Dec 04 2014
A Relationship Has a Mind of It’s Own.
You’ve probably intuited this, sensed it vaguely. When you reach a certain level of maturity you can really see this. But it takes effort.
When my collaborator, Marilyn Bronstein, and I interviewed really successful couples, this is what we saw: they not only had a significant amount of self-respect (The “Me” mind) and they not only had a genuine and intelligent appreciation for their partner (The “You” mind), they also had a reasonably solid sense of how the two of them fit together into a “We.” And more than that, the loved the “We.” Sometimes they thought the “We” was so cool they were blown away in awe.(Wow!) You. Me. We. Wow. That’s how great relationships seem to work.
So let’s look at the We.
(This is a little abstract, but it’s a start.)
A relationship is a shared mental process. In fact, at times couples aren’t sure who thought what, i.e., “Was that my idea or yours?”
- A relationship has a presence, a personality and an emotional impact. If one partner has an intense emotion – anger, lust, sadness, pick one – the other person feels it. An emotion is alike a rope both people are holding; it can and will make demands on both partners. It shapes how partners see each other. It is a lens through which partners understand each other. When there’s lust, they see each other as attractive, when there is anger, they see each other as dangerous, and so on.