How To Get What You Want From Your Relationship

David thomaz marriage FB blog.jpg
Photo: David Thomaz

It’s easy sometimes to get frustrated in a marriage or partnership.

Relationships can also be a perfect blend of constant wonder and delight.

Which one you get –– frustration or wonder and delight –– depends on your perception.

Often, disagreements and frustration, for both parties, happen when one person tries to control the other’s behavior. In most cases “trying to control” is not an intentional, malicious act. The person doesn’t want to control the other. They just want to be happy.

Controlling behavior happens when a person feels insecure. They tries to soothe the insecurity through controlling their partner’s actions.  Inadequacy, feeling out of control, insecure, shame, embarrassment, or righteous indignation can all trigger “controlling” behavior.

The person tries to control conditions they think are causing the feeling. “Conditions” usually mean their partner.

The problem is conditions aren’t triggering the emotions. Their beliefs about the conditions are.

You’ll notice when a controlling person succeeds, they aren’t happy for long. The controlled person isn’t either. So controlling spawns future dissatisfaction leading to…you guessed it: more need to control.

It’s a vicious cycle. A cycle that leaves people feeling alone. Even in relationship.

Thought catalog vicious cycle FB blog
A negative vicious cycle spirals out of control in some relationships. Leaving people feeling alone. Even though they’re not. (photo: Thought Catalog)

Trying to control another person’s behavior so you feel better backfires sooner or later. Sometimes a lot sooner.

People aren’t stupid. They can tell when a person is trying to control them.

Put more accurately, every human knows they came to express inherent freedoms. No one wants someone telling them what to do.

Including children.

Including very young children.

But especially grown mature, aware people.

· · ·

The easiest way to get what you want in relationship is to let your spouse do whatever they are wanting. Observing that, be happy with the fact that they’re doing that instead of what you want.

Even better: want to get what you’re wanting from your spouse? Then change what you’re wanting to what your spouse is already doing.

Voila! You’re now getting what you’re wanting.

We can hear the eye-rolls….

But there is wisdom here.

Change what you want from your partner to wanting what your partner is already doing. You will find peace. You’ll stop controlling. Your partner gets to do what they want. Everyone gets happy.

Can you say you feel good when you’re controlling your partner against their will?

We thought not.

Obayda Let him alone FB blog
Photo: Obayda

The problem is your perception, not the conditions. A long-term practice learning to seeing your partner’s positive aspects can transform them. It can recreate your partner without your partner changing.

An example from Perry’s marriage is apt:

One day, Perry’s wife, Bridget, began practicing meditation. She meditated before, but it was sporadic and thus not very effective. After witnessing Perry’s results, Bridget began meditating in earnest.

She supplemented her practice with other approaches. The combination revealed how easy it is to get what she wants. Especially doesn’t try to get anything.

Getting what she wanted required letting go of controlling her husband. Six months passed with the task undone. Yet Bridget had to experience conditions she wanted to control as perfect. With no regard for changing him or the situation.

Some days later, after consistent practice, Bridget found herself more relaxed. Then, one day, she got an intuition that the task she’s wanting Perry to do was about to resolve in a delightful way. Her intuition encouraged her to prepare to be surprised…

Around the same time, Perry, received his own impulse: it said “now is about the time to do (the task)”.

Perry knows that, before taking any action on an impulse, it’s best to let it grow to where it is impossible to ignore. So he allowed this impulse to sit in his awareness with nothing more than a casual acknowledgement of it.

Days passed. Then a week.

During that time Bridget received more impulses. They excited her. Later she told Perry she wanted to tell him what was happening, but knew if she did, she’d muck up the process. So she kept it all to herself.

Meanwhile, Perry kept receiving more and more impulses.

Until one day, Perry felt overcome with wanting to do this task.

He told Bridget he was going to do it the next day.

Bridget, as you can imagine, delighted to hear this. What made that it extra sweet was she knew it was going to happen and her excitement was building the whole time.

· · ·

These days, such things happen often in Perry and Bridget’s relationship. It’s no surprise the two of them continue to practice the work. The evidence for them is overwhelming.

The work works.

Now there’s nothing wrong with getting excited about outcomes like this. Realize this kind of thing happens all the time and the excitement gives way to expectation. Expectation is the sweet spot. It prepares perception to perceive and appreciate more such events.

For Bridget, it was a profound demonstration. It showed she can create any reality. Including one in which she can influence her partner’s behavior!

andre guerra surprised child blog
life will surprise and delight you. If you let it. (Photo: Andre Guerra)

Everyone has this ability.
It is as natural as breathing. Everyone brings it with them when they come into physical reality.

Exercising this natural ability requires gradually releasing beliefs obscuring this ability. There’s great freedom in exercising it. You can let everyone else in your life off the hook for what happens in your life.

Instead, you can watch everything you’re wanting come into your experience. Not from action. But from your subtle attention to what you’re wanting. A positive outlook and expecting that everything is always working out for you helps too.

So here are the steps to getting what you want out of your spouse (or anyone):

 

sharon-mccutcheon blog
Photo: Sharon Mccutcheon

First discover your own autonomy.

Learn to identify then soothe beliefs that spawn controlling behavior.

You do that by examining your belief constellations. Or by creating new, more empowering ones that will replace your old ones.

