Monday, May 16, 2011

Hurdles don't have to slow you down.

On your mark, get set.....
We all want to be happy in our relationship but we often get stuck in what seems to be beyond our control. You want to be happy but something keeps sabotaging your relationship. Here are what I believe are some hurdles to a happy relationship..

1. Fear. These are your personal worries and concerns about members of the opposite sex and about people in general, which you have picked up over the course of your life. Very few of us escape being hurt or disappointed by people (and members of the opposite sex) during the course of our lives. As a result of our experiences we develop specific boundaries and defensive mechanisms to protect ourselves against any new hurt but these measures often act as a hurdle against a happy relationship. If, for example, you believe that if you open your heart completely to your partner they will misuse you and walk all over you then you will be unable give your all to your relationship. The only way to overcome this hurdle is to be honest with yourself that you suffer from this and to work together with your partner so that as you gain confidence in their love, you are able to slowly lower your defensive mechanisms. If you are both unable to work this out you should not be afraid to get professional help.

2. Relationship stereotyping. This entails what you and your partner believe about what makes up a good relationship and whose opinion counts in this. This includes your individual beliefs of what each partner should or should not do in a relationship and a lot of this is based on what you saw in the home that you grew up in, as well as in the society that you grew up in. If you are a man and your father did not do any housework then you may come into your relationship expecting the woman to do all the housework but if she came from a home where her father helped with the housework then this becomes a hurdle to a happy relationship. To overcome this hurdle you need to discuss all the different things that make up daily living with your partner so that you negotiate a new relationship reality that works for both of you. For those issues that you didn't discuss, you need to ask yourself, how can I love my partner in this issue? Remember that loving your partner is an integral part of a happy relationship.

Another aspect of this stereotyping is to understand whose approval you seek in the relationship as some partners seek the approval of one of their parents or friends etc which becomes a hurdle to a happy relationship. As you do the different things in your relationship ask yourself, whose approval am I seeking as I do this thing? Remember your aim in your relationship is to love your partner and make them happy.

3. Busyness of life. Our lives are full of activity and this can be a hurdle to a happy relationship if one of you prioritizes their busyness over their partner. This happens when one partner finds their total identity in their busy activity. Of course there is nothing wrong with being involved in life but you will usually know when your involvement is unhealthy. Ask yourself, what am I hiding from in my busyness? Be candid with yourself so that you can adequately address it.

4. Sense of personal inadequacy. We often feel that we are inadequate in many ways and if you get caught up in this you will be unhappy and so will your relationship. You need to both identify your unique strengths in the relationship and let each person work in their area of strength.

If you can work on diminishing these 4 relationship hurdles then your relationship will get progressively happy.

Rosy Anderson is a researcher in social economic issues with a great interest in relationships. If however you want to know your partner's perspective on all the importance components of a marriage there are 1000 questions that I recommend that you ask but if you just want to gauge your compatibility I recommend these 4 simple compatibility tests.

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