As many young people at the the age of 20s, I used to love romantic & happy-ending movies. Watching those movies, we felt like living in a fantasy world where the characters are the models of our ideals about different aspects of a perfect couple and a perfect relationship: the man is caring, manly, protective, romantic, loyal, sometimes even sacrifice himself to make the woman happy,; the woman is beautiful, innocent, lovely, feminine, sweet, attractive…; they go through obstacles, and challenges, sometimes even tears and heartbreak, then eventually they successfully prove their love to each other in the most romantic ways imaginable; and most importantly: they end up being together and happy ever since!
Ohhh, I Loved those stories. Don’t you?!
Most of us when falling in love are actually playing the stereotype of relationship role models that we always had in mind. We feel like living in our sweetest dreams and ecstasy in romantic relationships. The peak of happiness is: the moment of Announcement of Love - the Confirmation that You are Loved!. And even more: the moment of Proposal, followed by a Marriage - the Promise that You’re guaranteed to be Loved and that your Loneliness is to be replaced by Happiness provided by your very own partner!
Yes!! I felt like my Heart was going to explode as the Happiness was breaking through every limit to be the most ecstasy experiences ever in those moments! I was loved, and promised to be loved! Forever!! How could I put the Happiness into words!! Indescribable!
If Life was about to be Happy. So That is it! A Happy ending! And we’ve got there - those who have had the moments that someone you love announces his/her love to you, or propose to you/ accept your proposal, or you’re getting married! We are in ecstasy and convinced that Happiness would be permanent! Forever!! And that’s it, the Happy ending of our life stories!.
Really??! Yes, isn’t it?! I used to think so!
Until one day I was waken up from that sweetest dream by thunders and clouds of confusion and disappointment. The happy-ending movies told me that the perfect love would always come to a happy ending (unless it wouldn’t, but if it wouldn’t, it wasn’t a perfect love in my opinion anyway!), then, the couple would live happily together ever since. But they didn’t tell me about how the couple’s day-to-day life afterwards is like, and what the reality that we all will have to face (after the romance) actually is.
A year or two after the Announcement of Love or Marriage, most of us realise that something seems to have changed. The messages of love, kisses, hugs, flowers, gifts, dates, romance or sex - whatever used to be constant elements in the ideal relationships that you always had 1-2 years ago - now become less and less. You find yourselves more and more often feeling annoyed or disappointed, and complaining about your partner: he/she forgot something again, he/she is so lazy/messy, he/she is so annoying saying this and that, he/she is so careless, he/she is hopeless, why I always have to do this or that for him/her, etc. The Relationship or Marriage seems to be less passionate, less happy, less satisfying, even becomes quite bland and boring. Since when you don’t know, but you have gradually been surely acknowledged of that unwanted fact!
We might become disagreeable on many things with our partners; we might discover many habits and ways of thinking/behaving of each other which are fundamentally different, even conflict; we might feel annoyed, even angry when the partner keeps acting in certain ways that we couldn’t accept; we might feel disappointed when the love gestures and connections become much less than before… Even worse, some of us might even suddenly discover the partner was lying or cheating on us and become devastated… By this way or that, we all somehow at some point start to feel unhappy and dissatisfied (even just a little bit) about the relationship which was once ideal. We couldn’t make sense of where all these problems came from, and how they have developed after having all those sweetest memories and peak happiness not long ago.
I have been there, through those experiences. All of them… Many times… In many different ways By different people… Yes, Sadly! My fantasy about a permanent Happiness in life that is brought to me by an ideal partner who truly loves me, more than once, collapsed!
It would be easier if you haven’t reached the stage of marriage so you would probably just move on, find an other partner, and try again if the relationship seems to not work out well!. But if you have already entered a legal marriage, it is a bit more complicated once the romantic phase has ceased and when the issues have come up. Even though nowadays divorce is very popular, it still takes a lot of pain going down that road. And unless you decide to end it all by leaving the partner/ getting divorce and start over again somewhere else, it is worth to look at the below New Model of Relationship Dilemma that would help you find new lights in the current dissatisfying situations and then bring about new solutions, or you can come back when you again hit the rocks of these matters later on.
In either case (married or unmarried relationships) we would all reach to a point where we go through and experience certain degrees of pain, sadness, disappointment, or feeling lost, distrust, sometimes resentful, and even loneliness and despair when the relationship has issues.
