It's the differences between you and your partner that help perfect both of you -- not only as lovers and friends, but also as individuals. To acknowledge the truth of this insight and, at the same time, admit we are not yet able to act in accordance with it, places us right where we need to be in order to receive the higher self-knowledge that follows:
Before we can hope to shatter the pattern of familiar conflicts in our relationships, we need a new level of understanding to take with us into those same moments.
After all, what are most arguments about between partners? You displease me, and then I let you know that I don't like it. Next moment, you're displeased with me for being disappointed with you. Now each of us tries to get the other to see where they're wrong, thereby proving that our understanding of the situation is the superior one! But let's be clear: there's nothing superior in this kind of suffering when all it guarantees is that we'll get to do it over again.
Which begs the question: Why are we, as yet, unable to see the futility of fights like these? What has us so blinded that we can't see we're about to purchase another round trip ticket to nowhere? The following answer may be surprising, but the more we're able to understand it, the freer we will be from the unseen parts of us that are luring us into these unwanted patterns: It is impossible to find ourselves in a drawn-out disagreement with a loved one without having first listened to our own negative reaction tell us why it has to be that way.
Of course, as we all know too well, this reaction, including its supporting cast and crew, takes center stage before we even know the show has started! But, with just the light of a little higher self-knowledge, we can peek behind the curtain of these unexpected moments and see how the stage gets set for our fall.
All relationship-wrecking reactions appear in the same moment as our partner's disapproving face or offhand comment. That certain look or tone of voice is all it takes. Each and all of these negative reactions "arrive" on the scene script in hand, reading off the entire history of why things are the way they are, and what's wrong with the person in question. Everything is wordlessly explained. It's all just there, including a set of suggested actions to take to make sure the situation doesn't get out of hand.
In other words, our negative reactions come preloaded with the reason for their appearance. But they are not to blame for how readily we accept what they tell us is real. Here's the real problem: we've yet to see how identifying with their misperception of the moment -- that always includes who's to blame, and a plan to put things right -- is like jumping onto a merry-go-round, hoping that if we ride on it long enough, we'll stop going around and around. Stepping out of this cycle requires we rise above the level of consciousness responsible for its continuation.
No one is saying it's easy to walk away from the painful patterns that run through our relationships, and that cause them to gradually unravel. However, the following should be equally clear: until we understand the nature of these painful patterns -- including the part of our lower nature responsible for their reappearance -- we will remain shackled to them.