, Newburyport, MA


February 22, 2013

Manganiello: Great relationships don't just happen


When you have worked to gather self-knowledge, you’ll be better able to see and appreciate your spouse or partner for who they actually are, rather than confusing them with what you don’t know about yourself. One reason that one out of two marriages can fail is the shifting sands of pain and boredom that can arise between two people living together 24/7 without the benefit of an awareness-based connection.

When you fall into emotional confusion and become identified with its storyline, you tend to see your companion or spouse in terms of that storyline. As a result, you’ll project that onto your partner ­— without even realizing that you’re doing it. You’ll feel convinced that your experience testifies to who they are rather than to the forces at play in your own mind.

Couples are at the mercy of what their partners don’t know about themselves. Couples very often star in one another’s unconscious movies; my experience working with many hundreds of couples is that this is the rule, not the exception. No wonder so many marriages often end and end badly. And it’s no wonder that so many relationships that don’t end wind up resembling parking lots for people who have nowhere else to go.

If our unconscious family of origin movie is unfinished, it will no doubt show up in our marriage. We need to finish it on our own, as does our partner.

If your relationships are going to run deep, bring you happiness and be an adventure, you need to have a strong connection to who you are. This needs to be a connection that gives you the self-assurance, security and awareness to give and receive love and friendship over the long haul. If you lack these things, then your relationships will be strained and filled with tension, problems and disappointment.

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