Is your relationship struggle calling you forth to receive more love
When current divorce rate statistics like the following tell a sad story when we are experiencing our own relationship struggles, it may be difficult to see a way out other than separation:
Almost 50% of all marriages in the USA will end in divorce or separation.
60% of second marriages end in divorce.
73% of all third marriages end in divorce.
However, whilst many of these break-ups might be for the better, I am a great believer that a struggling relationship where there is no sign of abuse is often calling forth both partners into their next level of love and personal growth.
Also watch: 10 thoughts that can destroy a relationship
Our ego can hold us back from the love we want
Many of my clients come to me thinking that they are on the verge of separation but soon begin to realize that their struggle is stemming from their fear of getting hurt, and this, in fact, is holding them back from creating the love they really want.
“Our ego is scared to feel more love and thus will use many cunning tricks to stop us from opening ourselves up to the next level with our partner.”
Communication in relationships
Unfortunately, none of us have been taught to communicate in such a way that it helps a relationship to grow and thrive in the long term.
Instead, we have received too many messages that encourage idealized notions of romance, which instill the belief that our partner is there to save or ‘complete’ us.
As a result, we often put so much pressure on our partner to be that perfect man or woman, just like in the movies. We make them responsible for the way we feel and, in doing so, hold a metaphorical gun against their head, which says, ‘YOU made me feel like this.’
“Whilst our partner can trigger us in so many ways, we are ultimately responsible for our own well-being.”
When we do not take full responsibility for our own feelings, behaviors, and responses & continually blame or criticize our partner, we are essentially allowing the ego in relationship to ‘run the show.’
Our inability in letting go of ego in relationship can have many detrimental effects and is usually a recipe for much unhappiness.
On the other hand, once your free yourself from your ego and take full responsibility & choose to show up with integrity, honesty, and openness in your communication, you pave the way for what I call a ‘real’ relationship.
In this type of partnership, we feel accepted for who we are, and we do not have to hide out of fear. To feel this amount of freedom in love is truly liberating!
Ego problems in a relationship
Our ego in relationships is usually the voice in our head that likes to tell us stories of doom and gloom.
For example, it may tell you that your partner is not good enough; that he needs to be more passionate or more dynamic; that she is too controlling or negative.
The ego in relationship likes to talk in absolutes and does not think to focus on the commendable aspects of your partner’s character.
If you are not careful, this ego in relationship can soon start to persuade you that you should find someone else who would be a far more exciting match!
As a result, it is often easier to jump ship from your relationship than stay and face your fears around opening to more love and overcoming ego.
The ego is the primitive part of us that lives in fear. It is addicted to fear-based thinking and does not know how to live in any other way.
One of its most destructive patterns of behavior is to continually project our own weaknesses or faults onto our partner.
This allows us to protect ourselves from possible rejection or feelings of abandonment by continually blaming or looking for fault outside of ourselves. This certainly does not create the environment conducive to a healthy, connected, and loving relationship.
Putting the ego’s potentially destructive behavior to good use can, however, take a relationship that once seemed destined to failure, onto a whole new level of connection and love.
Using ego in relationships for transformation
Take back your projection
Wherever you are thinking, I wish my partner was more or less of something; this is an opportunity to ask yourself the same question and therefore take back your projection.
For example, if you are thinking, ‘I wish my partner was more passionate,’ ask yourself ‘where in my life could I be more passionate or interesting?’
Taking back our projection does not mean there is no truth in what the ego in relationship is saying, but it does mean that we should be less quick to point the finger of blame.
Appreciate the good in your partner
Our ego in relationships tends to over-focus on what is not working or where your partner is not meeting your needs.
This can be an opportunity to start appreciating the good aspects of your relationship and all the things that you may tend to take for granted.
If you are feeling unloved or not heard or seen by your partner, this can be a great opportunity to speak your feelings or ask for what you want.
Of course, this means that we may have to take a risk in terms of expressing ourselves, and this is scary to the ego, but this is where our relationship is given the opportunity to grow.
I often encourage my clients to ‘feel the fear and say it anyway’ from a position of full ownership. The more we can do this, the more we get to be true selves with our partner. This is the ultimate freedom in any relationship.
Give yourself attention and love
If you have a tendency to feel hurt or unloved by your partner, this is always an opportunity to take your attention away from them and what they are or are not doing and give yourself the love and care you want.
Surrender to ‘not knowing’
Lastly, anywhere that you are ‘waiting’ for your partner to step up shows that you have an attachment to them when acting in a particular way.
This is a great place to start surrendering to not knowing if, how, or when your partner will respond.
In my experience, this also gives your partner the space to show up in their own unique way, which can be a wonderful surprise.
Taking risks pays off
In my own personal experience and through my work with clients, we all have the capacity to give and receive much more love.
Of course, opening ourselves up to this does mean that we are taking a risk and one that might not work out if our partner does not show signs of wanting to meet us where we want to go.
However, this all comes down to what you really want in your relationship.
Would you rather be loved for the person you are and commit to exploring whether there is the opportunity for a greater love, or would you prefer to hide, stay quiet or move into blame each time you are faced with tension in your relationship?
It is always worth remembering that the aspects of our relationship that we don’t manage to heal in our current situation are generally going to be revealed again in our next relationship.
Committing to working through difficulties and being prepared to make mistakes whatever the outcome is always going to put us on the path of more love.
Taking risks in showing up in my own marriage has helped me create a ‘real’ relationship, and this can be a beautiful thing. Relationships are precious, and I encourage you to stand by your own vision of what you really want in love.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
I am a qualified Imago Relationships Facilitator, Contemporary Psychotherapist & fully certified Coach (ACC, CPCC) and draw on all these trainings to help my clients (men, women & couples) achieve transformational results in a short time frame. I use an intuitive, challenging approach encouraging all my clients to take full responsibility in their relationships and teach them how to do this in the form of clear, calm & simple communication. I make full use of the present moment and facilitate clients to step into their full power as much as possible by understanding where, when and how they are giving their power away to their partner so that they can become more empowered and enjoy greater relationship freedom, connection and intimacy.
I work online and in person (depending upon the location of the clients).