Week 9: Accepting What Is

If you enter into a relationship with the idea that you can change aspects in your partner that you don’t like, you’re in for a big surprise. Believing that there’s something wrong with your partner because of something that doesn’t fit your preferences and thinking that you know the proper way they should live their life is misguided. It’s like saying that they’re not good enough as they are now.


Not only do others resent being asked to change who or how they are, it rarely works.


The truth is, even though it might seem so, you can’t know what’s right for anyone but yourself. It’s only appropriate to give your opinion when they ask for it. It’s okay to let them know how their actions and behaviors feel to you, but if they don’t act according to your desires, it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with them. It just means you want different things.


Power Struggles

So many of the seemingly diverse problems that arise in relationships come down to the same issue: the struggle for power. It’s not that people consciously believe they must dominate their partner in order to feel good about themselves, they just engage in unconscious behavior that ends up playing out as a struggle for control. It’s usually more an effort to feel in control of their own life, but it comes off to the other person as an attempt to control them.


Power struggles take on many different shapes and sizes. Sometimes they disguise themselves as defensiveness about certain behaviors, other times they show up as over-sensitivity. Occasionally they present themselves as control, forceful persuasion or downright manipulation. Regardless of how they show up, most power struggles are unconscious.


Once you recognize that a power struggle is going on in your relationship (as there is in most relationships,) the best way to deal with it is for you to consciously try to stop controlling them.


Your Work

Step One:

Start treating your partner the way you want to be treated and commit to maintaining that behavior in the relationship until they you see a difference in them.


Step Two:

Continue to honestly assess if your behavior to them has truly changed and become respectful.


Step Three:

If you feel that your partner is engaging in behavior that is actually detrimental to your well-being, let them know how the behavior feels to you, but take personal responsibility for being in the situation. If after you tell them, nothing changes (and it’s truly causing you distress,) by all means, get out of the relationship.

Do it for you, not to hurt them. Remember, they are free to do whatever feels right to them. Stay clear that you are taking care of yourself because the relationship is no longer in alignment with your best interest and well-being.


Step Four:

Drop all strategies to gain control. Give your mate the kind of respect that shows you understand that they have a right to live their life their way and honestly let them know what your preferences are without expectation. This creates a healthy basis from which you can both interact kindly and maturely.


Meditation: You Are A Free Agent