The Keys to a Successful Relationship
About 50% of all relationships fail. We all know that by now. But why?
The reason most of them fail is because we are not doing the work. The work in a relationship is all within ourselves. It is in our resolution and ability to embrace the strong emotions that get stirred up inside of us simply from being in a relationship, and then to take the quiet time to learn the deep seated roots of these feelings and beliefs.
We often believe, mistakenly, that our partner is creating the anger or frustration that we are feeling. We blame the other. But the truth is, our relationship with our partner is waking up embedded emotions that have been sleeping inside us.
I tell my counseling clients, “Your relationship with your husband or wife started when you were 6 years old.” That is, the emotional and psychological dynamic between you and your parents, what you saw and felt and literally absorbed while growing up, are all stored inside your limbic system. Our “early emotional experiences knit long lasting patterns into the very fabric of the brain’s neural network” (Thomas Lewis, General Theory of Love).
And as neuroscience has recognized, 95% of life is driven by these unconscious feelings, our subconscious world of response patterns that have etched our beliefs and reactions. You never knew you were learning these responses.
Just to apply some statistical evidence around this epidemic of broken relationships, about half of the 60 million couples in the US gave up in 2015. That is a staggering number of individuals that walked away from the arena of their relationship. Of course, many tried hard but realized splitting up made more sense. But across the board, most individuals bailed when things got tough. That is simply not good enough. Why?
The main reason why is because half of the roughly 74 million children 17 years and younger in the US were part of these breakups. That is a lot of long faces around kitchen tables. Parenting, and the role modeling we do, sets the framework of our children’s lives, especially during their first 8-10 years. Our kids absorb, inherit, and become who we are and what we do. We owe it to them to do more work on ourselves!
The great physicist John Bell (Bell’s theorem) summed up the powerful importance a parent’s behavior has on his kids when he said “once connected, objects affect one another forever no matter where they are.” Children are programmed “from the start with mother and father’s beliefs” (Perla Kaliman, Journal of International Society of Psychneuroendocrinology).