Welcome to Following the Whispers blog
Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.
“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf
“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt
Thursday, March 18, 2010
What is Relationship?
I know most of the time, the last thing young people want to hear advice from is parents. I know I didn’t turn to mine. My reason for writing is that I have 40 years of relationship wars behind me and have therapied up the ying yang, plus read extensively on the subject, plus thought about it a great deal, so perhaps there is some wisdom in what I want to say to you. In any case, an old Al-Anon slogan applies – take what you like and leave the rest. Hopefully some of it will help.
This is what I understand and what I’ve learned about relationships. I know it’s different for everyone, but I believe there are some universal issues that everyone faces.
No one person can meet all your needs. And at the same time, we don’t have a crystal ball to let us know whether the one we’re with is the one forever and ever. What we can do is, to the best of our ability, determine if the one we’re with meets some basic needs and criteria – things we absolutely have to have in order for the relationship to work for us – and look at things that bother us, drive us crazy, and determine if we can live with those (WITHOUT EXPECTING THE OTHER PERSON TO CHANGE THOSE THINGS). Because in my experience, people don’t change for someone else (if they do, it’s usually only temporary). People change what they want to change in themselves, if they are willing to work at it. So basically, what you see is what you get with the other person.
The things I’ve found to be the hardest issues to deal with are: money (spending vs. debting, saving, planning, budgeting;, sex (how frequent, how not); values in life; and children (whether to have, how many, how to raise, discipline, etc.). The “dating” time is the time to find out about these important issues and see how compatible you are with each other. See where you might be willing to compromise.
With all of these things, it’s so important to first be honest with yourself and then learn how to share honestly with your partner, without blaming, attacking, yelling, etc. Sometimes it might take waiting until one person is calmed down to do this.
I believe relationship, when it’s right and you are with the right person, is sanctuary. It’s who you come home to, not where you live that’s home, although creating a “home” is part of relationship. If the relationship is working, you know absolutely, without any doubt, that your partner loves you and wants you to be happy and wants what’s best for you. So if there are disagreements, the mutual goal is to find a balance that works for both. It’s a safe haven. The real world is hard. Having someone else to walk that road with makes it easier, if it’s a loving relationship.
What have you learned about relationship? Does yours serve you well, freeing you to be who you are?
It took me till I was 46 to find sanctuary with a partner. I am so very blessed. How about you?