When we look at our relationship (especially in difficult times), we can often determine quite easily what our partner is doing wrong or where they are falling short.
When this happens, I like to ask myself, how am I contributing to this situation? What am I bringing to this relationship? Is there something I can do to change or make this situation better?
When we look at our relationships from the outside in, we assess the situation, determine what our partner needs to do to change, then we have to ask for those changes and wait and see what happens. But when we approach our relationship from the inside out, we can make changes in ourselves, be in control of our emotions and feel empowered.
There are always two sides to every story, so while the current situation may look like it’s all about your partner, it is important to be aware that you are part of this scenario too. What is there for you to learn in this situation? What role are you playing in this dynamic? What are you bringing to this relationship?
When we are pointing the finger at our partner, we lose the ability to acknowledge the part we play and miss an opportunity to heal and grow. Our stress, our fears and insecurities, our anger or disappointment can negatively affect our partner and our relationship. These things can also taint the way we look at our relationship and create problems where none really exist. And sometimes, our partner is being a jerk — but there is still value in asking why it is bothering us or why we are allowing ourselves to be treated a certain way. Whatever the situation is, there is always something we can learn if we look at it from the inside out.
I encourage you to become more aware of the role you are playing in your relationship. Ask yourself these questions and see what answers you find. It is easy to see the faults and shortcomings in others, but one of the keys to a happy relationship begins by working it from the inside out.