HAPPILY EVER AFTER
Updated: Jan 19, 2020
I was at a wedding recently and delighted in watching the happy couple so in love.
But I also had a feeling of grief come over me.
One day the reality of partnership will hit them, and it will take so much effort to feel that kind of love again.
We all hit that point in our relationships eventually.
We go along with society’s expectations to get married and we are socialized to believe that we will be happy all the time, always feel love and stay together forever. Happily. Ever. After.
The problem is, when we adopt these beliefs, partnership becomes very stressful because if we don’t feel happy and loved all the time, we think something has gone wrong. Then we waste a lot of emotional and mental energy rejecting the difficult parts of relationships instead of leaning into them.
Here’s the truth: partnership is part of the human experience which will be half amazing and half struggle.
If you’re struggling, rest assured, it’s supposed to be this way, and nothing has gone wrong.
We all have a human brain which has the need to be right because it’s designed to resist anything that is different to what it's conditioned to think and believe. We become so critical and invested in trying to control the other person to be different than they are so that we can feel better. But that does the exact opposite. It creates a lot of tension and distance which feels awful.
So, if you’re thinking causes your suffering, that's great news because you have complete control over how you think.
How are feelings created? With our thoughts.
If you feel something, it’s because you’re thinking something, not because of what someone says or does.
Think about it: if someone says they love you, you only feel love if you believe them. If you don’t believe them, no amount of them saying it will make it true. It’s only your thoughts that make it true. You could think “they really love me” and feel loved or you could think “they aren’t being sincere” and feel unloved.
At the same time, your feelings cause your reactions and outcomes in a relationship. If you think you’re not appreciated, you will feel frustrated and become defensive or withdrawn. You end up acting in a way that you’re not proud of and your relationship deteriorates. It doesn’t get you the result you want.
The only way you will feel appreciated is if you believe it yourself. Start thinking appreciating thoughts about yourself. When you appreciate yourself, you will show up in a way that is authentic to you and feels good.
Your experience of your relationship depends on the thoughts you think about yourself and your partner. If you want to have a different experience, you have to change the way you think.
No one can make you feel happy or loved or wanted, you are completely in charge of your own happiness.
And not having to depend on someone else for your happiness is so empowering. It lets you both off the hook for having to do the impossible. It creates space to do things for each other from a place of choice which feels so much better than obligation. It’s from this place that you experience more connection and joy in relationships.
If you’re rolling your eyes reading this, I know how you feel. When I first started doing coaching work, I resisted these ideas too. I thought that my husband needed to change for me to feel better. I needed to know that if I applied these concepts, it would for sure work. It turns out, the only way for it to work is to do the work.
It takes a lot of courage to change our thoughts and beliefs at the risk of feeling rejected and vulnerable. But it’s the only way to get to happily ever after.
If you’re struggling in a relationship and would like to learn how to heal it and create more joy and connection, book a FREE session with me. I'd love to help.