Joan was at her wits end and was simply tired of trying to “fix” her marriage.
Through the years, she had read books and asked her husband John to go to counseling but he would never agree.
In fact, they didn’t agree on much of anything and it always ended with Joan feeling hurt and John shutting down, escaping to his garage workshop.
When she came to us, she had a long list of complaints about John but she also could see her part in their relationship struggles and wanted to find out how to get out of the constant conflict.
As we explained how the thoughts we believe and make real do create our reality, Joan saw how she had been keeping their conflicts alive by focusing on what was so wrong with him and their relationship.
When we asked her if there were any times she felt close to John, she told us about how some evenings they took walks together, talked with their neighbors and even occasionally held hands.
As we continued to talk, Joan saw she could choose to attend various family functions by herself if John didn’t want to go without making him wrong.
She saw that her thoughts about what he “should” do had been keeping him separate from her.
As the weeks went by, she found that as she “softened” toward him, he was much more open, kinder and cooperative toward her.
He even spent less time in his workshop and more time with her.
What was the root cause of their relationship struggles?
Was it all Joan’s fault all along?
Of course not.
Joan and John both just had a misunderstanding of how their experience is created and that’s where blame comes in.
They both thought that what the other person said or did created their feelings when actually it was the thoughts they believed and made real in the moment that created their experience of each other.
Was Joan “perfect” at remembering this?
Of course not–none of us are!
But what this new understanding allowed her to do was see it more quickly when she fell into her old ways of thinking and shift out of it.
So what about you?
If you have relationship struggles that keep popping up, are you willing to let go of blaming either yourself or the other person?
Knowing that you don’t have to believe every thought that passes through your mind can free you from struggle so you have more love in your life.