tension from the body. Don’t forget the head and face, these are areas people don’t often get touched outside of intimate relationships.
- Respect is vitally important. Respect for yourself as well as for each other. So each person is making an effort in the relationship (or team), and in their own lives, and feels they have a right to speak and to be heard – so you do listen to each other as long as they do not treat you disrespectfully. If anyone has trouble with self esteem, they should perhaps consider getting some help with this. Our pasts can have a huge influence on our behaviour, especially if we have been treated badly, and we may need help to move beyond certain patterns and to feel more empowered (in a balanced way, that does not try to control others).
- Meditations and visualisations can be wonderful tools to use individually and as a couple. They can enhance your sense of deeper self, and all your relationships (family, friends, work, etc.) I have several of these available on you tube, including an anger management one, and I will be continuing to add more.
- There are some simple things you can do here – before your meeting you could sit facing each other for a moment, maybe holding hands, and close your eyes. Breathe deeply and call up your love to help you be calm and gentle at your meeting, so that it can be a successful / positive experience for all. You could even say something out loud, such as “I promise to try to be calm and loving”, or “I promise to honour and respect you and listen to your points of view, and I ask you to do the same for me.” Call on each other’s highest (deep) selves to be present. You could also do a similar thing at the end of the meeting, for example, holding hands in a circle, and saying “Thank you” and sharing your love in the same way, silently for a moment, blessing your relationship.
- Children can be included in family discussion times from quite an early age, so that they feel empowered to have a say, learn about responsibilities, and share feelings.
Blessing to all, Julia Woodman
Any suggestions to add? Please feel free to comment.
Power of Logic & Affirmations to Free us from Destructive Emotional Storms & Reclaim Respect & Control.
What is your relationship like with yourself? Sometimes we let ourselves down, getting sucked into destructive emotional storms, even though we can see this ultimately works against our desired objectives. Storms spew out far too much at once and thus tend to break everything down. If we lose control in this way, we lose the respect of others, and might even lose respect for ourselves.
If we can stand back from our emotions and look at them logically, we can then find ways of training our minds to handle them differently. To start with you can only do this after the event – when you are not in the midst of being caught up in the storm of emotions. Gradually though, you will learn to do it as you begin to feel the emotions rise, or even in the middle of an event, to calm you down again.
It is much more logical to NOT LOSE or GIVE AWAY the power of positive possibility, by not giving in to negative turmoil, so don’t let yourself be overwhelmed! If you do, then you are literally just giving away your power to the other people involved, or losing it to the situation itself.
So, let’s consider these affirmations to help us build up positive power and learn to keep it going for ourselves.
Could you please ensure you are sitting comfortably in a position that allows you to breathe deeply and slowly as you listen
Please try not to put up resistance to the affirmations, they are designed to help you get past blocks, and the more you listen to them the more they will help you.
Please try to listen with your eyes closed so that you are relaxed and focused. They will be read out slowly enough for you to absorb them, like a guided meditation.
If you really feel a resistance to the idea of listening, then please at least read the affirmations through to yourself. I suggest doing this several times over a period of several days, until you do feel ready to listen to them. Being relaxed and just listening will help them get through at a deeper level, when you are ready to be open to this.
I feel confident in myself as a person, to do what I need to do in life.
I do not let what other people think affect this, however I am willing to learn from valid comments, and let go of all the rest as being irrelevant.
I do not waste my power and energy on worrying about what others think, I merely reconsider my own situation honestly, and move on.
I will not become upset by criticism, or take any of it personally. I am not responsible for other people’s thoughts or needs, only for my own.
I will simply consider if there are any points worth learning from, and let go of anything else.
I do not react in a way that shuts me off from the possibility of learning.
Sometimes I accept that people are going to say things because they believe they should, and I am able to let that go, like water off a ducks back, if I feel it is not valid.
I do not let it anger me, I let it slide off, let it go.
I realize that melodrama can be addictive. It may seem exciting, but it really gets in the way of things. I therefore choose not to waste my time & energy on that, instead of progressing.
It is more important to use my time and energy to move forward with situations.
I do not allow myself to succumb to reactions that get in the way of making the best of things.
I simply breathe to let emotions go, and move on with life.
I accept that people have a right to their opinions, but they do not need to affect me, unless I think they have a valid point for me to consider.
I accept that sometimes they may even wish to help me, and I accept that sometimes this may actually be of benefit, so I don’t allow my emotions to cloud my ability to listen.
I do not allow negative emotions to get in the way of my progress.
Any judgement is gently dismissed – as if blown away on the breeze.
I will not put up resistance, I will simply let it go.
I understand that if I try to resist something it only brings negative power to the situation, when it would be better to move on to something more positive.
