If anyone wants to have a successful lasting marriage then a person’s relationship with themselves is critical to master before they can ever be successful with someone else.
It’s why when I start any work with a couple I focus on each person and their relationship with themselves first.
You cannot put two people in a session together unless they want to protect the relationship and each other.
So individuals with distorted relationships with themselves will need help because they will be conditioned to either demand, defend, attack or manipulate so not conducive for relationship building.
Most people need some help as troubled marriages do seem to throw people off centre. It’s not uncommon for one person to have lost who they are so will need help reconnecting.
A person who has an emotional system that keeps leading them to fear or unhappiness is going to put pressure on their partner to keep supporting them in some way.
So they become a drain rather than someone who adds value.
In contrast, a person who has an effective relationship with themselves will understand how to deal with their own emotions and will be able to bring the best out of themselves and bring that to the relationship.
Let’s imagine this unhappy person (ineffective relationship with themselves) what do they have to do to be happy again?
That person will likely become addicted to the thing(s) they think will make them happy.
Some go to what’s easy so they turn to drink, they’ll do drugs, or buy more stuff, and some become a needy partner who becomes addicted to meeting certain needs destructively, these are a few common examples I see.
In relationships an unhappy person will either bring emotions to control their partner or they will withdraw to control what happens to them, or they will become a problem partner to control the relationship.
A problem partner is someone who may use an ailment such as depression to meet their relationship needs in a low-level way.
All these mechanisms are designed for the unhappy person to meet their needs by controlling others.
Their message is – I need you to do what I say so I’m emotionally okay.
It’s a lot of pressure and a trade that kills connection and intimacy.
The problem is the way they are meeting their needs is further disconnecting them from themselves and crippling their connection with their partner.
This creates too much stress, it cripples the concept of them being lovers and turns one person into the carer/pleaser based on their demands.
People that are successful in life turn up to their life happy they make themselves responsible for their happiness.
People that are unsuccessful in life tend to not want to take responsibility for how they feel, they turn up to their life hoping/demanding life will make them happy, this leaves them constantly powerless which is why they are unhappy.
They are powerless because they keep needing other people or things/events to make them happy this means they have little control over the outcome.
So happiness for them is a hit-and-miss affair.
Relationships are full of these types of destructive model.
So please know the best relationships are created by people who understand their happiness is their own responsibility.
What everyone wants is a person in their life that shows up in a good emotional state and adds value in a meaningful way.
So if this is what they want then they must also put this expectation on themselves first.
That’s the challenge many have a greater expectation of others than they do themselves and this pattern of behaviour is critical to change.