Below, you will find five of the most frequently asked questions about relationships. If you have a question you feel applies in a general way to all relationships, please feel free to contact Dr. Evan about adding it to our list.
1. How can you tell who is to blame when you are having trouble?
The answer to this is neither of you and both of you. Neither is to blame, but, both of you are responsible. No matter what, in every relationship and every situation, the responsibility for your success and your difficulty is always 50/50. Most people do not like to hear that because it is easier to blame someone else. However, if you are conscious, you must be willing to ask, how am I contributing to this situation and what am I willing to do to make it better. Even when there is an "identified bad guy," someone has made a decision to be with the bad guy.
2. What are the reasons why so many relationships break up?
Most therapists will tell you the reasons relationship fail are are money, sex, and communication, in that order. I disagree. I believe the reasons for the failure of most relationships are what I call the A, B, double C's:
A = Lack of Awareness: Lack of Awareness or an attitude of, "It's all about you -- not me." These people are into blaming, making others wrong and they seldom analyze what it is they are doing to contribute to their situation.
B = Lack of understanding about Boundaries: Lack of Boundaries or lack of understanding of how they work. This issue is critical and this is the very reason most couples don't make it. Solid Boundaries help give us a clear understanding of what our responsibilities are and are not. Boundaries prevent us from becoming co-dependent or making others responsible for our good feelings about our selves.
C = Lack of Commitment: This is the individual who is "doing time" in relationships, but not doing work on him or herself. These people act disinterested, disconnected to issues or process, and are in relationships but not really present to or for each other. These people usually get their own way through manipulation, shaming, disapproval, fear, intimidation, control, interrogation, withdrawal or dishonesty.
D = Communication Problems: When you are able to communicate, these and all other issues - sex and $ problems, or any other problems -- get dealt with effectively.
3. Why are there so many relationships in trouble?
Relationships as we do them today, for the most part, reinforce our separateness as individuals and support a sense of isolation. We are constantly protecting or defending our role, our space, our right, our level of need. We need to create stronger boundaries and better communication so that we can use relationships as they were Divinely inspired - as workshops for the Spirit. With good boundaries and communication we can allow people to be who they are and support them in their own spiritual journey of self discovery.
Our focus has become external. We believe we are our facade-selves - the teacher, the partner, the employee or business owner. We believe we are our perfect or not so perfect bodies, toys, houses, cars and bank accounts. The more we have the more we are. The greater our success, the greater our presence. We have buried our real selves in what we think the world, our parents, or our partners want us to be.
The real relationship begins when we are courageous and willing to find our real selves, under all this outer accoutrement. It begins when we find our real spirit and the real spirit in our partners. Out of that discovery comes two partners, and then a third force that emerges out of these two - the third is the ONE - shared awareness. When two people come together in order to find that awareness in each other -- in the space between them they also find ecstasy - call it relationship, call it God. The twoness brings them into ONE and the ONENESS dances as two. This is conscious relationship.
4. Can a relationship ever be fixed once an affair has taken place?
Definitely yes! Affairs are very often a cry for help or a symptom of even bigger problems in the relationship. Often there has been no communication, no affection and no intimacy long before the affair has taken place, but both partners have been in denial about the problems.
5. What is another reason relationship fail?
Another reason many relationships fail is because they begin for the wrong reason. Many relationships are based on need, not love. It's so easy to get entrenched in our own "I need this, I want this - you're not fulfilling this for me." Need security -- need refuge - need affection - need financial support - need housekeeper -need taking care of --all relationships are symbiotic in that sense. We come together because we fulfill each others needs at some level. However, when need becomes the primary focus, we begin relating to each other as objects. NEED IS NOT LOVE - Swallow hard - I'll say that again ...NEED IS NOT LOVE! The shared predicament is how do we come together as one and yet not lose ourselves as individuals or lose ourselves in each other's needs? Anyone here ever felt that? The only way we can do that is if we are aware, have healthy boundaries, are able to communicate and make commitments.
*****Okay, now it is your turn to ask questions.*****
Send it to us in an E-mail. Make sure it is a general question that would be of interest to many people and does not contain specific information about you or anyone else. Tell us if you would like to get credit for asking this question. If so, we will put your name at the end of the question. If not, we will not post any name with the question. Thanks for stopping by and please come back. - Dr. Evan
You are never alone
when being a part of God...
Dina Bachelor Evan, Ph.D. - Therapy for Individuals and Couples
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