I do not give away my energy, and precious time, by indulging in these negatives, but turn instead to directing my energy towards the next steps.
I am focused on making something new and better.
As I breathe out, I take my attention to more positive thoughts.
I begin to see more clearly what I could do next to improve the situation, instead of being caught up in churning it over and over.
I notice the good things around me, and in my life, and smile to myself.
I can even see the good things in people more easily, and the positive potential of situations.
I know that if I can let go of irrelevant stuff and relax, I am much more able to do well.
This applies to all my relationships, as well as to situations – partner, children, friends, and even those I have to do business with.
I am also developing a better relationship with myself.
I know that I can get on well with myself and my life if I let go, rather than let myself get wound up by others.
I realize that letting others wind me up only gives them power over me, so I choose instead to keep my power for myself, and direct it to where I want it to be.
I realize that anger, resentment, and bitterness actually sabotages myself.
So I do not allow myself to shoot myself in the foot, because this is obviously illogical.
I focus on my breath instead, and calm and let go in each moment.
I consider things logically later, when I am in a safe place to do so.
I know that I have the power to be COOL, CALM, and COLLECTED and to not allow others, or situations, to affect my own best ways of managing things.
I breathe in the calmness and let it fill my body right up.
I focus on feeling it coming in with each breath.
I feel powerful and in control.
I know I can find my best way forward whatever the situation.
I trust myself to keep steady.
I allow myself to unwind whenever I need to so that I can then get on with moving forwards.
I realise that animosity and stubbornness can get in my way.
I can see that there is nothing to be achieved from arguing over a point.
It is best for me to consider things later and decide for myself how to best move forward.
I do not waste time and energy on arguing because I know it is much more important to focus that energy on moving forward positively.
I keep my eyes on the positive because this allows the negatives to just slip away.
I do not give my energy away, or allow it become scattered.
I draw on it to help me, and those close to me, to succeed and be happy.
I hold my power gently within the centre of my body.
I can use it for myself and those close to me anytime I want to.
I realise that it is better to be humble and considerate, which lets life flow, than to shout and wrestle, which only puts up resistance to life.
I do not let animosity and stubbornness arise, I simply breathe in to CALM and move on to a more positive focus.
I realize that volatile emotions are usually destructive, and I know that I do not want to destroy relationships or situations, so I breathe out to let any unwanted emotions go.
I want to give things the best chance of working out, so I direct my energy to that, and the positive things I can do.
I always remind myself to let go and calm, so that I can keep focussed.
I breathe to relax so that I can go on as positively as possible.
I CHOOSE the power of logic over the power of destruction.
I choose not to waste my energy on anger, bitterness, and fear of results, but to focus my energy on getting the good things done instead.
I choose not to waste my energy on worry either, as I realize that it is all hypothetical, so I use all the energy to ensure getting the best results.
I focus now and every day on moving things forward positively.
I know that I can do this. I trust myself to do this.
I breathe in the calmness anytime I need it, and I let go of all the negatives, so that I can be the best I can be.
I do not put undue pressure on myself though, I relax wonderfully into being my best self.
I feel power gathering in me when I breathe, filling me up and helping me to progress steadily.
I feel power, like oxygen, in every cell of my body, and smile, or nod.
The smile, or nod, switches on a light in the centre of my body, and in my head.
I feel the light filling me up too, as it flows around my head, and around my body, in my blood.
I feel that I am growing as I become more filled with light and gentle power.
I feel the strength of my self-belief expand in a calm and sure way.
Now I am easily able to let go of stuff I don’t need – anytime I want to.
I trust myself to be calm yet powerful.
Calm, DIGNIFIED power fills me, and lifts me, now, and anytime I need it.
I now understand how to conserve my personal power, as well as how to build it up.
I am now ready to begin to live in each new moment with more and more of this steady power available and able to help me.
I know that I am now able to take more and more control of my future.
I will use these affirmations regularly, because each time I do so, I will take them on at a deeper level, and become more and more able to use them consistently, and even automatically.
I feel confident in myself as a person, to do what I need to do.
By facing up to things instead of obscuring them with emotional storms, I earn more and more respect.
I know now that quiet assertion is a much better way to say what I need to say, than to get sucked into melodrama.
I am now able to focus on the important points, and communicate effectively & efficiently, instead of wasting time and energy going in circles and dragging in unnecessary stuff.
I now command & deserve respect from others, and I also have more respect for myself/
I am steady and focused as I now go about my life.
Now open your eyes and stretch or move around to ensure you are fully awake.
Have a drink of water maybe.
Discuss your impressions if you wish, or simply hold them inside you for your own reference.
Take the power with you at whatever level you are ready to choose, and return to the affirmations anytime you wish to remind yourself about them, or to take them on at deeper levels.
