Relationship problems are hardly anything that we want to experience in our relationships, but they are an inevitable part of spending time with another person.
Here are three realities I've come to realize about relationship problems:
1. When you choose to date or marry someone, you're not necessarily choosing the person. Rather, you're choosing the problems that you want to deal with that emerges in your relationship with that person.
Let's face it: When we're in a relationship problems are inevitable. No matter how hard we try we simply just can't avoid them.
When we're with one person the problems may be much more challenging and difficult than with another person -- but it doesn't meant that there aren't any. It's simply the byproduct of being in a relationship.
Dr John Gottman, founder of the Gottman Method Couples Therapy, states that 69% of the problems that we deal with in our relationships are never solved. What determines whether the couple stays together or not relies on whether both people are able to accommodate and accept the traits and characteristics of their partner that irritate them.
Seeing that statistic can be pretty disheartening, but it can also be empowering, because it shows the importance of taking personal responsibility. We have the power to control our own behavior, actions and reactions. And we have a choice as to how we want to behave and even if we want to be in a relationship with a person with that one trait that drives you crazy.
Which leads me to my next point...
2. You can't change someone who doesn't have a problem with their own actions.
I'm sure that at some point in your life you've heard someone say, "You can't change a man." I know I've heard it many times -- and boy do I know a lot of people (myself included) who have tried.
To love someone means to accept them for who they truly are -- flaws and all. Even if they do forget to take out the trash. Even if they are habitually late for dinner. Even if they may have hobbies you have no interest in whatsoever.
Nobody's perfect and it's impossible for anyone to actually be perfect. And, realistically, why would you want to be with someone who is? There's no growth and learning that comes out of that.
When we tend to have the desire to want to "change" our partner, it stems from this inner desire to control the other person. It's rooted in the thinking that "they" need to change and not ourselves.
This is a distorted belief that stems from our ego (fear-based mind), which blocks us from truly experiencing real genuine love.
So be willing to recognize your own desires to control or change your partner and set the intention to let it go whenever it comes up.
3. What you think you need from others, isn't really what you really need.
In relationships, there are a lot of things that we may "think" we need from our partner: To always keep the sink clear of dishes, to always have
While having these kind of needs are certainly valid and real, it doesn't necessarily mean that we do, in fact, need them from our partner.
Whenever I think about needs, I always think of that old Sex and the City quote, "That's the funny thing about needs. Sometimes when you get them met, you don't need them anymore." And that can be oh-so-true. So I sit back and wonder, if we realize we don't need it anymore after they are met then did we really need them at all? Was it even worth arguing about?
One of my absolutely favorite teachers, Marianne Williamson, states that our neediness in relationships don't come from what we are not receiving from the relationship. Rather, it stems from what we are not allowing ourselves to receive from God.
Now, whether you like to use the term "God" or not is up to you -- sometimes I like to say spirit, the Universe, the Divine, etc. but regardless of the term it all boils down to the same thing: Our own inner disconnection from pure divine love.
We think that we need our partner to do a better job at reducing clutter out of the house, but really it is our own inner disconnection from divine love that is causing our distress. When we are disconnected from spirit, we are stuck in the distortions of our ego. When we're stuck in our ego, then nothing can quite be right. We have a tendency to always be finding something wrong or that needs improvement.
By getting connected internally to pure divine love, it helps to accept our partner for who they truly are. It helps us to be more at peace within ourselves. It helps us to ignite the love that we possess deep within our own beings so that we can share in with the people around us.
This is why I've created Ignite Love from Within: Meditations to Create Relationships and a Life Filled with Love -- in order to help you get reconnected with Divine love so that you can shine light and love from the inside out and share it with others around you.
Jennifer is a self and relationship coach, writer, and spiritual teacher. She is the founder of JenniferTwardowski.com and the creator of Ignite Love from Within: Meditations to Create Relationships and a Life Filled with Love, click here for a free meditation from the album. Her mission is to help women create loving relationships with both others and themselves. Click here for her Free Self and Relationship Healing Meditation and weekly blog updates. To learn about how you can work with her, click here.