Many of us (if not all) become bitter and blaming towards the partners when the relationships are no longer idealistic. We see the partner’s faults, his/her mistakes, changes, misconducts, and unacceptable behaviours, etc. Hence, in our own Perceptions: due to those qualities in the partner the relationship doesn’t work out, also those qualities in the partner are judged as causes that make us now become unhappy.
But that is only one sided view! As discussed in previous articles, We know that we normally only see what we want to see and what we want to believe base on our own perceptions and belief systems formed from our early childhood and built up over the course of our life up till now. We often forget or are completely unaware that every other person also has his/her own beliefs and his/her viewpoints are not the same as ours. As much as we can see, think, feel about others, the others also see, think, feel about us, often in different, even opposite lights, based on their own beliefs and world models in their minds. The interactions between two parties in a relationship can become increasingly strained if the differences are significant and especially when both parties function mainly under their Egos’ control.
This is a Trap of Untrue Belief and Thoughts that creates an Inescapable and endless Spiral Feedback Loop in the Relationship!
Feedback Loop in Relationships illustration:
The Feedback Loop is a trapped circle (or spiral) of interactions and is sustained by both ends (yours >< your partner’s perceptions and reactions) without an actual beginning and an agreeable ending.
So the answers for the questions: Where the problems in relationships came from, and How they have developed, in summary are:
1. After the romantic phase and the Peak experiences of a relationship, we come to face the reality of day-to-day interactions with each other. We started facing the differences in our habits, ways of thinking and behaving which are routed from each person’s belief systems and perceptions that already formed in our early life, and already existed before we got together.
2. The differences in beliefs, perceptions and values might become irritating to one or both of the parties in the relationship. From here, you might choose to separate/end the relationship if the differences are completely intolerable, seriously and fundamentally violate each own values and belief systems. Or, you might stay in the relationship but most of the interactions become the triggers for entering the Trapped Feedback Loop. Tensions go round and round in circle (or spiral), the relationship becomes unhappy and dissatisfying, even hopeless.
So now, the important questions are:
I. If we choose to stay in the relationship, How can we sort this dilemma out?
II. How to be Happy again in the Relationship?
Please Read on!
Let's go to the First Question: How can we sort this dilemma out?
Before going to the How, we need to bring forth an important truth, which is: Each of us all have Freedom to choose our own attitude towards what happens in our life. What attitude we choose, despite being based on our own judgement or being influenced by other people and circumstances, is still our own choices. We allow and choose to open the door for that attitude which we chose to then become our expressions and actions.
When you feel unhappy and dissatisfied in the relationship with your partner due to the differences as mentioned earlier, if you think the differences are completely intolerable, seriously and fundamentally violate your own values and belief systems, you may choose to leave the relationship, to end the sufferings that become unbearable for you. But this choice does NOT mean that: you left because your partner were Wrong!. The truth is: You left because you Both couldn’t accept the differences and couldn’t find a Compromise between your Two Beliefs and Values systems.
Now we have more to discuss in the case which you choose to Stay in your Relationship.
As pointed out above: despite being based on our own judgement or being influenced by other people and circumstances, what you choose is still your own choice. It is Not because of your children, or your parents, or your pity for your partner, or your clinging to the sweet past memories so you cannot make a decision to leave. But in fact, Staying IS your Own Choice at this moment! After Already taking all other matters in to making your decision So Far.
The reason I want to make it clear before discussing further is to bring your awareness to acknowledgement of your very own choice that: You are the person who has made that decision at this moment for yourself!.
If you are thinking and believing that: You only stay in the relationship as an obligation because of someone or something else, or because you fear that you cannot survive on your own if this relationship ends; either way, that means you deny your own decision, responsibility and choice, so the How below cannot help! And You will endure your sufferings by holding this untrue belief until you change.
Only when you understand that this is your own choice that you are staying in your relationship at this moment, and that you want to find solutions for it, you can then be able to help yourself to find the way out of its dilemma and become happier in that relationship.
So make sure you are at the right place then read on!.
The below guidance is not abstract but real life experienced and is given by Higher Consciousness and Enlightened Beings of all times. They are meant to be combined altogether. They do not prolong their effect if being applied separately.
1. Remember (especially when things seem to go wrong) that: Every event that comes (or happens) to you always contains Truths and Meanings in it, no matter how Wrong and Difficult that event could appear to be. All is needed and helping you on your own Evolution.
Your responsibility is Not to point out that someone or something else was Wrong to prove that you are Right, but: to find Meanings in the event that happened. Everything that happens to us always meant to show and teach us the truths and lessons that we need for our own evolution and growth at this specific moment.
