Take personal responsibility for your relationship

Falling in love is a bit like losing yourself to somebody else. There is chemistry behind falling in love and it is shown that dopamine has a powerful impact on our brain and makes us feel like we are high on drugs.

Symbiosis is defined as “being dependent on one another”. In the initial infatuation stage of love partners feel naturally symbiotic and reassured that they think alike, feel alike and don’t need words to understand each other. Finally you’ve found that soulmate! As time goes on, this glory of being so alike gets trampled by real life experiences to that contrary which breeds colossal disappointment.

Knowledge of all of his negatives and the ways he doesn’t give you what you need and assumed you would get are interpreted as ‘not being in love anymore. The expectation that you can get all you need from your partner naturally doesn’t acknowledge that we are ultimately responsible for asking for what we want and need. Perhaps you’ve taken on an identity that you thought was the only way be in the relationship. Parts of yourself were suppressed and maybe true values got lost. “I’m more than you think I am!”

This is the key downfall of a symbiotic relationships. If you and your partner are no longer in ‘lockstep’ with each other then we think that something is fundamentally wrong. It is much more difficult to assert your needs and easier to turn away in disappointment. How do you ‘stand up for yourself’ in the relationship in the areas where you may have differences. It demands grown up skills in honest assertive communication (both listening and talking) and a lot of courage.

Make the implicit explicit and stop mind reading your partner. When you try to fill in the blanks about what your partner is thinking, you risk projecting thoughts and feelings that aren’t in any way coming from your partner. Making assumptions and drawing conclusions provides a false sense of control. Be assertive and ask what your partner is thinking before jumping to conclusions.

Talk like a grown-up. Intense negative emotions often result in impulsive and poorly thought out reactions. That child within us gets activated and much damage can come from words. If you need to clarify or communicate important thoughts, be sure to consider all aspects of reality, without blowing things out of proportion.

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