5 Philosophical Ways We Are Self-Sabotaging Ourselves In Committed Relationships

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We assume our partner will always know what’s wrong with us.

On the surface, it’s a beautiful assumption that our partner knows the depths of our mind, but unfortunately, this leads to many disappointments. We deflect and say ‘nothing’s wrong’ in the hope that they will turn around, pinpoint exactly what’s wrong and fix it. But it’s this unrealistic expectation that puts too much pressure on our partner and in the long run, leaves us feeling resentment. No matter how much they’re a ‘good lover’, it’s up to us to be patient and accurately interpret how we’re feeling and what we desire through explanation instead of mind-reading.

We get into the habit of blame instead of sharing our fears and disappointments.

It’s all too easy to blame the ones we love most. If anything, it’s a compliment to them that we are unafraid to unleash our frustrations because no matter what, they will always forgive us. We feel safe enough to say to them the things we don’t really mean. However, this is not something to get used to. Blame only transforms into bitterness of both ourselves and our partner. Sharing our genuine sadness and disappointments creates a healthy habit of mutual empathy instead of arguing.

We compare ourselves to the close relationships around us.

It’s all too easy to look over at our close friends and wonder why we are so different from them. But what we really fail to do as friends is share the darker parts of our relationships. If we were all willing to open up and share what really goes on without shame, it might just help us realize that our relationships aren’t so damaged and doomed. For a more accurate display of love – turn to your parents, watch a realistic film on relationships and read prose from the older and wiser.

We are either too detached or too attached.

It’s a tough dance. But usually, in committed relationships, we either stand too close or too far away. If our partner lets us down, we latch on in fear and possessiveness or drive ourselves away by saying we don’t care when genuinely, we’re hurt. This kind of behavior stems back as far as our childhood, including past relationships and how we were parented. Maybe we suffered in our childhood, got left behind too many times, or our parents divorced. This leads us to develop two kinds of responses in our adult relationships – ‘anxious attachment’ or ‘avoidant attachment’.

Finding a middle ground is not easy, but it’s about practicing truth and trust. Sharing our past instead of shutting down is difficult, but opens up too much more understanding of how our behavior has been hardwired. On the other hand, giving our partner space and waiting for them to return back to us may be difficult in the short-term, but shows patience and understanding in the long term. Both situations require a little risk, but our instincts will get us there.

Allowing uncertainty to put us in a constant state of fear.

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the euphoria at the start of our relationships, forgetting we’re in for a long haul of uncertainty and challenges. Our sex lives transform, our partners get sick, our finances flip, our living situation changes or crazily but truthfully enough – our hearts may change. This is probably the most challenging thing to accept in a relationship, the idea that one day we may wake up and they’re gone, and we will have to continue to survive with or without them. It takes a certain grace to accept uncertainty, but when practiced well, allows us to see challenges as an inevitable part of love rather than a threat. It’s all well and good to plan the future, but all we truly have is right now. TC mark


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