Even if you are not clearly seeing or understanding the meanings of what’s happening at this moment, you will one day, as long as you wish to! For now, Remember that nothing in the universe happens as mere accidents!. Everything happens for a reason and in harmony. Nothing is meaningless. Otherwise it wouldn’t happen at the first place. We just cannot see the bigger picture at the moment. But bear in mind, they are all meaningful and needed for your growth!.
2. Remember (especially when things seem to go wrong) that: Every hurtful action of someone is rooted from his/her own beliefs and his/her pains in the past, then that action is perceived and categorised by your own beliefs filter to be “hurtful”.
Why do you think your partner keep forgetting your anniversaries?
Perhaps he believes it is not necessary or not a big deal to remember; perhaps his birthday or his important events or great achievements in the past were not remembered by his parents or others; perhaps he never seen his parents celebrate their own anniversary when he was young; perhaps he saw his father forgot his mother’s birthday or anniversary and it was ok for them, … , all these possibilities could have contributed into his belief that remembering an Anniversary or not is not the end of the world!. etc
But Wait! Why do You think he must or should remember the anniversary?
Perhaps you believe that it is the proof and reassurance of love, if he didn’t remember, that meant to you that he didn’t love you; perhaps your ideal relationship that you have fantasied about in mind was that it has to be full of romance, and anniversary is one of those romantic occasions; Perhaps your parents or someone forgot or ignored to celebrate some of your important occasions such as birthday or the first time you got 10 mark at school after so long you had tried very hard etc, and you felt unloved, uncared for because they were careless, …
So in truth, Is the matter itself really hurtful? Or is that Your chronic Belief that if your partner forgot the anniversary surely meant he didn’t love you made you become anxious?
Is your partner really Wrong if he actually forgot?
He isn’t in his belief. But he is in your belief. So which one is true?
Though this is only a simple example, and there are much more complex situations in real life, in any case we can see where the issues lie: all actions are done by a person as it is ok to do so in his/her belief, but those same actions might be perceived as Not ok by an other person based on his/her own belief. This is the difference in each person’s definitions of right/wrong, should/shouldn’t, necessary/ unnecessary, etc.
So before jumping in to disappointment and getting upset about something that your partner has done, think about: Why do you believe that he/she was wrong or shouldn’t do something? What does this reveal about your own beliefs?
Without your categories of your own beliefs system, would the action/ event itself inherently be the character that you initially think it would be?
Don’t get caught up with thinking that you are Right because Common Values in the Society agree with you, most of Other People agree with you. You are not in the public place to vote for a new parliament, you are dealing with your own personal relationship, one to one. And surely you don’t love all other people out there in the society in exactly the same way as you love your partner, you don’t have intimate relationship with other people the way you do with your partner, so don’t use the society’s or other people’s common values to be your allies or criteria to apply in your personal relationship!.
Also consider what your partner believes. Explore and think about what pains in the past had caused him/her in believing the way he/she does now.
Once you truly look for and find out the answers for the above questions, you will understand your partner in a deeper level with sincere compassion and sympathy. Forgive them when you understand why others acted the ways they did! Also, Forgive yourself if you ever hurt them!
3. Consciously Break the Dilemma Feedback Loops from Your End.
As discussed earlier, when the interactions of the two parties in the relationship become irritating or disappointing by their differences, they unconsciously enter a Trapped Feedback Loop.
This Feedback Loop is sustained by two polarised ends responding to each other based on their unmatched criteria including: beliefs, values and expectations that each of them has in their own mind about how the other person should behave in their relationship and in life in general.
These unmatched criteria invoke both unfounded requirements and unqualified response from and to both ends. This interactions go round and round in circle without an actual beginning and an agreeable ending, and produces only dissatisfaction.
The only way to stop this Dilemma Feedback Loop is to Stop interacting as one of the polarised end of the Loop.
Here is how:
* Think for yourself, in other word, Be aware that: you are again in this Trapped Feedback Loop and it won’t help you to solve your relationship dilemma. So you need to be determined to now step out of it.
* Start with: Communicating your truths. Say the truths about what you really think, feel, expect, believe, and more importantly explain thoroughly WHY. You need to know for yourself WHY you think, feel, expect, believe the ways you do and then communicate that to the other truthfully, honestly, gently and openly, without imposing or indicating that your view is the only one which is Valid, Better or more Correct.
If direct conversation is impossible, write a letter!
The other might reply and also share his/her own view. From there, you both would be able to enter a constructive discussion to reach a common ground and a compromise on important criteria.