Note if your impressions & responses change each time you do them.
There are many more self-help tools available via our website www.radiance-solutions.co.uk
Of course, when you’re getting to know someone you really like, you pay special attention to each other and to what you do together. You go out of your way to please, perhaps you even take time out of other things that you normally do. Then you get to a stage where you feel you know each other pretty well and you start to relax, and catch up with yourself a bit. That’s fine and it works really well a lot of the time, especially if you aren’t living in each other’s pockets. But even then it can sometimes start to appear to the other that you are taking them for granted….. for example if you are paying particular attention to another new friend and expecting your longer term friend to understand that this is just because you are making the effort to be inclusive, rather than meaning to exclude them. You tend to expect them just to know that they are safe in their established role as a friend or partner, and join in accordingly. But they night not feel that confident in certain situations, and you still need to pay enough attention to realise if they need encouragement or reassurance, or they might start to feel as if you are making a special effort for everyone else except them. Children might feel similarly that their mother is being especially nice to other children, and just mean or strict with them. I think we do tend to expect those closest to us to know that they are always the most special to us, but we should realise that they might not always be confident of this, especially if you are suddenly being less attentive than you used to be. When you have been around someone a long time you also tend to act as if you think they should know how you feel about everything, but no matter how much in tune you may be, there is lots of room for misunderstanding, particularly if their awareness is hampered due to them being tired or unwell, or preoccupied with an issue or task, or if you simply didn’t explain things properly. Quite often you may well be in tune enough to know what the other is feeling, or thinking, or talking about, but we should not take this for granted and get frustrated with them if we have not been clear enough about what we mean. It can only take a very small lapse in communication to create a huge misunderstanding – for example if your wife is talking about one thing and you start talking about another thing without specifying what, she may well assume you are discussing her topic and not realise that a new one has been introduced. Then later you might be surprised to find that she is adamant that you said something you know you didn’t, or that she did not respond to something you thought you’d specifically mentioned. Things can easily be misheard too, in the noise of offloading a van for example, she might have asked you “Should we leave these?” and you replied “Yes” because you thought she asked “Do we need these?” only to find that she has now left them behind. Try not to be too annoyed, just try next time to be more specific…. For example she could have said “Should we leave the box and the tape in the van?” or you could have said “Yes, I want everything upstairs, then at least she would have realised that you had misheard her first question. When we are busy, too often we are doing things at the same time as talking, so you can’t always hear if someone is walking away from you for example. It is useful to stop and do a checklist with each other at some point – “have we got everything now?” for example – and go through the list. Try to leave time for such checks as they often save a lot of time and/or trouble in the long run. Couples obviously tend to be around each other quite a lot, and even though you have chosen this situation, it can certainly be quite challenging to remain amicable. Humour helps, but it has to be real humour for both parties, the kind of stuff that lets things wash off, not a humour that masks bitterness or pain, as can sometimes be the case. You do need breaks from each other, time with other friends, time to pursue personal interests, and lots of trust to allow each other the freedom to do their own thing. Ideally you want to support the other in doing what they want to do, in being themselves, but that doesn’t necessarily mean tagging along! Often people try to cling or control, or just butt in when perhaps they shouldn’t. Something else to watch out for here, is that things should work both ways, each should be given roughly equal support and leeway. A girl shouldn’t expect to go off with her mates and then complain when it is her fellow’s turn. A wife shouldn’t end up feeling that she gives way more support to her husband than she gets in return, or that he sees her as providing a certain role. If things do get out of balance we need to remind ourselves that we are responsible for making our own choices, so if we don’t speak up about it then we can’t complain if things don’t change…. We need to take the initiative to discuss it and ask for more help for example, or say that you will be doing less as you need the time to get on with some of your own stuff, for example, or that you need more rest. Everyone has a right to ask for consideration. I am not saying we all have to do things equally, obviously it often makes sense for one to do more of what one is best at, or to do more of one thing for example so that the other can get on with something they have a special skill for – it’s like a trade off – if I do the cooking and the dishes, you do the DIY. If one is earning more income from going out to work then it makes sense for the other to do more at home, and it may swing the other way next time. One person’s career should not be seen to be more important than the other’s unless you both agree that this is the case, each should be allowed the time to devote to this, and anything in your life that helps create a sense of personal fulfilment. Sometimes we might agree that one has priority for example if they earn a lot more for their time, but careers are not just about money, they are also about self worth and validation, and helping other out too, so this all needs to be taken into account. Obviously finances can be a tricky area – but if we are working as a team, then it is a team effort really too, so if the man earns a lot more perhaps he will agree that it makes sense for him to cover more of the costs, but that she will do more of the home chores for example – or if we are both earning then when we go out we should each pay a share. A woman should not just expect the bloke to pay! Fights for rights have been no bad thing but sometimes they have pushed us too far the other way, or confused us a bit – women who tend to want to be everything can end up stressing themselves out trying to prove that they can, when often it is better to make some logical choices. These are all things we need to discuss in detail with our partners as we all have our personal views and needs. It is not a woman’s fault if society still tends to deem that she earn less.
