Your relationship consists, you may think, of just you and your partner, but in therapy terms the “relationship” is often referred to as the “space” between you which is filled with all of your actions and situations, good or bad that either serve to help or hinder you both. It is here where your children and pets live and how much love is in this space, determines the health of your family and partnership.
To make it a little clearer, visualize for a moment a space between you like a garden or an oil painting that is the resulting picture and nature of how you have treated each other to date. One of my clients, when asked to look at this space he and his wife had created said “oh my god, it looks like a bomb site”. They had spent so much time harming each other, that the space looked desolate and war torn.
To actually SEE what that space looks like can be a shock for some. It serves to get people to wake up to the state of the relationship and what they have done usually to harm the delicate beauty of this place where the seed of love was planted at the beginning but then ended up trodden on.
People, EVERY time you take from this space you harm your partner and the relationship and you effectively yank out all the delicate seeds of love that really need your attention, presence, nurturing and kindness. As a garden needs to flower, so does your relationship and it stands to reason that gardens don’t flower if bull dozers run riot in them. Get the picture?
So take a look. What does your relational space look like right now? Are there some flowers but heavy boot marks through some areas? Perhaps you feel your side of the garden or space is perfect and your partner’s is like Beirut. Whatever you see IS telling you what you have been doing to build this relationship.
If you are looking for examples of what I mean by harming your relational space, then in simple terms I will spell it out for you :
Bad communication – talking over your partner, arguing, not listening to their point of view. Obvious really!
Needing to be right – yep it’s common one, but why feel good about being right if your partner is left deflated and the underdog?
Affairs – sounds an obvious one but it is pretty much the biggest bomb you could ever throw into your relational space. In my entire dating history and listening to hundreds of people talk about relationships over the years, I only know of one relationship that lasted after an affair. The odds are stacked I am sorry to say. We all know what happens so why do we do it?
Not SEEing your partner and not being truly present with them when they speak to you.
Spending too much time engaged in what you want to do and not spending quality time with your partner in the “space”. Remember your garden needs attention from both of you…
Read more:Gina Hardy, Om Times