The most beautiful Soulmate relationships are NOT random occurrences.
They are co-created.
That means both partners design their relationship together. There are equal amounts of effort, attention, intimacy, and sensuality.
Women long to be adored, cherished, and made love to like we’re goddesses.
And men desire their women to be respectful, affectionate, and intimately expressive with them.
I want to share with you ten characteristics of a conscious marriage that I learned from a book by Harville Hendrix that goes deeper into what it takes to create the best soulmate relationships.
These are the ten recommendations Harville Hendrix makes for quickly shifting your reactions and behaviors such that you are mature, loving, kind, and additive in your relationship.
Run through this list and find the places you may be able to improve your love life together.
I’ve written my commentary below on each of the ten characteristics.
1. You realize that your love relationship has a hidden purpose – the healing of childhood wounds. Instead of focusing entirely on surface needs and desires, you learn to recognize the unresolved childhood issues that underlie them. When you look at marriage with this X-ray vision, your daily interactions have more meaning. Puzzling aspects of your relationship make sense to you, and you have a greater sense of control.
Are you surprised that this is #1? Years of therapy with countless couples point to the wounds and unfinished business we bring into our relationships. The next time you find fault with your partner, shine a light on your own dark experiences to see how you are projecting your baggage onto your relationship. Just stopping each time you have frustration and considering where this upset is coming from can do wonders for increasing the ease in your marriage.
As you bring your awareness to your dissatisfaction, you can begin to put your partner’s innocence in perspective. Replace anger with compassion and imagine that what they are doing is not to make you upset and likely has nothing to do with you.
2. You create a more accurate image of your partner. You begin fusing your lover with your primary caretakers at the very moment of attraction. Later you project your negative traits onto your partner, further obscuring your partner’s essential reality. As you move toward a conscious marriage, you gradually let go of these illusions and begin to see more of your partner’s truth. You see your partner not as your savior but as another wounded human being struggling to be healed.
Knowing that you are both making an effort to become confident, whole, happy humans bonded together in a journey makes the minor frustrations of coupledom subside. Replace agitation with empathy and sensitivity, both for your partner and yourself.
Remember, everyone is doing the best they can. Once you are present in the moment, rather than thinking ahead or living in the past, honesty and appreciation for your togetherness can emerge.
3. You take responsibility for communicating your needs and desires to your partner. In an unconscious marriage, you cling to the childhood belief that your partner automatically intuits your needs. In a conscious marriage, you accept that you need to develop clear communication channels to understand each other.
We all have our own needs and desires that we crave in our relationships. Once you get clear on precisely what you are in a relationship for — what feelings you want to feel in a partnership — you can give your partner plenty of specifics about what keeps you happy in commitment.
When you play the higher game of only wanting to do things that make you AND YOUR PARTNER happy, and you fulfill each other’s unique short list of values, then, and only then, do you remove the pointless arguments and frustration at not getting what you want? When you wake up and work on your partner’s desires and they do the same for you, magic occurs.
4. You become more intentional in your interactions. In an unconscious marriage, you tend to react without thinking. You use all the primitive responses of your old brain to control your behavior. In a conscious marriage, you train yourself to behave more constructively.
Using your manners, tending to your partner’s heart, communicating your needs clearly, and giving honest feedback all build deep love and trust. When you stop the blame game and pause, fill your heart with love, and then respond with vulnerability and sensitivity, it levels your whole way of relating. This is the way mature, rational, loving adults react. When you and your partner bring kindness into your communication, the sweetness melts hearts when you put your partner equal to your own needs.
5. You learn to value your partner’s needs and wishes as highly as your own. In an unconscious marriage, you assume that your partner’s role in life is to take care of your needs magically. In a conscious marriage, you let go of this narcissistic view and divert more and more of your energy to meet your partner’s needs.
I suggest actively allowing yourself to feel more love for your partner every day. The heart is a muscle. Work it. Use it. Can you look at your partner and make your heart swell with love? Do you seek moments to give your lover affection? Do you pay attention to their accomplishments and vocally honor them or for achievements? Do you express gratitude for them choosing to love you? Are you making regular deposits in the love karma bank? Did you know that you will feel more loved by actively expressing your love than by taking love in? Want to feel more love in your life? Start loving more people all day long.
6. You embrace the dark side of your personality. In a conscious marriage, you openly acknowledge that you, like everyone else, have negative traits. As you accept responsibility for this dark side of your nature, you lessen your tendency to project your negative traits onto your mate, which creates a less hostile environment.
This is not a license to be an emotional wreck. Keep yourself in check – handle your dark side with maturity and personal responsibility. Your negative mood impacts everyone in your home and work. You are at the helm of your emotions and your reactions to them. It’s ok to have “issues” as long as you are aware of them and managing and working through them, so they hold less power over you over time.
7. You learn new techniques to satisfy your basic needs and desires. During the power struggle, you cajole, harangue, and blame to coerce your partner to meet your needs. When you move beyond this stage, you realize that your partner can indeed be a resource for you — once you abandon your self-defeating tactics.
Who knows you better than your partner? If you make it safe for them to reflect on your behavior to make you a stronger, happier individual, it creates a great space for personal growth together. You can support your partner in mellowing, evolving, and blossoming with good intentions.
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8. You search within yourself for the strengths and abilities you lack. You were attracted to your partner because your partner had powers and abilities you lacked. Therefore, being with your partner gives you an illusory sense of wholeness. In a conscious marriage, you learn that the only way to recapture a sense of oneness truly is to develop the hidden traits within yourself.
Dr. David Schnarch, the author of Passionate Marriage, says we must stand for ourselves within our marriage. Instead of fusing into one, keeping ourselves distinct, it opens the space for true acceptance and togetherness. Intimacy increases when we continue to evolve positively and share those gains with our partners.
“Ironically, intimacy seems to develop through conflict, self-validation, and unilateral disclosure.” – Schnarch Let go of expecting that you both will align on every issue similarly and celebrate your unique contributions. Rely on yourself and support your partner, rather than being an energy vampire who has to have your partner align with “your way.” Allow both “ways” to co-exist and take strength from your unique gifts.
9. You become more aware of your drive to be loving and united with the universe. As a member of your God-given nature, you can love unconditionally and experience unity with the world around you. Social conditioning and imperfect parenting made you lose touch with these qualities. In a conscious marriage, you begin to rediscover your original nature.
Remember when you were a teenager, and you had ideas about what it would be like when you got married? You’d have great sex, do fun things, and be close and loving. Return to that. Create that. Everything you want is within you to co-create with your partner. Start sharing your dreams, your fantasies… Surprise your partner by fulfilling one of their fantasies. Love the stuffing out of your darling. Generate joy. Think of one thing you know your partner loves and make it happen every day and see what a transforming effect just that one act of kindness has on the joy and love you feel.
10. You accept the difficulty of creating a good marriage. In an unconscious marriage, you believe that the way to have a good marriage is to pick the right partner. You realize you have to be the right partner in a conscious marriage. As you gain a more realistic view of love relationships, you know that a good marriage requires commitment, discipline, and the courage to grow and change; marriage is hard work.
There is no “soul mate” out there for you. You create your soulmate by letting your partner know the exact things that will please you and vice versa. It’s not “difficult” to create an off-the-hook satisfying relationship when you focus on love, check yourself on your emotions and do the work to evolve yourself into a mature, loving partner. Conscious partnering, radical honesty, standing for yourself as an individual, and actively loving yourself and your husband or wife is the most fulfilling life experience any human can have.
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