How to Avoid Struggle in Your Relationship

How to Avoid Struggle in Your Relationship

Last year we went to a talk by Anne Lamott. The venue holds a couple of thousand people and the place was filled to the rafters. Anne gave a wonderful talk filled with personal revelations, sharing of her journey and lots of great humor, often pointed at herself. Her talk reminded us of a similar one with Elizabeth Gilbert when she appeared in Santa Barbara while her book “Eat Pray Love” was skyrocketing. Writers like these are able to reach deep within themselves for understanding and also turn that into words that resonate with people.

Their revelations started us wondering about the strength of their attraction.

A story is usually a journey of some sort. The hero’s progress and the sharing of the struggles, and often pain and suffering along the way is something that many people can relate to directly. The same tale is often applied to relationships. People have been conditioned to think that conflict is inevitable and that challenges and struggles are necessary and unavoidable.

We write our blogs and books from the direct experience of our relationship, and struggling and suffering have not been our path. This could be seen as a handicap because we didn’t start in turmoil and then hike through many brambles before arriving at our present state of happiness. Unlike books, films and the authors above, we do not have an arduous story to tell. Instead of describing all the towns we traveled through, we can only offer the city in which we live.

That is not to say that other people’s travails are not real; what we share is another way. We share the details of this because we firmly believe that a way of peace and joy is open to all who wish to embark down a different road.

You don’t have to struggle in your relationship; you can transform it into one full of peace and joy Click To TweetThere is some pushback to the idea that instead of pain and suffering, people can find peace and joy. The common experience of struggling has been given strong value and importance. When things of lightness and joy are shared, they are often met with suspicion and disbelief. This is in many ways understandable, as we all have to deal with many hurts and disappointments in our lives as we come to grow and move forward. And yet there is another way.

It is not a path or a process, although it is usually preceded by these. Instead, it is a leap into a fully different reality. It is transformation.

Open your minds and your hearts to another way. We are living proof that it is possible to love without hardship and difficulty. You do not always have to struggle and work in order for your relationship to be full of calm, ease, and at the same time, juicy passion. – How Two: Have a Successful Relationship

The route, of course, will be different for each person, but here’s what every journey has in common: transformation. Change. There are two ways this comes about. One is incremental, like learning to ride a bike, and the other is instantaneous, the way a crossword puzzle answer suddenly appears. One moment you’re clueless and the next, it’s obvious.

Ideas of acceptance, individuality and presence are ways in which to see the world, and can be owned in an instant. It doesn’t happen just by hearing or reading about it, but at some point, a transformation can take place in the same way we can suddenly see a second perspective in an optical illusion.

When transformation occurs it is often so total that we do not even realize everything has changed until reflecting backward sometime later. With us, our way of relating with each other was so different from our previous relationships that it took us quite a long time to realize that we had experienced a life-altering transformation in relating and in being. By the time we noticed it, the change had become a way of life! Try it and you will be amazed. Jump in full with both feet. Take a leap and reap untold rewards.

Photo credit: Maude Mayes

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5 Comments on “How to Avoid Struggle in Your Relationship

  1. It’s all about inner conflict. I believe we project it out onto others, but it is only learning to cope with one’s own inner conflicts without taking it outside ourselves. Once I am clear I don’t want to eat sweets, it is no longer a conflict. If I go to a party and there are sweets there and I want to eat them I have a problem. BEFORE I GO, I decide to be peaceful with the buffet. It is not the buffet’s fault if I experience inner conflict. I now understand this and I am able to go anywhere without the conflict.

    • Dear Iris,
      You have given a great example of how we come to understand and examine what we imbue a situation with ourselves – this applies directly to all our relationships – it is far more helpful to learn about what we are bringing that causes our reactions and to create change there – then we are not about changing the other, and paradoxically, this often does lead to change in the other.
      Thanks for all your great feedbacks!

  2. Sent by email:
    Hello out there, I’d like to respond to your weekly messages as I find there is always something meaty in it for me. I agree that struggles and hardships are a choice. I really think it is about language. “Languaging” is a given set of words that triggers a given set of responses. When one feels any struggle it starts within one’s self; it is not a relationship issue until one chooses to work it out with the other partner. I find my struggles are within myself but definitely surface when sharing the path with another. I choose a language that speaks to choice. I find there are hardships within my own mind that often don’t surface until challenged by another.
    I am always willing to find better language to address these roadblocks; BECAUSE I AM LOOKING FOR BETTER LANGUAGE!!!!!!!!! perhaps that is a way for many to find their way out of the corners they may be stuck in?

    • Hi,
      I think your suggestion is one that can help many others, especially in looking at a possible change within themselves before trying to change the other.
      thank you so much for sharing!

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