Broken by my failing relationship…
“Hey I may not be PERFECT”, I thought… “But am I really THAT bad?”
Things had been tough in my failing relationship with my partner (now ex-partner) for a while and I was starting to really question myself… Maybe there was some truth in this shaming and name calling, and it really WAS all about me.
On the other hand, I was struggling to think what I had really DONE…
Had I cheated? Nope.
Did I come back drunk and angry every night (or even ever)? No.
Did I REALLY never support my partner in meeting her needs? Well I definitely did my best to support where I could.
Was I overly rigid and unwilling to discuss things? Well, nobody else in my life seems to have that issue with me.
So here I was stuck, and not knowing where to go with my failing relationship.
And it was starting to take its toll.
I was still functioning, but could see that I’d lost some of my spark and energy. I noticed that I was losing some confidence with people too – rather than easily connecting with people, I’d find myself more suspicious and guarded.
Maybe they are going to find me out too, and see qualities in me that I didn’t even recognise.
Is my relationship making me the BEST version of myself?
Looking back on this period… and especially having removed myself from that toxic relationship, and finding myself in a COMPLETELY different one, it’s such a great illustration of one of the principles we talk about in our work with couples.
That is that a toxic or failing relationship can have a DIMINISHING effect on us – it’s like we become LESS of the person we are through our contact with our partner (or potentially friend or colleague too).
It’s like one plus one becomes LESS THAN two (1+1<2). The sum of our parts in less than the whole.
Maybe we lose some confidence or self-belief – like we don’t take on a challenge in the way that we otherwise do because we’re don’t believe in ourself.
We find ourselves playing small and we might even say… I wasn’t always this way. So what went wrong.
“It’s ok though”, we justify. “Everyone has challenges in their relationship.”
Where we might ordinarily not get bogged down with a negative comment and just get on with our day… how about when that’s compounded by a thousand comments over time. What’s the cumulative cost of that on our confidence and well-being?
Turning around our failing relationship
The GOOD NEWS is that the same phenomenon can work to support us… imagine a relationship where we become MORE of ourself through our interaction with our partner.
One plus one then becomes MORE THAN two (1+1>2) – we become MORE THAN the sum of our parts.
That their belief in us, and their support enables us to achieve things that we wouldn’t be able to do on our own. We enhance each other and bring more to the world.
What would that mean for you?
How would that enable you to share your gifts with the world, and to support and inspire the important people around you?
If this sounds like a big jump from where you are now, please remember that it’s been done before and it’s POSSIBLE.
So it’s possible, but is it possible FOR US?
So what kind of beliefs or ideas might we be holding that are keeping us stuck and not serving us anymore.
This is one of the areas that we explore with individuals and couples in our work. If you’re looking to get a sense of where your relationship is really working, and where it could use some attention check out our CLARITY Scorecard on our website where you can get some tailored feedback by answering some YES/NO questions!
In the meantime, remember as we say that the quality of your relationship determines the quality of your life!