If your relationships are occasionally awkward, full of uncertainty and doubt, congratulations, you are normal.
If you find that you are not capable all the time of being reasonable and mature in your relationships, congratulations, you are human.
My previous relationships were tumultuous. They were fraught with emotional ups and downs, dramatic ultimatums and in one case, emotional and physical abuse. Not to the point where I had ever needed medical attention, but enough for it to have hurt and for me to feel that I could not accept it if it carried on.
I came to eventually see that my previous partners were mostly just immature rather than bad people. I saw where I had been immature and enabled the abuse. Some of you reading might be standing up in protest at what I have just said. Let me explain, I believe that any serious assault needs to involve the authorities immediately and the victim must be protected from the abuser. I am not excusing or condoning any kind of assault on women or men. That is one of the main reasons I left the abusive relationship I was in, but I have now learnt that there are ways in which I could have managed my particular situation better and not been a part of its escalation, if I had wanted to make it work.
There are ways to deal with emotional immaturity in relationships that reduces the risk of them breaking out into verbal or physical assaults. Where someone is unable to deal with their frustrations in a controlled way they may hit out verbally and physically at their partners. My ex-partner was one of those people. I thought that if I loved him more or better, he would be nicer to me. I was even on a counselling course studying abusive relationships at the time. I had all the knowledge and tools and insight. And yet, I found myself in exactly the kind of situation I was training to help people cope with and recover from. The irony was not lost on me. It really is true what they say, that we teach what we most need to learn ourselves.
After I left my last relationship, I committed to building a life that made me feel proud of who I was, what I had achieved, and to grow my self-confidence and sense of self-worth.
I began to consider that what I needed to do was to walk away when I was not being treated with respect. To draw a boundary down where I did not accept abuse, in any shape or form. Not with antagonism, but with love, love for myself. I needed to learn that I could choose not to engage with people or situations that were not respectful.
I also needed to see that what my crazy dysfunctional abusive relationships mirrored for me was my lack of respect and appreciation for myself. And so I went on a journey to heal and understand myself and value my own worth. I learnt to respect and love myself unconditionally.
I began to uncover the shame inside me that made me feel like I did not deserve to be loved for all that I am and all that I am not. And that not only was that entirely possible, it was absolutely essential, if I wanted a healthy relationship. It had to start with me.
As my relationship with myself has matured, so have my relationships with others. There is still drama, but the drama becomes a catalyst to open up the lines of communication and an intention to have a constructive rather than destructive dialogue. My relationships have thus become less combative and more respectful.
Because I made the choice to be an adult in my relationships and respond instead of react.
If you choose to be an adult in your relationships, you will find that you are more likely to be successful in your relationships. Being an adult means being self-responsible and taking ownership of your feelings and behavior in your relationships. It really comes down to this choice to be mature and bigger than your insecurities and fears.
I can’t say that I’m successful every single time, my ego, insecurity and fears still make me want to react and protect myself by closing up or hitting out at times, but I am able to take a breath now before I do and that makes all the difference.
The time out I take before I react in an emotional way helps me calm down and be an adult. It doesn’t have to be a long time; it can be just a few minutes, hours or days. Sometimes even months, but it really doesn’t matter.
I feel less of a need to be ‘right’ or push my point in anger, at the expense of another, or if I do, it doesn’t last for long. I am more willing to yield and see other perspectives for the sake of harmony and understanding another individual and situation.
I have found that anger when self-righteous can only be destructive and separatist. I’ve been both at the giving and receiving end of this and it just stops all dialogue and undermines the chances for reconciliation.
So now with my coaching clients, I walk them through their own journeys to feeling worthy enough to deserve and then receive a harmonious relationship.
We all can have and do deserve success and happiness in our relationships and I am committed to helping my clients in any way that I can to ensure they find that.
All my experience in relationships has helped me to truly understand and serve my clients as they walk through their own paths to finding success in their relationships. I am able to bring my clients from a place of dysfunction and chaos to a place where they can have functional relationships because I have done so for myself. I am familiar with the exact places they find themselves in emotionally and how they can navigate their way through them.
Being successful in your relationships is a journey rather than a destination, but what can make the difference is your choice to take responsibility and be an adult.
The journey to success in relationships is also the journey to fully heal, love and honour who we are and the choice to become whole and mature, and then be in relationship with someone else who is also whole and mature.