Meditation, therapy, bibliotherapy and journaling are all effective was of examining beliefs.  Another way: Pay attention to your negative feelings. They always lead you back to a flawed premise or belief.

Created with GIMP
Family dinners for many are less about food and more about sharing love. But other people just don’t get it. And they don’t have to. (Photo: Pablo Merchan Montes)

Let’s say your family always dined together at the dinner table. You gained a lot from that experience. Now as an adult, your partner prefers eating while watching tv. Or he or she prefers a quick bite over formal dinner.

Let’s say your family always dined together at the dinner table. You gained a lot from that experience. Now as an adult, your partner prefers eating while watching tv. Or he or she prefers a quick bite over formal dinner.

It annoys you when he or she declines your offer to a formal dinner every night. As a result you feel negative emotion –– insecurity, frustration, sadness, wistful. So you get angry. Where’s that coming from? A well-practiced belief. Some possible examples:

  • “My partner doesn’t love me”
  • “I married a selfish person”
  • “I can never get what I want”
  • “There’s no love here”

But you aren’t aware of the belief. You just know you’re mad. Then you say something you usually wouldn’t, hoping your partner will give you what you’re wanting.

Notice the beliefs don’t describe your partner or your relationship. They describe what you’re thinking about your partner or your relationship.

Rather than reacting from your anger. Look at the feeling.

Ask yourself: “Why it is important for me to repeat that experience as an adult?”

Then ask, “Why am I trying to cajole that experience out of someone who doesn’t share my past experience?”

Have a journal handy to help you probe the answer.

Your partner isn’t there to recreate your past family dynamics. Your partner is there to enjoy his life. Like you. Berating or shaming your partner to do something they don’t want to never works. You’ll be resentful you had to force them. And you’re going to lose in the long run.

positive rock blog
You’ll be amazed how a consistent positive focus can change your life.

Next: Practice increasing your focus on your partner’s positive aspects.

This is easy.

After all, you married (or partnered) with this person. At one point these were front and center. Again, meditation, book reading, therapy and journaling can assist here.

We do not suggest talking to a friend. Friends sympathize with what you’re going through. They don’t have your best interest at heart. Friends often like to commiserate.

Commiserating is not helpful.

A hyper-focus on your partner’s “weak points” or “areas of development” makes them shine bright.

Focus on those and before long that’s all you see. Then your love turns to resentment. While your partner becomes a scoundrel …when viewed from your negative belief constellations.

Any focus practiced becomes habitual.

So practicing focusing on another’s positive aspects can become habitual too.

Start by keeping a list of everything positive you already know about them. Then begin noticing things beyond what you already know. Write them down in a journal. Acknowledge their existence. Notice, as you practice this, how your mood about the person changes. The more positive aspects pile up, the less negative you begin feeling about the person.

When you’re comfortable, start acknowledging things they do that are positive. No matter how insignificant, share your appreciation to the person. Do it face to face or in a text or handwritten note.

Tip: You’re not manipulating. You’re not trying to change your partner. You’re not even trying to change you. You’re changing how you feel about them.

Created with GIMP
You got into a relationship with this person for good reasons. Remember? (photo: Toa Heftiba)

Next: Develop a practice which re-acquaints you with the massively beneficial and wonderful things about your relationship.

It’s easy to get caught up complaining and lose sight not only of gifts your partner brings, but also gifts you two together create.

The same process above can help you develop a chronic habit of relationship appreciation.

Note the positive aspects being with this person creates. Write them down. In time, share them with your partner. Don’t worry if they don’t feel the same way you’re beginning to. Remember, this is not about them.

Then, after at least 60 days, pick something light and easy, that you would prefer your partner to do. (Don’t try this too early, you’ll re-energize your old habits and beliefs.)

Say to yourself, very lightly, with hardly any focus on it, what that is. Say it in a positive, almost nonchalant tone. Like: “wouldn’t it be nice if Alphonso took out the garbage this week?”.

Then, after thinking this statement once, drop it. Drop it completely from your consciousness. Try to obliterate it from your mind, as if it never came up.

If you’ve done everything up to this point each day, then one day, not next week, Alphonso will take out the garbage. You might even receive an pre-intuitive impulse that something is up. Like Bridget did.

Resist the temptation to say anything to Alphonso. Keep it all to yourself.

You’ll be surprised and delighted, but don’t show it. Instead savor the experience.

But do make note of this in your journal!

· · ·

This is a practice. It may or may not happen over night.

It may not happen in the first year. But there is no rush because you are eternal. And, nothing is wrong with Alphonso not taking out the garbage anyway!

Practice this. You’ll be astonished. Become clear about what’s in your belief constellation. Shift your focus to positive aspects of your relationship, and your partner/spouse.  In time you will discover you’re in a pretty awesome relationship. And your partner/spouse is awesome too.

Keep it up and pretty soon you’ll want to explore other ways your beliefs create your reality.

The most convincing proof is personal life experience. When what you’re reading here, happens in your life, things “get real”. You can’t help feeling impervious to misfortune and negative situations.

You’ll come to believe your invincibility.

That will radically change your partnership or marriage. It will leave you living more and more in constant wonder and delight.

Exactly the way life is supposed to be.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *