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Soulmate

How To Be a Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul

It’s a continual process to balance how to be a soulmate without losing your soul. It takes attitude changes and pressurized reality to learn how to balance between “we” and “me.”

When we travel by plane, we’re used to hearing the flight attendant’s safety instructions. He or she usually says something like this.

“If there’s a loss of cabin pressure, the panels above your seat will open, and oxygen masks will drop down. . . Be sure to adjust your own mask before helping others.”

If we attempt to help others before adjusting our own mask, we may end up passing out. Then we can’t help anyone. We need to take that same advice for our relationships.

We need to care for our own soul-needs before attempting to care for others. Click To Tweet

It takes attitude changes to be a soulmate

Marriages are like a pressurized cabin at various times. They are not so even-keeled. We experience turbulence and high altitudes. Storms and fair weather affect our differences. Our ears pop. The ride gets rough. We’re required to stay in our seats with seatbelt securely fastened at times.

Early on in romance, our differences are exciting, novel, and energizing. After marriage, and sometimes before, our differences can become outright annoying. That’s when they can escalate into major conflicts.

Other life transitions expose the soul storms of a marriage. Raising children, career development, loss, and core differences create turbulence in life. But we can get beyond messy marriages.

Many Christian couples vow, “The two of us are one.” It doesn’t take long to realize one or both are subconsciously saying things like this.

We two are one. And yes, I’m the one.

Or, in a patriarchal or what some consider a “biblical” marriage, a bride may live her life like this.

We two are one. And, yes, he’s the one.

As years go by, both lose opportunities to develop their character. They lose their individual selves as well as the relationship. One of them becomes invisible. The other one gets caught up in self-delusions. Neither has insights into their own souls.

Neither one attempts to adjust their own oxygen mask. They’re too busy trying to improve, fix, or help the other. They become bitter, resentful, angry and resistant. Their world gets smaller. They become stuck. Or, figuratively, they pass out.

Life transitions expose the soul storms of a marriage. Raising children, career development, loss, and core differences create turbulence in life. Click To Tweet

It takes pressurized reality to be a soulmate

It takes two to honor each other and respect one another’s differences. And it still takes two to do that in a relationship. Here’s points to consider.

  1. Conflict is necessary for personal and relationship awareness.
  2. Don’t avoid it or run from it.
  3. Don’t criticize your partner or try to win them over to your side.
  4. Instead, be open. Listen to understand. There are more than two ways to resolve a conflict.
  5. Seek counseling or outside help to resolve resolvable conflicts. And to adjust to unresolvable conflicts.

World-renown researcher, Dr. John Gottman, gives us clarity. Sixty-nine percent of happily married couples have unresolved conflict. The difference between the “masters” and the “disasters” are this. The “masters” are the ones who adjust and accept their partner’s differences. The “disasters” allow perpetual resentment and negativity to grow.

Here are ideas on how to adjust our own soul mask

  1. Do breathe deeply when you feel reactive, irritable, angry, or triggered by your spouse. Slow down. You’ll get clarity when you do.
  2. Be curious about what’s going on inside of you. Ask yourself, “What’s unfinished in my life? Why did this situation or comment make me feel this way? What is the meaning I created from that interaction?”
  3. To increase self-awareness, reflect on this question: “How is my spouse experiencing me?”
  4. See your spouse as a gift from God. When you do, you can develop an attitude of thankfulness. You’ll nurture your soul and grow your character. Be willing to accept your spouses’ issues as helping yoube more understanding.
It takes two to honor each other and respect one another’s differences. Click To Tweet

The cabin pressure of your marriage will change. Those oxygen masks will drop. Always adjust yours first. Balance the “we” and “me” in romance and marriage. Your beautiful life is worth keeping your soul intact.

I’m writing more on the steps for balancing the “we” and “me” in romance and marriage. So, let’s stay in touch in the meantime.

For now, sign up for updates and preview on my new book

Beyond Messy Marriages: Divine Invitations Toward Your Authentic Self

 

Feature Photo by Ethan Sykes on Unsplash

Healthy Relationship Conflict

Part 2 of 11

“10 Ways to be Real in Spite of Conflict”

Realize that resolving relationship conflict is healthy and necessary for growth.

Let’s clarify that. The key word is “resolving conflict” where both parties feel heard, understood, and valued. Resolving relationship conflict does not mean power and control over another. If you’re continually giving in to keep the peace, or if you’re sacrificing your own principles and values, you may be in an unhealthy relationship.

So what’s an unhealthy relationship? I’m glad you asked. Think of healthy or unhealthy as any point on a continuum. Remember geometry class where you learned that a straight horizontal line goes on and on in either direction? That’s what I’m referring to.

In the healthy direction, both parties respect the otherness of the other. They value each other’s opinions. They have positive regard for each other. They are on the same team. They are partners. They are curious about each other’s differences. They hold their differences as opening up their own perspectives. Yeah! Does that sound real or not?

Here’s my definition of an unhealthy relationship.

On the continuum line, you’re heading in the direction of seeing each other as inconsiderate, domineering, selfish, demanding, and disrespectful. In extreme cases the relationship is considered poisonous. One partner may take all the blame while the other soaks up grandiose beliefs about himself/herself. If this is the case for your relationship, these next few blog posts may not work at all other than to align you with awareness that your relationship needs help beyond these ideas. Seek out a licensed professional counselor who specializes in relationships as soon as possible.

For those who are willing to grow together and change the partnership dance of conflict here’s a foundation for your thoughts that will make the other nine steps happen. Realize that your journey and growth as a human being depends on allowing your husband or wife influence you and broaden your perspective.

We all have blind spots in our personalities.

Our spouse is the one who sees the good, bad and ugly of our lives. We can either write them off by disregarding their perspective, or we can find an element of truth and be open to our own need for awareness and growth.

Examples of writing off your spouse may be some of the following:

  1. He’s just depressed and sees everything negative.
  2. She has bipolar disorder and over-reacts anyway.
  3. It’s because of how he grew up that’s skewed his viewpoint of me.
  4. There’s nothing I can do that makes her happy no matter how hard I try.

Do any of these excuses sound familiar? You may be very right in your assessment, yet it may be their issues that God is using in your life to refine and grow you into living your life fully. In other words, your spouse along with their issues may be exactly what you need to grow your character. It may not be possible with anyone other than your own spouse and their issues.

Tune in to the next blog post as we address our 2nd of 10 ways to be real in spite of conflict. Our next post is how to be curious about differences rather than demand, judge, or criticize differences.

I’d love to hear your comments! Post below any other “excuses” out there. Let me know what you think of this post!