8.4
July 25, 2021

5 Unexpected Relationship Rules for Lasting Love.

 

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*Warning: much-needed strong language ahead!
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Relationships have always been my greatest fuel for growth.

But as someone who loves hard and has been playing the role of “fixer” for most of my life, it can be tough for me to separate what I’m responsible for in a relationship from what my partner is responsible for.

The way I see it, we are in this together. And by “this” I mean everything.

I want to solve all the problems, mine and his.

I want to find solutions, even when there aren’t any—or at least aren’t any good ones at the moment.

I want any moments of conflict or discomfort to be fixed by communicating, and communicating some more, even when a little bit of space and less words might be best.

I can drive myself crazy trying to manage every aspect of the relationship, even when I’m specifically being asked not to. Even when I’m being supported and told I don’t need to. It’s exhausting, and at times has led to more fighting than fixing.

A few years ago, I saw an Instagram post from Love Distance Love Bombs (run by Canadian author and coach Dr. Jeremy Goldberg) that hit me hard. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting this:

 

 

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As Goldberg states in his caption, “this is some tricky shit.”

When you’re sharing your life with someone, it’s easy to think that everything is “our shit.” We’re a partnership, right? So why wouldn’t we deal with every issue together? Haven’t we always been taught that two heads are better than one?

Not always.

Here’s what Goldberg says is “our shit”—the issues we should be dealing with as a couple:

“How do we communicate? What type of relationship are we building? How’s our sex life? What’re the house rules? How do we treat each other? Whose turn is it to bathe the tiny creature we made when our genitals joined forces last year? How do we manage finances? What are the non-negotiables, agreements, and values in place to create the container we savor and shape together as we move forward? Are we growing together or apart? What do we need more of to maintain our connection? Should we go to therapy? That kind of shit is our shit.”

But my shit? And his shit? Well, that’s baggage we need to unpack on our own. Yes, we can support each other, we can make the unpacking a little less difficult, but we can’t fix it. That’s not our job.

I remind myself of these rules almost daily, especially when dealing with conflict, which is when putting them into action can be the most difficult but also the most effective.

This relationship stuff is tough, but if we can just remember who is responsible for what shit, it can also be so incredibly worth it.

Read the rest of Goldberg’s incredibly helpful caption here.

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