Melanya Helene

Don’t set any part of you aside…

In our primary relationships there are usually times when we feel our needs are not getting met.

This feels terrible and is very scary. We often panic and begin to doubt whether this relationship is worth staying with.

And what about when our partner is telling us they don’t feel their needs are getting met? We can feel like no matter what we do or how hard we try, it will never be good enough.

Often we think we just need to be clear about what we need and want: If I can communicate clearly with my partner so they can understand, they should be able to give me what I need and everything will be good again…

It is VERY disheartening to find that this often doesn’t work. Even if our partner is genuinely trying…

There are so many ways we try to negotiate our needs and wants – we try to manage each other – we spend hours thinking about it, talking it over, planning strategies to make it work.

This negotiation process seems like it should work. It seems like if we can just come up with a plan that everyone can agree to – and stick with it – it will make everything feel better, right?

So often it doesn’t work.

This can actually be very treacherous ground for a relationship.

Even with the best intentions – here’s what often happens:

My partner tells me, either explicitly or I just figure it out, that they need me to be like this and not like that. I don’t want to lose the relationship. So I do my best.

And in order to do this I have to set some part of me aside – some part of me gets the message loud and clear that it is not welcome in this relationship.

After a while, this part of myself can’t stand it anymore and starts to rebel. Because we want to be whole and this kind of relating doesn’t lead to wholeness.

When this happens it is often mutual – both partners are setting some part of them aside. They are pretending something. It is an awful feeling. And the relationship starts to feel strained and empty.

So if negotiating our needs and wants doesn’t work, what other option is there?

What we are trying to do is find out how to be with one another – to live our lives together. This is CHALLENGING.

So we try to control things and make plans and figure out how to do it based on what we know already and think will work.

The truth is when two people come together – they don’t know how it will work. What really works will emerge naturally, on its own, if we can make room for it. And it will always be surprising. Something we didn’t know before.

This is an ongoing process throughout the life of any relationship. We are constantly discovering our ‘We”.

This is scary and touches some very very tender places in each of us. I believe it’s worth it.

Don’t set any part of you aside.

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