I’m really struggling with my relationship. I feel like I open my heart and I get hurt. I want more than anything to have a healthy relationship, but is it possible? Please help. MW
Thanks for your openness in asking this question. I believe it is possible to have a healthy relationship. It requires the courage to be open and honest with yourself as well as with your partner, and for you both to be respectfully communicating with each other about the issues that come up between you—with a goal of reaching outcomes that support you both.
When I went through a divorce several years ago, I was determined to learn and grow from the experience so that I wouldn’t repeat the same ‘mistakes’ in my next relationship. On a deeper level, I wanted to understand my old patterns related to loving and being loved, because I suspected this had something to do with why my marriage did not flourish in the healthy and lasting ways that I had so desired. Truth is, my ex and I both wanted a healthy and lasting relationship, but in the end, after a year of couple counseling, we realized and agreed it would be best for us to part ways.
While I was going through that difficult time, I sought out and read many articles and books on the subject of love and relationships. Some of my favorite books included:
“Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships”, by John Welwood
“I Need Your Love—Is That True”, by Byron Katie
“When Things Fall Apart”, by Pema Chodron
“The Way of the Superior Man”, by David Deida
“It’s a Guy Thing”, by David Deida
John Welwood’s book was very helpful, especially because it spoke so honestly about how real and natural the difficulties of partnership love can be, and how to work through difficulties. Byron Katie’s book helped me gain a better understanding of my old patterns related to loving and being loved, and how to release those patterns. Pema Chodron’s book helped me to gently acknowledge and manage the loss and pain of what I was experiencing. David Deida’s books helped me to gain a deeper understanding of men. (Deida’s book for men about women is “Dear Lover”.)
MW, based on your question, you might consider reading John Welwood’s and Byron Katie’s books. Both books address the challenges we may face in loving and being loved, and both books offer a wealth of healing wisdom and concrete methods and steps for moving into healthier, loving, and more trusting relationships with ourselves and our partners.
It is also very important for you to be kind and self-forgiving with yourself as you move through this process of awakening, growth, and transformation. Love is a mindful dance that requires both partners to be awake and aware with a strong desire and intention to succeed and grow—together. I hope this provides some helpful dance instructions to get you started.
Your Life Coach,
A great relationship isn’t when a perfect couple comes together, but when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences. – Unknown
The best person to talk about the problems in your relationship is the person you are in a relationship with. – Brittany Perkins
Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines. – Robert H. Schuller
Work on your relationships. Relationships need renewal or they die. – Bo Sanchez
Assumptions are the termites of relationships. – Henry Winkler
Disrespect is fatal to a relationship. – Jonathan Lockwood Huie
Problems in relationship occur because each person is concentrating on what is missing in the other person. – Wayne Dyer
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. – Lao Tzu