“The kids prefer to be out of the house because the atmosphere at home is suffocating.”
“I feel I easily lose control over my own behavior.”
“I try to be understanding and give him the space he seems to need, but when will he feel the need to spend time with me?”
“My wife has this high-profile job and I know it’s pretty demanding, but we always seem to talk about her job and how good and smart she is. When I want to talk about my day, she seems so spaced out . . . it’s like she isn’t even with me.”
Are any of these ponderings familiar to you? Would you be able to write a similar statement about the relationship you have with your partner?
After the first few years of being deeply in love, staying in a committed relationship often requires a lot of work. Knowing your Self is a big advantage for doing the work that is required.
Everybody’s circumstances vary, but if the bottom line comes down to: “My marriage doesn’t seem to work anymore; I am considering divorce,” we know we are in big trouble. This is the time to figure out what is going wrong and decide whether it is possible to put things right again.
Or maybe you have recently gone through a divorce and are still in shock, wondering why your marriage went wrong.
Are you on the verge of engaging in a new relationship and would you feel safer if you had more information on what you could do to not let it go wrong (again)?
Not getting our needs met and not feeling valued for the person we are can cause issues in a relationship. Knowing your Self thoroughly greatly reduces the risk of being a “needy” or “controlling” person and treating your partner unfairly.
“My best friend is my best friend; there is no doubt about that. But sometimes she behaves so unpleasantly: she suddenly gets furious about things of minor importance; she is always late, which I don’t like at all; and truthfully, she always has to have it her way, and what we do and talk about is mostly about her.”
Maybe your friend is dependent on the outcome of her activities to experience some sort of Sense of Self?
“I feel unfortunate to have been romantically alone for most of my life. When I was in my thirties, I still hoped to meet the right person, but as time went by I stopped looking and learned to live with solitude. The advantage of being alone is that I do not have to take other people’s needs and wants into account, so I can follow my own schedule. Now, in my forties, it would be really hard to make room for another person anyway, and besides, I have to take care of my mother now that she is getting older.”
Some of us have issues with being in control at all cost—at the cost of being alone for the rest of our lives!
“I don’t understand why I feel this way; I am happily married, my kids are great, I have most of the things I want, but I feel deeply alone. I am really scared to talk about it for fear that my husband will get angry and, God forbid, abandon me.”
Do you have enough Sense of Self to do what truly matter to you, or is your life one big performance?
Unknowingly, we often choose partners who enable us to repeat the relationship patterns we learned while we were young. If we have been brought up by caregivers who were generous in their relationship with us, made us feel like we mattered to them, and respected us, chances are we have enough Sense of Self to choose relationships that continue that same pattern, which will be very good for us.
But it can also happen that we are not so fortunate and had parents or caregivers who needed all of their time and space for themselves. They didn’t really “see” us but considered us an extension of themselves instead of being there for us and relating to us as to another living human being. We may have never felt their acknowledgment for “who we were and are” and would only get their approval if we were not in their way or when we explicitly pleased them.
“I do not like my new boss. My old boss was great; she left me mostly on my own so I could perform my duties in a way that suited me. This new boss wants to impose his ideas on my work and I am really scared that I can’t deal with that. But I must make sure I do not get fired. I need the money, the benefits, and the security.”
Do you have enough Sense of Self to evaluate the situation and make sure you are not being bullied?
There are many types of relationships but the most important relationship of all is the one you have (or do not have) with your Self. A good working relationship with your Self is a prerequisite to solving many, if not all, problems with any of the other types of relationships you are a part of.
The information on this website offers insight on how to assess your Sense of Self and, if needed, work your way up to a Restored Sense of Self™.
I, Antoinetta Vogels am neither a marriage counselor nor a social worker. I offer you the Sense of Self Method that I developed based on my own life experiences. It has helped me greatly in solving my own personal relationship issues. Life for me, as well as for those in my immediate environment, has become a lot more fun and successful.
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