How does one go about repairing a relationship? We know how to repair other “things”, like cars, equipment, house, clothes and whatnot. The question arises as far as relationship repair is concerned, is a relationship a “thing”? As I mentioned in my previous posts, relationship, although a noun, should not be treated as a thing but as a verb, or as an action, if we want to have any hope in our quest for relationship repair.
So, in this context we will treat relationship repair as an action since it is a verb. Action, on whose part? Who takes the action and what would the action consist of?
From our point of view, if only our partner would change his or her ways everything would be just fine “as before” and relationship repair would be complete. Unfortunately, that is only our “point of view”. The problem with our point of view is that from that point we see all other points but our own. We are blind to it, because we have so much invested in it that we take it for granted that it is as real as it can get. Our point of view is the only reality we are aware of. Our relationship and our partner occur to us a certain way, which is only real to us, and is the only reality we accept. Any other point of view when different from ours, is simply not correct, not true and WRONG. Therefore, in our attempt to repair a relationship we always look to the other side to change his/her behavior and their point of view to coincide with our own and to take this crucial action that would make everything OK so that relationship repair can take place. Although repairing a relationship may be much easier that way, it rarely works and we know it. Trying to change others is a fruitless endeavor for the same reason I mentioned before: “others” have their own “point of view” and if you think that the way you see the situation occurs better to them then their own view, think again. You cannot change other people! The sooner you accept it the sooner you will be able to proceed to a relationship repair stage.
As we are looking for the alternative to changing others it would be good to notice that what we call “relating to others” usually consists of reacting to each other. If that is so and if you cannot change your partner what is left to do is that you change your point of view. The first step is admitting that you have one. Whether you think that your world-view, your opinion of how things are and your point of view are the correct ones or not is beside the point. If you want to engage into the process of relationship repair you must look at your own behavior, which is usually in your blind spot – you do not know how you occur to others – and realize that your partner is reacting to your behavior therefore creating the conflict and disruption of your relationship. Take note, this is not an opportunity to blame yourself or start thinking that it is all your fault. There is no blame in this process only responsibility to claim, which is the first step to true empowerment and an opportunity to take the situation into your own hands towards complete relationship repair. If you change your behavior, your partner shall react to that. Now you are in charge. Good luck.
The whole process is dealt with in The Relationship Saver and expanded upon in The Gameless Relationship.
Comments and questions are welcomed.