“You cannot force another person to love you the way you want to be loved. Demanding specific expressions of love will only make it more difficult for others to respond to you in good faith.
To be sure, you can ask for what you want. Clear communication is important. But once you have communicated what you want, you must back off and give the other person the time and the space to honor your request to the best of their ability.
Any effort your partner makes to respond to your request should be positively reinforced. Finding fault with their efforts to please you they aren’t perfect or don’t match your pictures of the ay things should be jeopardizes their responsiveness in the future. When you notice your partner’s efforts and praise them, you help them feel joy and satisfaction in giving to you. That makes them want to give more.
Criticizing your partner for not measuring up to your expectations is the fastest way to destroy your relationship. Criticism is not constructive. Gratitude and praise are the building blocks of mutual bliss.
When you don’t receive what you asked for, acknowledge what you did receive, and ask again for what you did not receive. Do not ask with anger or resentment. Ask in a kind and respectful way.
When you ask respectfully and your partner is still unable to respond to you, you must face that they are either unwilling or unable to meet your needs. Usually, when you are honest with them, you find that they share your disappointment and frustration.
When this happens, you have a choice. You can part ways or you can try to move your commitment to a higher ground. You can stop focusing on what you are not receiving from each other, and instead focus on what you are giving to one another. Often, it is helpful to take a short break from the relationship, so that you can learn to see it in perspective.
In the event you decide to separate, do so in a loving way, without holding onto resentments or grievances. It is not easy when a relationship ends or changes form, and gentleness of both sides is extremely important if healing I to happen for both people.
When you complete a relationship, consider what you have learned for the other person and be grateful for your experience together. Be cognizant for the issues that separated you and take responsibility for your part in them. When you begin another relationship, be aware of how similar issues arise and see if you can deal with these issues in a more generous and responsible way.
If you are learning from your relationships, you will feel that you are making progress being a better partner. You will bring increasing honesty and integrity to your relationship and you will be better able to create intimacy with your partner as a result.
When the same lessons come up with different partners, bringing familiar discomfort and frustration, you need to consider the probability that something needs to shift inside of you before you can be in a successful relationship with another person. A good therapist may be able to look at your relationship patterns and understand how they can transformed. When you have gained insight about the ways that you resist intimacy and push love away you can work consciously to stay open to people who are trying their best to love and accept you. And you can learn to share aspects of yourself that you have before now kept hidden.
Every relationship carries with it great potential for learning. When you are willing to learn and to grow, your relationship will bring a blessing, whatever the outcome. No relationship lasts forever. Each has its natural beginning and end. People come together because they have important things to learn together. When those lessons are learned, they move on to other challenges with other teachers. That is how it is.
They key is not to worry about how long a relationship lasts, but to give it your best energy and attention. Neither you nor your partner will ever be perfect in your ability to give or receive love. Don’t try to be. Just try to be a little more open to give and a little more open to receive than you were before. Remember, you are learning. You are going to make mistakes. You are going to come up short, as so is your partner. But accept your mistakes and bless them. Accept your partner’s mistakes and send them blessings for their willingness to keep opening to love. That is all either of you can do.
There is nothing more healing than the practice of forgiveness in your primary relationships. No other area of your life offers you as many opportunities to understand your wounds and heal them. Your partner is your midwife to your birth into your full potential. Thanks to them, you learn to surrender the dysfunctional patterns that compromise your happiness. Through the mirror your partner holds up to you, you discover your wholeness and learn to give your gift to the world.”