It’s a brand new year, a great time to reexamine your relationship. Before going on to Chapter 8, let’s take a look at what conscious couples know. If you are in a relationship, check off the ones that are already a part of your ingrained knowing. The authors state:
“Based on the practices conscious couples engage in, we created a list of what conscious couples know and what they do with what they know. Here are 25 things that conscious partners know.” (p.167) See how many resonate with you!
Reexamine: What Conscious Couples Know
- Safety is non-negotiable for thriving in their relationship.
- Imago Dialogue creates equality and safety and facilitates connecting.
Negativity & Anxiety
- Negativity arouses anxiety and disconnects them from each other. They keep all negativity and judgment out of their transactions.
- Both of them have an original innocence that was lost in their childhood challenges, which occurred at approximately the same developmental stage.
- The conscious agenda of their relationship is to meet the unmet childhood needs they each brought into their relationship.
- Have complimentary defenses that are natural, and they accept that fact about each other, without judgment.
- Can reconstruct the memory their partner has of them by expressing new behaviors with intensity.
- Are different from each other and will never be the same. Similarity is as good as it gets.
- They came together to participate in the sometimes painful, sometimes joyful dance of romantic partnership, and they know why.
- That anxiety gets aroused between them, and how to take steps to prevent negative emotions from taking hold.
- They can assume that their partner’s intentions are good, even if their behavior is not.
- To prevent episodes of unnecessary pain, suffering, and damage to their relationship, they need to be intentional and think before they speak.
- Need to differentiate so they can move from symbiosis to connecting.
- They need to remove all forms of negativity that show up in the space between; instead of picking a fight and using negativity to get what they want, they ask their partner for a Dialogue.
- Need to do their best to meet the other’s needs and desires, knowing that in doing so they are serving their partner’s and their own best interests.
- Being conscious means taking responsibility for (only) their own behavior and allowing room for their partner’s flawed behaviors by not taking them personally, as indeed they are not personal.
- They need to be sensitive to their different needs for space and togetherness.
- Having a healthy relationship is the best thing they can do for their physical and emotional health.
- The quality of their relationship shapes the relational, emotional, and cognitive future of their children if they have any.
- The energy in their relationship has a ripple effect on their social environment.
- They know how to orient themselves toward maintaining connection with each other while staying open to all parts of themselves, their personality, and their sense of individuality.
- Connecting is sustained by intentionality, so they speak with a positive tone and use only appreciative or neutral words in all transactions, which helps them feel connected most of the time.
- The sign of a thriving relationship is how quickly partners engage in curiosity rather than judgment.
- They need to acknowledge each other’s “otherness”, accept each other’s differences, affirm each other’s reality, adore each other’s traits, and advocate each other’s reality and potential.
- They must differentiate before they can connect, so they accept each other as an “other” and accept each other’s differences.
New Year: A Time to ReExamine Your Relationship
January 1 is always a good time to reexamine your relationship and see if there are areas that might need some work. I know, way back, we would pull out our Relationship Vision and see what we needed to focus on for the next six months. Our anniversary was in June, so we would pull it out again and recommit for the next six months. If there are items on the list I just read that you might not yet have fully incorporated into your mindset, perhaps you can make them a part of your New Year’s resolutions. Cheers and onto Chapter 8: The Developmental Challenges of Connecting. Chat next week.