We have learned that:
- Our partner is responsible for our happiness and feelings of love in the relationship. This is false.
- We need to be perfect so we can buy, earn or acquire love from someone else. This is false.
- We are not really worthy of the kind of love our heart longs to feel. This too, is false.
When we put these together and wrap them up in a relationship over the years, we find hurt, disappointment, regret, resentment and anger building up. We have gotten so good at thinking our feelings are directly related to what our partner says and does that when we look for evidence, we find evidence and it starts to build. We think our pain and unhappiness is all because of who they are or what they have done and we hang on to it.
When this happens, many of us do what I call, Building A Case Against Our Partner/Relationship. When we start to feel scared or hurt and think we are unloved, we begin to build a case against our partner or relationship. We do this because we believe it is their responsibility to make us feel loved and happy and if we aren’t feeling that way, it must be something they aren’t doing, it must be their fault.
We blame them and see all the things that we dislike and then we start to find more and more things that bother us. We start looking at our partner more often through disgust, anger, hurt and judgement, and it starts to build. We convince ourselves that they aren’t loving us, that they have disappointed or hurt us, that we cannot be happy with them. We convince ourselves that we feel the way we do because of who they are and what they have done.
But all of this comes from our own hurt and pain. Somewhere along the line, it was us that let ourselves down, it was us that stopped loving and being happy (or believing we could be loved and be happy), and it was us that has been feeling hurt and pain. And when we continue to think it is our partner, we can do a lot of damage in the relationship as well as miss the opportunity to really feel what our hearts long to feel.
We get to choose the way we feel. I fully admit it is much easier to believe this and do this when things are going well…but even in those difficult moments, we do have the choice to continue building a case against our partner (rooted in our own pain) or we can choose to find the love and happiness in ourselves and then bring that back to the relationship.
It is about becoming aware of what we do to protect ourselves when we feel hurt and unloved. It is about becoming aware that these are our choices and within our power to change.