The vital key to successful relationships
One of the most common problems in marriage nowadays is the woman complaining about the man not doing “enough” - he is not doing his fair share of the household shores, he is not taking care of the children enough, he is not cooking enough and when he does, he does it the wrong way. (I know sometimes I default into this myself, especially in the past, which probably was one of the reasons both my previous long relationships ended. But, I did not know then, what I do know now.)
When I hear women complain about their men today however, I listen with curiosity. What are they really saying? Between the lines, it is rarely about the dishwasher, or the napkins, or who is picking up the childrens toys. Between the lines, is the fear and the feeling of not being loved. Most often, this happens unconsiously, i.e. we think that its really about the external “thing” we invented to turn our frustration towards, without even realising something is going on underneath, in both men and women, and we are somehow gripped with the trance of unworthiness.
But, having that said (which I will come back to in other posts), there are of course also times when it really is about the “thing”. It can happen that two people have such different preferences about an external thing, more like a totally different value base, so much that it becomes almost unbearable and effects the relationship negatively - especially if you dont know how to adress the problem in a way that opens up for a solution oriented discussion.
My question then is:
- If this is such a big thing, so big you cannot overlook it for the sake of the relationship, if your values around a specific are so opposite - how come you got together in the first place?
There may be several answers to this, but likely there are two main reason to why this scenario plays out:
1. When you first meet, you are “in love”, which is different from loving each other. When you first fall in love, there is a myriad of different chemicals and hormones in your body, all there to make sure you stay together long enough to mate. When you are high on this hormonial coctail it is so much easier to overlook potential differencies, because your body tells you to.
2. You were not entirely true in showing who you are from the beginning of the relationship. Unfortunately it is so common to both be intoxicated by love hormones, and at the same time being afraid of showing yourself as you really are - raw and unmasked. You want the relationship to work, so badly that you hide some ugly parts of yourself out of fear for rejection. If you get the slightest feeling that you are not in agreement of something, you stuffed it down and hid it so that not to risk anything.
The problem with this, is that it will repell at you at a later stage if you do not gain the consiousness required to work on your own healing. The difference however, is that reason number one is something that is very difficult to manage with will power. Hormones are hormones, and sometimes they play games with you. But showing who you are, from your core with all your flawes and faults - that is something that YOU are in charge of. That is something that YOU are entirely responsible for.
And it is essential to do so, if you want your relationship to become the loving place you want it to be. That goes for both men and women. Hiding who you truly are will otherwise strike back sooner or later, giving you these “unsolvable differences” that you now see in your partner. As said, it is not the problems around stacking the dishwasher - these are solvable- but if you have a completely different value system around what is a mess, it may be a long term problem, especially if you did not show it from the start.
I am not saying its unsolvable - I like to think that all issues can be solved in a relationship - but it is neither fair towards yourself nor your partner to set up for a potential disagreement by pretending you are in a certain way or like certain, things, just to be agreeable, and then later claim you like it differently.
By showing who you are, in a clear and consistent way, you minimise the risk of ending up with the wrong partner. If your preferences clearly deviates from your dates, in the beginning of a relationship - do not hide your truth for the hope that your partner will change their opinion later on. That is setting yourself up for disappoinnent.
If you are a man - stay true and honest with who you are and speak it clearly.
If you are a woman - dare to be vulnerable and communicate how you feel about the differences.
of course people can and will change preferences over time however. But how you handle this is a completely different story, that I will come back to in a later post.