If he/she doesn’t share his/her own thoughts, feelings, expectations, belief and the reasons for them, be patient! At least You have done your part - your first step to get out of the automatic operation of the trapped Feedback Loop with your sincere hope for the better.
Keep being honest, gentl, open and constructive, the other might do the same one day when he/she feels safe enough and realises your genuine intention!
But also be open to the possibility that after having tried your best, you and your partner couldn’t find a common ground and compromise. At that point you might have to decide if you accept the differences of each other or it is impossible. If it is impossible for one of you to accept each other’s differences, sooner or later break-up is inevitable.
Many couples went through break-ups and come back to each other (even more than once) after they have changed their views and now again hope to enter the constructive search for the common grounds.
* Distance yourself from tension to make space to reflect upon the situation. Remember! With gentleness and genuine intention to help cure the relationship!! Not with Anger or Scorn or as a Punishment towards your partner!
Being in the same space, same atmosphere, same situation can be very difficult to step out of the noise of details.
Find some fresh air to be on your own as soon as you can. Fresh air and Nature are the most healing source for the body and mind because we humans are parts of and made of the same stuff of everything else in nature.
Take a walk, look up the clouds/ sky, or do some stretching/ breathing exercises, massage your face and shoulders, having a mindful shower or do your favourite activities: either it be watering the plants, or drawing, or dancing, etc.
Notice that the common character of these activities are physical activities that would help you to re-connect with your body and the here & now. Keep away from passive activities such as: watching youtube/ playing games/ scrolling facebook, …, and even listening to music. Because these passive activities only put you in the Avoidant mode instead of Reflective and Receptive mode for positive changes.
You might want to talk to someone, Make sure you talk to someone who truly understands what has been written here or likewise, Not someone who you can just talk to about the details of what happened (in your own view) over and over again to reassure yourselves that you were Right and your partner were Wrong.
* In your own space, Contemplate Guidance no 1 and 2.
When you feel calmer and you can truthfully smile on your own. You Are Out of the trapped Feedback Loop for now!
* At this point, Contemplate Guidance no 4 below, and follow its instruction.
This is the most important step and the secret for the most miraculous shift.
Once reality has shifted and at that point you will have experienced by yourself the true effect of these guidances, remember to make a life long on-going effort in focusing on keeping your Vibrations High. Why?
4. What you perceive from your surroundings, especially from the interactions with those who are closest to you, in this case you partner, is the exact Reflection of Your own State of Mind (or the frequencies of your own vibrations). So, Focus in improving your State of Mind/ your vibrations instead of blaming others for your unhappiness.
This is the secret and the mechanics of how you have attracted to your life the exact people and events as how they are at this moment in time.
A simple test for that:
When you feel stressed/ annoyed/ disappointed by your partner, Notice if you have actually been stressed in general recently (about work, about your friends or family members, or about an event that happened the way you didn’t like it)??.
Be the most honest with yourself, be subjective and justice! If you are, the answer has been tested to always be a YES!.
Now, the truth is: if there wasn’t this stress/ annoyance/ disappointment with your partner, you were already in that mood - that vibrations of stress and anxiety. What you feel about your partner appears to be major because your partner is the major part of your life and the most significant person involved in your life.
Your vibration of stress and anxiety is the underlying energy which has manifested itself into your perception and attitude that you then project onto the outside world through your own thoughts, words, and actions. The outside people and events then response to your actions which were created by the underlying stress and anxiety vibrations at the fundamental layer of your being.
So whatever you perceive from the outside world is actually the response (or feedback) in reply to your subtle vibrations, and that’s why the outside events will always match up with your perceptions and attitudes towards the world around you instead of the other way round as we all believe that the outside people and events make us think/ feel/ react in the ways we do. This is the biggest illusion of Human beings that puts us in believing that we are passive and powerless in creating our realities.
You might now have realised the similarity between the above explanation and the Relationship Dilemma Feedback Loop described earlier. What has been explained above is the Reality Feedback Loop with the same mechanics and operations of what we have discussed, but instead of two people in a relationship, this is the feedback loop between Your Self and Your projected Reality which you call the Daily Life and Events.
So now, the questions: How can we sort out the dilemma of our relationships? and How can we be Happy again? ultimately become only one big question: How can we shift and keep our Vibrations to be at the Frequencies of Happiness?!
This can be the topic of a whole thick book to address a lot of different aspects of the matter fully, but we’ll try to jump in to a summary of the main points in the next article.