My partner and I just celebrated 12 years of marriage this week, which got me thinking. Here's what I posted on Facebook that day:
I highly recommend marriage, and not leaving when it gets too hard.
The safe container that it provides is precious for deep journeying together.
If you are courageous enough to be truly honest, to own your fears and to allow your old suppressed hurts to release it is a magical journey that will bring vulnerability, that tender feeling that deepens intimacy.
When the challenging stuff happens in relationship, as it does, we have an opportunity to go deeper. Living with someone you love will bring your unhealed issues to the surface whether you like it or not. We are always seeking to heal our childhood issues via our partner. This is usually not a conscious choice.
Here's a boundary fact: when they are blaming us for some random thing it is always about them and their issues and not about you. And, when you are blaming them it is always about you and your issues, and not about them. Blame means we are not taking responsibility for our feelings. With healthy communication skills (which most of us were never ever taught!) they could be saying something like, "I am noticing I want to blame you and I know that means something is up for me. I think I might be feeling angry. I don't fully understand it yet so please be patience with me." Chances are that anger has been 'triggered' by something you said or did that unconsciously takes your partner back to being a kid that was controlled, manipulated, scapegoated, neglected, abandoned or abused in some way.
Rather than snapping about unimportant things (omg, the annoying little things those we love do!) we could consider what is really happening for us. "When you are working as much as you are lately I don't feel cared for" is way easier to hear than a barrage of overwhelm and anger hidden behind blame.
When your feelings are bigger than what's happening in front of you it's a sign there are some old emotions coming forward, some memories being triggered. You may be aware of this or you may need support to explore what's happening so you can process it, especially when you get into repetitive arguments.
When we share our deeper fears we become vulnerable. The softness this brings allows our partners to feel closer to us. Real intimacy can happen from this special place.
I'm a fan of the anniversary of the day, 6 years earlier when my partner and I became a couple. I knew something magical and powerful was happening. A shared soul journey was underway. It's been the hardest relationship I have ever had because it truly is a soul partnership meaning via this commitment I have gone deeper in my healing than I have ever done before.
Our love has deepened over these past 18 years due to us both being committed to love and self growth.
I wish this for you and your loved one too.
Kia kaha committed relationships!
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