INTEGRITY: The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles, critical for any marriage.
- What do we think of people who are not honest?
- What do we think of people with no moral compass?
We tend to steer clear of people we cannot trust, but what if that person is ourselves and we don’t know it?
How many individuals do you think I meet professionally that would say love and kindness are an important human quality, yet they are selective when they become loving or kind.
Being selective is a bit like telling our kids it’s ok if they are trustworthy occasionally, after all, if we can switch our values on and off why can’t they?
I’ve obviously sat through 1000’s of sessions where being loving and kind is a distant memory for that couple.
So what’s going on here? Either being loving and kind is important to them or it isn’t!
How values work
Emotionally when we disconnect from what we value we tend to feel bad or wrong.
It’s like when we upset someone and then feel bad about it. That horrible feeling is due to us disconnecting from what we value.
Many couples are practicing disconnecting from what they value, they then feel bad and connect that awful feeling to their partner.
If they practice that in the relationship it’s going to struggle because neither person is being what they value and both are attaching bad feelings to each other.
A typical argument is how can I be “loving” and “kind” to someone who is badly behaved?
My answer is how is losing connection with who you are going to bring you an understanding of that person and why they are acting that way?
Far too many people are only angry at their partner because their partner is angry at them.
There is no intelligence in this thoughtless reaction, no learning, and a compounding out-of-control energy that will only create a deeper disconnection.
Being an out-of-control reactive person who disconnects from who they are to deal with other people’s upset will only achieve in making themselves feel bad and with no solution or understanding.
On the home page of this website there is a quote by Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
When individuals lay down their weapons and their shields and they become what they value they can now intelligently explore:
- What’s confusing
- Others anger
- Bad behavior
- The need to control
- Blame and judgments
This new perspective has the power to change the pattern.
If you want to change destructive patterns in others then learn how to interrupt their patterns by leading them to values they would agree with whilst not losing connection with your own.
When someone asked me why I didn’t get angry when someone became angry with me my answer was this.
Why would I “do anger” to myself when I didn’t have enough information to know if anger was the response that would gain a good outcome for all.
What if anger equals fear for a person who is upset at me, I don’t see that making them more fearful or becoming their judge is loving or kind to my own values or theirs.
After all, there has to be “integrity” and that can only come from the wisdom of understanding.
The fundamental problem is people don’t understand and so they can’t “trust themselves” to be what they say is important and so without knowing they lose “personal integrity”.
They replace love and kindness with judgment and blame and lose control of that situation and themselves in many cases day after day year after year.
They practice disconnecting from themselves and what they value so much that they have to leave their partner to feel good again.