Excerpt from “Secrets of a Successful Relationship Revealed” pgs. 18 – 19
“I’d like to try to break down some of the qualities that seem so important to how we are with each other.
One factor that seems critical is not only accepting the other person for who they are, but also celebrating with joy who they are, feeling a deep abiding affection and respect for the other.
At the same time, it is important not to get confused and think that one’s identity has merged with the other. We seem to keep our separate identities, while merging into something else as well. When you’re not trying to change the other person, you don’t run into so many of the difficulties that bring conflict and distance between two people. So how does one find a balance of not trying to change each other, while at the same time being open to help and support each other?
I think part of this paradox could be avoided by not thinking you know better than your partner what is right or best for them. Maybe by not separating yourself from your partner, by not thinking from a position of separation such as smarter or better or more fully knowing what right action is, you can instead actually experience the joy of another viewpoint, the discovery of other ways to see and think of things. This difference of identity has to at the same time be consonant with your basic values. You have to feel connected and in accord, to fully appreciate difference and not want to make it the same as you.”