I’m not perfect. There are things I say and do as a partner that are less than desirable…to say the least. And yet, there are times, when my partner does something and I am quick to judge and determine that he should have done better.
Why the double standard?
First, it is easier to see things more objectively in another person than it is in ourselves. We see our partner’s mistakes because we have more emotional distance from their actions. Second, we learned at an early age that other people are responsible for the way we feel, it is partly habit. And because of that, we take what our partner is saying or doing very personally and that emotion clouds our judgement and ability to dig deeper and uncover the truth. It makes it more difficult to be introspective with all of these things in our way.
But when we are honest with ourselves, we see that the very thing our partner is doing is something we have done ourselves. Rarely do our partners do something that is not, in some way a reflection of ourselves. And if we have done it before, how can we possibly sit in judgement of them?
And, if we think about them times we’ve done that, would we have wanted our partner to judge us, get upset with us or try to change us? No. In those times, we have been acting from a place of pain or fear and what we most want in those moments is to be loved and accepted and supported.
It requires awareness to ask ourselves these questions, especially in difficult or emotional situations. But, if you find yourself being upset by something your partner is doing, you may want to see how that is relevant in your own life and imagine how you would want to be treated if the shoe was on the other foot.
I do this. In fact I put all my frustrations of my lack of perfectness on him. It’s really not helpful and sometimes I “see” myself doing it and I know it’s hurtful to our relationship, but it’s so much easier to pass the blame onto him.
Trying to be more mindful about this.