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A few weeks ago I opened my mouth to nag my husband about making an effort to spend more time with me. My hopeless romanticism stems from my overly-emotional and dramatic personality (a.k.a. my Crazy). But I learned how to balance my Crazy with rationality. I don’t always get it right, and sometimes my Crazy is just too strong. But most of the time I have enough self-discipline to stop and think with my head before making a decision with my heart.
As much as I enjoy giving relationship advice through this blog and through my conversations with friends, I have to admit that reading my own words has been a tremendous help for my marriage. It allows me to reflect, and it reminds me of the role I play in the success of my own relationship.
The only way I developed the ability to make logical decisions despite the pulls of my Crazy was by learning how to self-reflect, to literally have internal conversations with myself about why I feel the way I do. And no matter how ugly the questions get, I force myself to give honest answers.
So as soon as I opened my mouth to start nagging my husband, I shut it. And instead I chose to question my motives.
He works hard to provide for us. His heart belongs to his family. Why do I want more quality time?
Because I love being around him. He makes me laugh. He makes me feel good about myself.
Why is it his responsibility to make me feel good? Why do I keep making that his job? Why can’t I find happiness within myself?
Because I’m completely dependent upon him and our children for my happiness. Because I’m so invested in my identity as a mom and a wife that, when I am not wearing one of those hats, I do not feel complete. Because I have not really developed a love for myself that does not include being loved by someone else.
Whoa. Talk about self-reflection.
What began as the thought that I need more from my husband turned into the realization that I am not investing enough time into myself. I am ignoring my identity as Lyneè.
By taking a couple minutes to dig deeply into the root of my wants, I discovered my needs.
The success of any relationship is 100% dependent on honesty. Not honesty with your partner, honesty with yourself. The success of any relationship falls on your ability to look in the mirror, to stare into the eyes of your own reflection, and give an honest description of who you are as person, and why.
The first step towards finding success in love is to wholeheartedly love the person that is staring back at you. You have to believe that, as is, by yourself, without the help of anyone else, you are worthy of love. Because if you do not love the person you see in the mirror, then the only thing you will be searching for in a relationship is for someone who makes you feel worthy.
Then you will become addicted to the way they make you feel. You will ignore red flags, compromise your beliefs, give away pieces of your identity, do whatever it takes to maintain that feeling. But true love is not built on this feeling. This feeling is fleeting and temporary. And any relationship built on this feeling will eventually come to an end. For some of us, a heart-wrenching, devastating end.
So how do we avoid heartbreak? How do we stop choosing the wrong partners? How do we shift from committing to relationships that make us feel good to investing time and energy into relationships that have the potential to be loving, long-lasting, and successful?
By being honest with ourselves. By exploring the roots of our wants to discover our needs.
If we can find the courage to be honest with who we are, and invest the time into loving ourselves for who we are, then our standards for a lover will automatically change. Because we will already be whole, we will stop looking for partners who complete us. Because we will feel good about ourselves, we will stop settling for relationships that only make us feel good. Instead we will seek partners who compliment us, and invest in relationships that inspire us to keep growing.
There are many key ingredients in the recipe of true love, but without honesty, everything else will fall apart. As I said in a previous blog, if you are single right now and truly desire a mature, long-lasting, successful relationship, do not spend your alone time combating loneliness. Take this time to transform yourself into the very best lover you can be. And you can start by being completely honest with the person in the mirror first.
~Love and Happiness from your Best Girlfriend~
The “Can I Get an Amen?” Corner
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