Is The Man You Married The Partner You Want? Since we were little girls women have been given some sort of story about getting married and what “happily ever after” looks like. Marriage doesn’t always have a “Disney esque” happy ending. That’s because life and being in a relationship is an ongoing process. It’s important to have a developed Sense of Self understanding what YOU want so you know what you want in a relationship. Selecting the right partner doesn’t “complete” us as much as it makes us “more”. Meaning we don’t need a man to be/feel complete. Relationships are to enhance an already emotionally mature woman. In my opinion, Renée Zellweger’s character in the 1996 movie “Jerry McGuire” couldn’t have been that undifferentiated of a self when she said to Jerry, “you complete me.” No one person, especially a man, should complete any woman who has a mind of her own.
Not all men make the right partner. Saying “I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you” is a nice statement and I’m sure heartfelt, but what else do you want in a partner? Unconditional love, some say. “Love me no matter what.” But sometimes words and statements don’t have the behavior to back them up. Meaning guys say one thing and do something else. Healthy couples are independent of one another while in an interdependent relationship. The individual in a healthy relationship is number one priority where the responsibility lies in getting personal needs/wants met, having your own dream, etc. Number two priority in a healthy relationship is the individual within the relationship exercising appropriate behavior by asking for what you need and want, and being able to express thoughts and feelings. The relationship (the union of the two) is third in priority in a healthy relationship. When the individual is happy the relationship benefits making for a healthy, loving relationship. You want your man to be a partner in every sense of the word. Relationships take commitment, practice and a willingness to continue to grow and change. You shouldn’t feel alone in your relationship.
When you concentrate on yourself; know yourself, love yourself, be honest with yourself and trust yourself first you are better equipped to select a partner where you don’t have to settle for less than what your heart and soul desire. Learning to know what you want as a person enables you to know what you want in a relationship. Some women pick men who look good on the outside and on paper (educated, money, good looks, etc.) only to experience some really bad behavior that doesn’t match up with what they say when “wooing” you back on their side after you’ve been disrespected. A truly differentiated person (evolved; not codependent) would say how they feel about the disrespect and ask for a behavioral change. If your guy is responsive and consistently shows improved behavior you’re good to go. If he continues to display bad behavior and continues to say he’ll change without the consistency of the improvement…..run!
Women who love themselves don’t tolerate bad behavior. They just don’t. Those women would rather be alone allowing the opportunity for the right partner to come their way. Healthy attracts healthy. So it’s important to have a healthy sense of self so you don’t attract bad eggs. Being in a relationship that works looks like this:
- Trust your intuition in finding and keeping the right partner
- No abuse
- Both people must be willing and able to say no and hear no without repercussions
- Trust – when you say you’re going to do something, follow through. Not doing so shows a lack of integrity
- How well each person in the relationship accepts responsibility
- Having Boundaries
- Being able to maintain your Sense of Self and is supported
- Being able to express your thoughts and feelings
- Being able to ask for what you need and want
- Not defining you by telling you how you feel, think, what your motives are, etc.
Examples of poor boundaries:
- You can’t go out with your friends without me. I’m the jealous type so that would upset me.
- I’d love to take that job in Los Angeles, but my mother would never forgive me for moving so far away.
- I can date you, but let’s not tell our parents just yet. They don’t know you’re from out of town.
- Let me ask my husband first.
As a Marriage Counselor, I work with women who say they love themselves but allow their partner to mistreat them. They make excuses for them and settle as they are afraid to be alone, criticized, judged, or whatever narrative they’ve bought into that tolerates bad behavior. Don’t waste your life away on the wrong person. If you’re married and your relationship is not making you happy then perhaps you should explore the reasons why. If you’re dating and you think you’re settling perhaps you need to get to know yourself better so you know what you want in a relationship before you marry this man.
Don’t marry the wrong guy for all the wrong reasons. Get the clarity you need to stop settling and start exploring and creating what you truly want for yourself and your relationship. Call me at (858) 735-1139 if you think the man you married isn’t the partner you want.