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relationship container

March 20, 2023

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alright folks, 

a bit about relationships today.

takeaway: it’s not your relationship that’s not working, it’s how you’re thinking about your relationship that’s not working. 

people typically start with a long list of reasons why their relationship is not working. e.g. “she always bitches”, “it just turns into a fight”, etc… 

but here’s the deal: reasons are not causal. 

reasons are excuses. 

and excuses become reasons for you to NOT take responsibility! 

totally human. 

to get off this endless ride we need to focus on your relationship’s orientation. 

when you come together in a relationship you are oriented “toe to toe”, both literally and often figuratively. over time you get to know each other from this orientation, which becomes familiar, and you solidify into specific roles and behaviors associated with this orientation.

what happens in healthy, long-term relationships, however, is at some point the couple reorients to stand “shoulder to shoulder” NOT “toe to toe”. 

“love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” – antoine de saint-exupery

when you take a “shoulder to shoulder” orientation you stop working at each other and can start working with each other, as a unit, with shared goals.

in order to ensure this orientation you must make an explicit agreement to support each other in a side by side orientation, and make a daily commitment to that agreement.

personal development

there’s an old saying in couples therapy that goes like this, “the relationship isn’t the problem, it just reveals the problem within me.”

relationships are the greatest personal development course there is. period. 

with a side by side container in place you have an opportunity to work on your shit. and you create a space that allows your partner to work on their shit. 

so you, your partner, and your relationship get better – everything gets better when we develop an effective relationship container in which to grow. 

oh, it also means that long list of complaints disappears…

wishing you well on your journey, 

donald

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