What’s this one most important thing leading to a happy relationship? Without what kind of thing true love cannot exist? Without expressing romantic feelings? Without sex? Without frequent meetings? No. There is a more important thing without which a relationship cannot survive in the long run. And the more it’s lacking, the more toxic a relationship becomes.
If you have watched my previous videos, you could think that the thing I’m talking about is emotional balance – and you would be close – but there is something deeper and acquiring it almost automatically ensures proper balance in a relationship (without even thinking whether you have it or not). You’re interested enough? That’s great. This most important thing is giving your partner absolute freedom – in a much deeper way than it is commonly understood.
In order to understand how little freedom we give one another in practice and what kind of consequences it has, let’s divide it into 3 levels.
The first basic level, which is fortunately achieved by many people, is completely getting rid of control over what your partner is doing. You let him/her go wherever he/she wants, meet whoever he/she wants and do what gives him/her pleasure. You can have some suggestions or requests, but you never try to enforce the change in your partner’s behavior. If this is what’s lacking in your relationship and you try to control your partner at this level, sooner or later you’re going to destroy the emotional balance and your relationship is going to end.
A deeper level of giving freedom, which proves to be far more difficult, is letting your partner think and feel what he/she wants to think and feel – even if you don’t like it. The rule is simple. He/she is not interested in you? You let him/her be this way. He/she doesn’t have as much time for you as you would like to? He/she doesn’t call too often or doesn’t show his/her feelings? Sometimes it’s worth talking about your needs but never force your partner to do something because, at best, you’re going to influence his/her behavior but you’re not going to make him/her love you more. This is going to have a completely reverse effect.
The third, seemingly extreme and very controversial, level of giving your partner freedom is letting your partner… not respect you. Yes, really. When your partner shows, in any way, the lack of respect towards you, e.g. calls you names, makes disparaging remarks or mocks you in the presence of other people, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t react, but do not force him/her to show you respect because you are not able to do it. The more pressure you put on someone to change the tone, stop doing what he/she is doing or to apologize, the greater conflict you may cause and the less respect you’re going to earn in the end.
It’s a strange trap that we’re still falling into. Seemingly, we know that we cannot force anyone to thing or feel what we want them to think or feel, but we’re still trying to do it. We keep on forgetting that enforcing any kind of behavior does not mean a simultaneous change in thinking and feeling.
How does it work in practice? When a jealous man discovers that his woman has been lying to him, he calls her names and shouts at her. The first thing that comes to her mind is: “Stop doing this! Show me more respect! You cannot talk to me that way!”. So, the focus is on how that person should behave, without any deeper look into where this behavior comes from and what the man is feeling. This is how an argument starts. But let’s imagine that a woman has mastered the ability to give her partner freedom. When she hears shouting, insults and accusations, she’s doesn’t try to fight them and tell her man how to behave. First of all, she tries to understand what’s happening in the mind of that man – what he’s feeling and thinking. Only then can she make a better decision about what SHE should do in such a situation.
And the other way round. The man who discovers that his woman has been lying to him does not tell her how she should behave. First of all, she accepts the fact that he has been lied to – he approaches it calmly, thinking why this has happened. Which things in his behavior made his woman lie to him? Maybe he has been controlling her too much? Maybe his previous blaming had made his woman want to avoid arguments and that’s why she didn’t tell him the truth? Maybe he has repelled her and she got interested in someone else and now she’s trying to conceal it? Or maybe this woman has a strong inclinations towards love affairs and it’s not worth being with her? Regardless of the answers, the best decision can be made when you stop being a dictator and start looking at things with distance.
Such an approach can significantly improve the quality of your relationship, but this video is only an outline of the subject matter. If you want to know more, watch another video: “True vs. Paper love” or my course “How to build and repair relationships”.
If you want to check whether your relationship has great chances of lasting, I encourage you to take a free test, which can be found at robertmarchel.com
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