Saturday, August 02, 2003

Honor and Respect in Relationship

How do men and women honor themselves and one another in relationship?
How do we be true to ourselves and our path and purpose and maintain love and respect for our partner?

I have observed, as a relationship and communication specialist and therapist, that individuals give up their own path and purpose in order to sustain their relationship. Both parties often forsake their own identity in order to keep their partner happy or at least prevent them from being angry or sad.

As children they learn to do whatever parents want in order to sustain their love and nurturence, rather than incur the parent's anger and punishment. If neither person is fulfilled, happy and on purpose, it is difficult to be happy with one’s partner.

When there are differences in lifestyle preferences, communication styles, best hours to work and rest, preferred diets, ways to spend and save money, etc., there is often compromise which jeopardizes the integrity of both individuals. The key is to discover, express and honor the differences. Learn from one another. Seek areas of agreement. Appreciate the differences and enjoy the similarities.

Remember: if one is sacrificing oneself to keep the other happy, there is lack of integrity in the fabric of the relationship.
If one is sacrificing one’s identity and compromising one’s preferences, there may be a buildup of overt resentment, covert hostility or resentment, or withheld emotions and depression. These are signs of unhealthy compromise.
“If I give up me to keep you happy, why don’t you sacrifice to keep me happy?”

Honesty works only if there is a commitment to love no matter what.
“How can I be honest with you if I believe you will leave me?”

Something to ponder, forgive, and choose again.
Betty Lue