Pull Your Relationship From the Brink: Part 1
Let me preface this article by saying that there are no quick fixes when we are dealing with the highly complex reality of interpersonal (romantic) relationships. The internet is littered with guides, ebooks, and membership plans that promise “tricks” to get him or her back. That should be enough of a caveat emptor. Caveat emptor is typically used by the SEC to label investable securities that are highly risky, and basically means buyer beware. As I indicated, we are dealing with complex and seemingly incomprehensible human beings. A promise to “fix” a relationship or get him/her back easily, should be enough to dissuade an individual from buying into these sales pitches. The solution must conform to reality.
Tips and tricks only work in the short-term, and they tend to rely heavily upon manipulation, control and coercion. We have endless relationship advice at our disposal, but it might only promise to get that loved one back. But, what happens after the moment they come back? What foundational relationship problems were resolved by using tips and tricks? Have any of the dissatisfied partner’s dissatisfactions changed?
I don’t offer “tricks”; I offer advice and a heavy amount of self-development. As such, we can change how romantic partners interact with each other – every single moment. Before I get into the lesson, I have to make it known that I differ from the typical relationship advice community. The Schlessingers, Baucolms, and Walshs operate in a highly “conditional” environment. Things tend to be short-term oriented, and there is a considerable amount of “but, what about me” in the total presentation. While there is a debate as to whether true unconditional love exists, or should exist, I argue that relationships thrive when the principles of unconditional love flow between one another, and they fail under conditional love.
Ahh, the long lost embodiment of responsibility. This is a highly critical aspect of saving any relationship. Let me prove it to you. When you and your partner argue, a criticism is met with a reciprocated criticism. This rings true for those that operate out of indignation. Those that operate out of victimhood have different concerns with personal responsibility, and I won’t get into those in this article. Personal responsibility is the proverbial “eating crow”, at times. So just why don’t individuals take responsibility for their actions (principally their mistakes)? One word: power.
When an angry partner is laying out their relationship crime case against one, it feels like they must equalize the energies. By taking the stance of personal responsibility, individuals feel as if there is no ability to make their partner own up to their own offenses. The problem is that blame will always be met with blame. However, when we accept full responsibility for what we do, the accusation is acknowledged and we take it on ourselves to make up for it. Those that are highly argumentative up their energy level because they expect resistance. Getting your partner to do the same is a lot trickier, but personal responsibility is a major foundational principle that leads to relational success, in many outlets.
This has to be the most agonizingly pitiful advice that I am working tirelessly to defeat. Individuals are trained incessantly to punish their partner when they don’t get what they want. Here’s the rub: the punisher doesn’t think they are doing anything wrong. We call this righteous indignation. This is why the overtly expressed being right can only lead to punishment of one’s partner. It is no surprise that we call it RIGHTeous indignation. Individuals punish others because they are rewarded for it with endorphin releases. Yes, these are the same endorphins that heroin targets. What feels good will feel right, even if this person has an angry face. I often say that someone is feeding their pride, when acting this way.
Individuals punish so much, that they no longer even see what they are doing anymore. Mostly, it never gets observed by the conscious mind for scrutiny. Even if it did, the subconscious (prideful) mind will defend any righteous actions in one’s arsenal. Ladies and gentlemen, I see this every single day. Most of the time, the one that is trying to save the relationship or get him/her back is offering punishment at the very same time. Punishment usually takes two forms, a removal of love or a refusal to receive love.
When one’s partner is not doing or acting the way that is expected, one will choose to remove their love from this person. “If you’re just going to be mad at me, I’m going to leave.” This can involve voicing an I love you, and purposefully ignoring or avoiding the partner. Most of the time, individuals rationalize this behavior by saying that their partner removed their love first. This is not love, this is a power struggle.
The refusing partner is not accepting gifts of love from the other person. “Oh, now you want to be sweet to me. Well, what about yesterday, when you were being all pissy?” Even if one’s partner made a mistake and is trying to move on by making up for it, the refusing partner will impose a heavy punishment on them.
Let me be clear, removal and refusal are very often advised by so-called relationship experts. Again, the typical relationship expert community operate in a conditional environment, and these are highly conditional (and coercive) acts. A better relationship expert would advise punishment by telling the misbehaving partner what to do and what not to do.
Not offering punishment is my main thesis. It is the crux of everything I do and say. It is the hardest thing to do 100% of the time. That said, it is incredibly powerful when it is taken advantage of. The thing is that most people have zero faith in the no punishment model and rarely try said model for longer than a moment, or at most a day. This model fundamentally changes how individuals interact with one another, and shifts the relationship into more and more of an unconditional love environment. The doomed relationships fail rapidly when we introduce unconditional love. These are ones that will fail inevitably, anyways. This is the case, because some individuals have an unyielding need to manipulate and oppress their romantic partner.
When we offer no punishment, we make the relationship easier for one another to communicate. If a wife has no fear of a negative emotional reaction, she will voice her concerns more. As such, relationship problems can be on the table for resolving. If one partner has a bad day, gives negativity and is punished for it, we guarantee relational distance as a result. Distance leads to more arguments. It is a downward spiral. As such, I teach a model that offers love on the other side of an argument. This gives couples somewhere to walk towards, like a north star. Relationships need direction and it helps immensely to know that there is hope around the corner.