Complacency slips unseen into long-term relationships.
You’ve been together for ages. You know your partner really well. You know what they are thinking, what they are feeling and what they will choose to eat at a restaurant.
Yes, you know your partner inside and out.
This is a LIE.
This lie stops you from supporting and fully understanding your partner.
Because when your partner is reacting to something and is stressed/ unhappy/ frustrated, instead of finding our what is really going on, you dismiss the problem, wondering what’s going on with them. When you don’t understand them it’s because you are judging their behaviour from your view of the world.
You may even decide your partner shouldn’t be feeling like that, should they?
Get this: You will never perfectly know your partner.
Your partner will never know you 100%.
Look at yourself. There are many times, almost on a daily basis, that you refrain from telling your partner something. You might decide it is unimportant, or you may feel embarrassed about something, or decide its such a distant memory it’s not worth telling, or you may not want to hurt them so you keep quiet. There are hundreds of reasons you decide to not tell your partner something.
The same for them. There are things going on inside their heads that you know nothing about.
That’s how we are: each person has their own unique world they live in, and whilst we may have a lot of knowledge about that world, there are dark, murky corners that we will never seen.
You may have a map of your partners world and it is never 100 % accurate.
When your partner is feeling upset/ stressed about something, dont dismiss it with a shrug and say they shouldn’t be feeling that.
Rather do some detective work. Get our your map of their world and try to figure out how they arrived at this point. Ask your partners questions that will help you to understand. Put yourself in their shoes.
Its amazing what happens when you do this.
Instead of feeling irritated or dismissive or uninterested about the place they are in, you’ll suddenly feel empathy and understanding. They’ll get a sense of this and feel like you understand them.
Which you do.
Now that you’ve taken the time.
Feeling understood by a partner is hugely important to everyone.
Feeling understood gives your partner the power to take necessary action.
Let go of the lie that you know your partner well.
Take up the opportunity to explore their world even more.
This is the path to forever in your relationship.
If we could look into each other’s hearts
and understand the unique challenges each one of us face,
I think we would treat each other much more gently,
with more love, patience, tolerance and care.
Marvin J Ashton