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How to Make Relationships Work

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There are ten fundamental steps to make a relationship work over the long term. These steps involve learning how relationships work – which is something few of us are taught –  and taking some basic actions that lead to fulfilling relationships.  



In my book The Perfect Relationship I describe these ten steps. They have been gleaned from decades of study, work with clients, and from personal experience. I have worked with many clients on their relationships in my Voice Dialogue counselling practice, and I have worked on my own relationship with my partner of over 25 years.

The steps include practical techniques that establish and strenghten the connection between partners, common-sense considerations, and leading-edge discoveries in relationship psychology that explain how people bond with one another at the deepest levels and how that affects their relationship experiences.

I called the book ‘The Perfect Relationship’ because deep down that’s what most of us would really like, and, in a sense, it’s also what most of us get – but we just don’t realise it.

We All Get The Perfect Relationship

Let me explain:

We imagine that a perfect relationship is one with no problems, or at least problems that are easily solvable; a relationship where we are fully accepted for who we are; a relationship where passion and desire exists to the level and intensity that works for us; a relationship where we are always understood and loved, and in which we feel complete.

But the reality is that this type of relationship simply does not unfold for most of us when we meet someone we are attracted to or fall in love with. In fact, very few people end up experiencing this type of relationship.

Why Many Relationships Fail

The reason most relationships don’t turn out as we had hoped is that most of us don’t understand how to make a relationship work. And so we don’t know what to do in order to have a really good relationship. We just go along for the ride and hope it all works out.

If there existed an ideal world where everyone had an ideal upbringing, and adults were completely conscious and self-aware and able to express themselves fully and with the utmost sensitivity to the feelings of their partner, then relationships in that world may work out easily.

But we are not perfect in that way. We have all had experiences that have diminished our ability to relate well. We have grown up in family situations where we have had to suppress parts of ourselves in order to be accepted into our particular family and culture. We have had to adapt in order to survive and thrive. That has led to us over-identifying with some parts of ourselves and hiding others.

That process is unavoidable – it is partly the necessary socialization that has to take place in families and societies and partly because we all have unconscious biases and blind spots, no matter how enlightened we believe ourselves to be. It is the way the human personality forms that leads to some aspects of ourselves becoming dominant, with the rest being suppressed or completely unconscious.

So when we enter into relationship with another, we do so not being fully ourselves. And we bring to our relationships habitual reactions and defenses, expectations of our partner that they may be unable to meet, and our fears and hopes.

We want our innermost selves to be embraced and loved by our partner but we always have our armor ready.

Relationship as Teacher and Healer

The beauty of relationship is that it is a vehicle that enables us to become aware of our unconscious desires, prejudices and automatic reaction patterns.

The process of relationship brings to the surface – to our awareness – the areas where we need to grow.

Relationship with another person shows us who we are – both who we have become in our maturation process but also the parts of ourselves that are hidden and need validation and integration.

We have got it all wrong in how we currently think about relationships. We approach them expecting our partner to complete us – but the task is actually to complete ourselves.

Our partners simple show us, in relationship with them, what we need to unearth in order to complete ourselves. They are like a mirror.

And that’s why the relationships we find ourselves in are perfect. Each one reveals something we need to know and embrace about ourselves. I have never, in my 20 years of working with people, met anyone who was in a relationship where there was no major lesson to learn about themselves.

Each relationship provides an opportunity for us to grow and become more conscious; and, as we do so, we become better able to relate fully and to enjoy our relationships. And then they become closer to that ‘perfect’ that we might have imagined.

The ten steps in my book give you the information you need to create a deeply fulfilling relationship that lasts. They show you how to make your relationship work. The understanding you’ll gain of how the relationship process works is something you’ll be able to use for the rest of your life, in all your relationships.

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Comments

  1. I’ve owned the Hal and Sidra Stone videos for more than 20 years and had great success in the family through a facilitator in Melbourne in the year 2000. I now have a family situation in which one member is living in his ‘sergeant major’ personality most of the time, and this has taken the fun out of life for all the other members of the family. Have you had any experience of a situation like this being resolved through distant healing? I believe that if the sergeant major can be turned down and the fun personality turned up, many issued would be resolved. I was never aware of his sergeant major personality until he had Step-Children. I’ve used distant healing and manifesting on other issues but not on a personality issue. I’d be interested in your input.
    Regards
    Marie Barrett
    Cyprus

    1. Author

      Hi Marie – no, I haven’t any experience with using distance healing in this type of situation. I use Reiki myself and in my experience the healing energy does what is best for all involved rather than what I (or my ego/primary self) thinks is what’s best. So if it’s a family situation, then everyone in the family is playing a part, and so the whole family need healing. I’d say that if he’s become over-identified with the Sergent Major part of his personality since having stepchildren then the stress/anxiety from that more complex family structure has made the Sergeant take over to help him deal with that increased complexity, which he’s feeling vulnerable about, and probably he’s not aware of the extent of the vulnerability he’s feeling (so it’s largely unconscious). It might be good to talk to him about what his anxieties are around the new family situation and really listen and accept them. If he’s done Voice Dialogue before then he’ll soon realise he’s become over-identified with a self as a defence mechanism and that that’s problematic for everyone else. I think he – or all of you – should maybe see the facilitator again and/or talk with each other about the new challenges in your family and how everyone is affected, and how they cope. Maybe if he can access what his vulnerability is in the situation he’ll be able to more easily find a way to tone down the sergeant-major and find the more easy-going and fun side of himself. I hope that helps. Ax

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