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Whether or not you’re currently in a relationship with a lover/partner/spouse, you know that relationships of ALL kinds are a crucial ingredient in what makes life worth living (at least that’s how I look at it).  You probably also know that managing a relationship with anyone easily and quickly can turn into seriously tricky business at the drop of a hat.  Now, if you also take into account the adage that says, “How you do one thing is how you do Everything,” it’s not too hard to see that it behooves you to be as awakened and conscious to what you’re bringing to all your most challenging relationships on any consistent level.

If you’re scratching your head by now, look at this little true-ism: when you look at all the different people you’ve ever had any kind of struggle with (lovers, children, co-worker, authority figure, etc.), what’s the common denominator that you notice (other then the recurring thought that if they only weren’t such a jerk/pain-in-the-butt/annoyance, etc.)?  Does it seem to you that that denominator is all their collective shortcomings?  If so, you’re seriously missing the boat.  Is it that they all are folks who need to change?  If that’s your outlook, you again have missed the boat.  This may seem really basic to you, but it’s stunning to see how many people don’t get the TRUE common denominator: it’s YOU!  YOU are at the center of any dysfunctional relationship you’re a part of.

It’s not that the other party to a relationship doesn’t have faults, flaws, unconscious behaviors, etc.  However, no matter what another person’s doing, your experience of any relationship is totally an experience in which you are the Mission Control Center.  I’m not the first person, by a long shot, to point out that, at the very least (not accounting for heavy safes that fall on your head that you had no control over), you are 100% responsible for the experience of your life and your relationships you’re having.

Now, you may be asking yourself (as I am right this second), “So, if so many others have said it, why in the hell are you saying it AGAIN!?”  It’s pretty simple: because, based on the behaviors and issues I keep seeing with every couple and individual I work with (definitely including Yours Truly), we aren’t getting it!  You may have heard it a thousand times, and a thousand times you may have nodded your head in agreement; however, is it showing up in your life?  That’s where the rubber really hits the road.

Why is it so hard for you and I to get this one?  I think it’s pretty simple.  You don’t want to look at the truths that are inevitably going to be discovered if you really look under the hood at what drives the patterns that continually come up in every relationship you’re in.  You don’t want to see the truth of your need.  You may not want to see the truth of how little you actually believe you’re worth being loved and valued.  You don’t want to see the truth of how much you’re depending on the other person in the relationship to do the heavy lifting of self-validation that you’d really like to do for yourself…and, you may not want to see the truth of how much you actually getting what you want scares the s**t out of you and would totally send your entire inner Strategic Defense System ass over tea kettle.  It’s far easier to have your partner, or the other party to whatever relationship you’re suffering in right now, as the problem.

If someone you’re in relationship with is constantly abusing you, they are definitely a substantive factor in your experience of being abused.  Yet, if your mind wants to go to “They’re bad because they’re abusing me, and shame on them,” I’d suggest you’d be better served first going to “Why am I willing to let myself be abused?”…that’s the part you’re solely responsible for…or, at the very least, it’s the only part that you really have any real power to do anything about.

By now, I’d bet you may be saying to yourself, “Self…this Dude’s sure being a buzz kill; I get the problem, but what the heck do I do about it?”  Again, it’s pretty simple…if you want any kind of healthy relationship, in ANY context, you have to look at what you aren’t communicating…that is, look at what you’re withholding.  Then, you really are going to have to screw up every ounce of courage available to you and be unflinchingly, brutally, and compassionately honest with yourself.  You have to tell the truth on yourself to you, first and foremost.  Just about every judgement you’re listening to in your head about the other person…sit on your toilet backwards and look in the mirror…real hard.

You have to be willing to make a decision you’ve had enough…the only decision I know of that can then propel you to get the support you need to start really taking on shifting both the patterns and the person you’re being (and get to the person you’re not being) when you’re caught in them.  A healthy, vibrant relationship is ABSOLUTELY possible…the reason they seem so hard to come by is largely due to this unwillingness to really look in the mirror and take full responsibility for how you’re experiencing the relationship.  If you’d be willing to do that, you’d have a much better shot at telling yourself the truths that need to be told so you can actually have clarity about what steps need to be taken to end the unnecessary suffering.

It’s just like Warner Ehrhard said years ago: “The truth will set you free; but, first it will piss you off.”

How pissed off are you willing to be for true love of yourself and, then, others?

I would really love to hear what you think and feel about this topic.  If you would be willing to share, and would want it to be anonymous, please email me at  If you’re willing to have your experiences be of more immediate use and support for others trying to figure all this stuff out too, I invite you to post a comment or a note, to my Living Your Spirit Now Facebook Fan Page.

Geoff Laughton

Geoff helps couples get the relationship back with each other that they’ve been dreaming of instead of continuing to live the one they’ve been settling for.
Geoff is a Master Relationships Recovery Coach who has spent the last 15 years guiding individuals and couples worldwide in re-energizing and re-inventing their relationships – with themselves and others – before they get irreparably damaged. This, combined with his 29 years as a loving husband and father, has provided Geoff with the real-life experience needed to guide others in rescuing and renewing the relationships into which so much time, love, and energy have been invested – and need not be wasted.

– is a deeply personal issue that everyone decides for himself. Sometimes the price is high, sometimes low. But this is not very important for life. Life is an interesting thing. And the price on Viagra – too.