|By the way, I think that it is good to involve children to some degree in discussions that involve who does what or how the bills get paid. I don’t think we need go into a lot of detail, but I don’t think we should shield them from reality – or they will get a fright later on when they are suddenly faced with everything at once. I also think that is much better for them to understand how decisions are made, otherwise they might make dreadful assumptions – for example thinking that one parent is treated badly by the other when that isn’t actually the case as you have agreed to do things a certain way for certain reasons that seem good and obvious to you, but that they might never have thought of. They might think that a parent is a failure because they left a job for example if it isn’t explained that this was a choice that was made on purpose and why. They might think that one parent is ‘bad’ and the other ‘good’ simply because they know about some things and not about others. Later when they find out that there was actually more of a balance than they thought, they can then end up feeling guilty for having judged in the first place – even though they could not have known any better. Hopefully we learn to let things go as we mature – there just isn’t anything good about holding onto resentment or guilt. Hopefully our young people will eventually realise that being parents is a huge learning curve!|
Couples should ideally be friends as well as partners, and so have the potential to make a very good team, or functional unit – and so focus on communicating properly with each other from this point of view as well as on the more personal and intimate levels. Relationships based just on physical attraction can be pretty emotionally explosive, but then so can any relationship if we let things slip. Good communication is essential really, otherwise how can you work anything out together? I think no matter how good we might think we are at getting along, we always need to be careful, keep reviewing things, make sure we are treating each other with fairness, respect, and kindness. Sometimes it’s a good thing to remind ourselves when we feel tempted to criticize, that we also do silly things. “Do not judge lest ye be judged” is always a good quote to bear in mind. Couples and friends need to be tolerant of each other – not expect too much – we are all human, with human foibles, idiosyncrasies, and imperfections. We all get tired and tetchy sometimes, or forgetful, or locked into something we are focused on. Don’t expect your partner or friend to always be attentive and tuned into your needs, take the responsibility to stand up for yourself if you think there is something they are forgetting, but try to do it at an appropriate time, when they are likely to be able to listen properly. There is no need to be upset or take it personally, just remind them, or just do what needs doing if they are really too busy, and hope that they do the same for you when you forget something. There is nothing even to forgive, we are all innocent, bumbling along, having a try at life and love, and mistakes are bound to be made. [Obviously this is very different from someone deliberately deceiving – all we need is to be honest with each other, and love will keep us wanting to go on trying.] Yes, when you are really close up to someone you tend to notice all their ‘faults’ – but are they really faults? We all have them – they are just the way we are – yes we can all learn to improve our ways, but we are all on the way all the time, we never become perfect, except in the sense of being perfectly human, warts and all. Other mis-communications are omitting to explain something, for example, “I can’t do that job yet because I need the builder to finish the trimming before I can know the right measurements” will stop her wondering why he won’t get on with it. However, she also needs to remember that she shouldn’t expect him to get on with it, as he is bound to have his reasons. We also shouldn’t expect people to do things perfectly – they will simply do as they can. No one can do everything perfectly, and sometimes they may not be feeling well, or might be in a rush to get on to something else. Our priorities are different, so it can be good to explain for example “I’m going to have to make the dinner a bit later as I really need to finish this first”, or we could ask “Would you mind making dinner tonight as I’m really busy with……” and not just expect them to work it out for themselves. There is no good reason to start feeling contempt and disrespect for our nearest and dearest – if you love them, just accept them for who they are, and hope that they do the same for you. Try to accentuate the positive, giving praise as often as you can. We are all like children really, responding well if we are praised, and inclined to give up if we are knocked down too much. Be nice to each other, nurture what you have, appreciate it. Don’t be lazy, don’t let it drift, as that is when you do get into trouble. Keep being clear about the specialness, or risk losing it. Keep being clear about how you communicate and express how you feel, so that you can keep on working things out together. If you get lazy about communication this can start to cause huge problems and a build up of resentment. Don’t sit back and let poisons seep in, keep on top of things. Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself when needed. Be true to yourself and step up to the mark for the good of the team. Love and trust and mutual respect are the gifts we have – don’t chuck them away, make the effort to keep things going as well as they possibly can.
| Other Communication Points:
So, if we pay attention to our communication, hopefully contempt will not arise, and we will be able to enjoy our familiar relationships as a continual blessing instead. It can be a good idea to regularly do a little reality check to remind ourselves of this.
by Julia Woodman