“Relationships don’t cause unhappiness. They bring out the pain and unhappiness that is already within you” – Eckhart Tolle

I felt I should write something about the current pandemic as most other bloggers are, though I’m not particularly inspired to write about Covid-19 and I won’t write without inspiration. This quote inspired me and as I wrote this blog, I realised how relevant this is to the current pandemic. Many of us are stuck at home with our partners and many people are posting on social media that their partner is driving them crazy; some relationships will thrive under these circumstances and some will fail, it depends on how aware either individual is.

We spend the whole of our lives looking for someone to make us complete and sometimes we do feel complete in the first 6-months of a relationship, or even so long as 3-years into a relationship; but eventually the sex gets repetitive, the date nights become infrequent if at all, perhaps your partner has let themselves go and so they are not as physically attractive and you find that their gross habits that used to be cute or tolerable at least, become disgusting and intolerable. The relationship ‘is not the same’, it doesn’t feel right; you no longer feel complete. Truth is you were never complete and that’s why these inevitable changes in the relationship have offended you.

We carry so much emotional baggage with us throughout our lives. As children we learn to bury our fears, sadness and even anger because the adults in our lives have taught us to do just that. Adults try to protect children by not telling them what’s going on for example, and so the child may be scared to ask (bury that fear away); or when the child does ask, they are berated or dismissed (bury that sadness away); if the child is frustrated and lashes out, they are told off (bury that anger away). These emotions don’t just disappear, they are stored in our subconscious and are reflected in our behaviour. They take us away from our innocence and the pureness that we are all born with.

We avoid dealing with these buried emotions by keeping ourselves busy; many people can’t bare their own company because they begin to feel scared, worried or sad. If we don’t recognise that these emotions are coming from within, we start to blame them on our external environment and particularly our partner because they are the most familiar person in our environment. We become angry, sad and blameful when our partner no longer makes us feel ‘complete’ a.k.a. fuzzy, excited, special etc. We believe there must be something wrong with the relationship or that something must be missing; this often results in infidelity because the individual wants to find that fuzzy, excited feeling of ‘completeness’ again but until they look within, their relationships will keep failing.

I had never recognised myself as the jealous type but when I met my partner and fell in love, I became possessive, I eventually recognised that this was a reflection of my childhood grief and fear of losing another man in my life. My relationship encouraged me to recognise this buried emotion, release it and heal; subsequently my relationship flourished. I know many people who have blamed their relationship for making them feel insecure, when actually the relationship is not responsible for this at all, it was already within but it lay dormant until the opportunity arose for it to come forward. This is how relationships can encourage spiritual and personal development because they unearth undesirable emotions and give us the opportunity to recognise, release and heal.

The current pandemic is forcing many of us to be in our partners company for far longer than we would like; lots of unresolved emotions are coming to the forefront and our spouses are going to be on the receiving end of it. When you are in conflict with your partner listen to what is being said, often it is so petty it is humorous. Recognise the emotion, if there is anger know that there is anger. If there is jealousy, defensiveness, the need to be right, an inner child demanding love and attention recognise it. Are you really upset that your partner is watching football instead of going for a walk with you? Or is this your inner child demanding attention from your absent father? Feeling rejected but too scared to say so (bury that emotion; take it out on your partner 20-years later). Notice how you may overreact to a minor circumstance, feel silly for it later but you’re too stubborn to admit it so your partner gets the silent treatment anyway. Try to allow yourself the time to reflect on why you reacted the way you did, whatever the emotion, there is always a deep rooted cause; don’t forfeit a loving relationship for the sake of your pride.

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