I've been a spiritual counselor for 30 years now, and I'm getting so very tired of the something-must-be-wrong-with-me approach to life and, especially, to coupling. Nothing's wrong with you, dear one. Nothing at all.
In fact, here's a little secret that few know. If you'll stop asking yourself what's wrong with you, and start asking yourself what's right with you, you'll find that many more things are right with you than wrong with you.
Does this mean that there's nothing that needs improvement? Not at all. Of course aspects of you need improvement. Aspects of all of us need improvement, but does this make us flawed? No. It makes us human.
My best friend is my ex-husband. We talk at least daily, if not more often. I've known him for so long that even a slight variation in my tone tells him that I'm at work on something in myself. It's a relief to be seen so clearly.
The other day we got to talking about relationships. What makes them work? What foils them? In attempting to identify the major deal-breaker in relationships, we discovered to our delight that we agreed. What makes everyday relationships work is a shared attitude about life.
If one of you always chooses blame or victimhood and the other doesn't, you won't be "simpatico." Nor will you have an easy time in everyday relating.
We know a couple who are the epitome of sunshine and shadow. They are clearly attracted to one another in the opposites-attract sense, but in an everyday way their approaches to life are so different that they argue (snipe, really) all the time. It's unbearable to spend time with them.
We know another couple who live in comparable shadow -- where we do not -- and it's easy to be with them. We know they live in shadow, they agree with one another, and they like it like that. Whenever we need shadow, this is the perfect pair for dining.
The point is that they get along with each because of their similar approach to life. Grace Murray Hopper wrote, "The most damaging phrase in the language is: 'It's always been done that way.'"
If you find that you and your alleged sweetie have become snipers, look at your assumptions about life. Is it always unfair? Is someone else always wrong? Are you always the victim? Life hasn't always been done that way, and you have the power to change it.
My ex and I agreed sincerely that the desire to live peaceably with one another goes a long way toward peaceable living. Are you and your sweetheart simpatico? If you can answer yes, bravi! If you can't, do an attitude-toward-life check-in, and change your mind. You'll be glad you did.
Follow Dr. Susan Corso on Twitter: www.twitter.com/PeaceCorso