Winner: 2014’s Other Perspectives of the Year

414 Relax and Succeed Rebuttal - A healthy relationship

Uh. Be careful with this one. A lot of people will misinterpret this. This doesn’t mean you help your partner improve. It means you help them become who they really are. Improvement was what I originally thought too. A lot of people make that mistake.

My ex-wife and I each saw unrealized potential in each other and so we lovingly urged each other to realize it. We were totally well-intentioned. But by doing that, what we’re essentially saying to the person is, “you’re not okay the way you are already.” Ouch.

No one ‘makes’ anyone else better. People grow at their own pace relative to the nourishment they have. Period. So in the relationship I had after my wife, I didn’t wake up and look at her and think: wow you have so much incredible potential that I want to help you realize.

By then I was wiser, and instead I woke up and thought, wow I cannot believe how patient and dedicated you are to put up with all of my unrealized potential, not to mention my way of being. I’m so grateful that I want to help you with whatever you want to do.

That meant I had questions and not suggestions. I was looking for direction not to give direction. It was much more peaceful and much more actively loving.

What’s healthiest is two people who are independent enough to be able to choose to be together in a context where neither one feels that they would fail without the other person.

Healthy relationships aren’t about pulling people out of holes. They occur when level-headed people have their feet firmly on the ground so that one of us can place our partner on our shoulders so they can reach even higher.

That added height –that growth– that emerges out of that shared commitment is why it’s a good idea to ask your partner what they really want to accomplish and then give them a hand. The odds are it’ll be good for both of you. 😉

peace. s

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