My most recurrent source of discomfort arises when I find myself trying to control what others do… specifically when it comes to my partner. Sounds familiar?
Maybe it’s the society I grew up in but when it comes to “adulthood and family life” I certainly have plans and standards. It’s like all my life I had been learning what to do and what not to do from my parents and other families around me and all that time my brain had secretly kept a whole file about how to do it when the time comes.
Well, now the time is here, I have met the person I chose to start this adventure with and now I am officially on this boat for the rest of my life…creating a family.
And as my ancestors before me, I have no idea of what I’m doing but I want to make the best out of it, does that make any sense?
Honestly it was never my dream as a little girl to get married and be a mom, I didn’t have baby dolls to care for when I was a child, on the contrary, I really enjoyed being cared for and when it came to playing with dolls, my barbies were not moms, they were always rich independent women… however the circle of life that moves us all and biology are following their course and although I have zero practice at being a parent I feel happy, excited and anxious about this new stage in life.
That being said, I am the kind of person that likes to have a plan and a clear ground to stand on so now that I’m transitioning from independent woman wanderer of the world to full time pillar of my own family… I want to have a route, a plan, a strategy.
In my experience dating was always a self-growth learning experience, maybe I am too practical in that way, but for me the “perfect person or soulmate” doesn’t really exist.
I believe a healthy relationship is one that empowers you and where you feel naturally willing to empower the other as well. So rather than finding a Prince Charming that is brave, rich and good looking (our early model of masculinity) it’s acknowledging that the person who you share the spark of the following ingredients -attraction, connection, communication, shared values, common goals- is actually a human being.
When we come to a certain age, all of our biology tells us to focus on finding a suitable mate and at some point we have spent so many years of our lives in relationships that we either want to settle down or give up “the search”. When we meet someone that lights the spark and meets our requirements we feel “complete” and ready to take it to the next level.
All of that is super distracting and as comfortable as it might feel the truth is that every person in this universe is unique and different so even if we are in a relationship with a partner that we qualify as suitable, in spite of all those things in common and the “love” we have for each other, we will still behave differently, react differently, approach things differently and just experience life differently.
I believe this is one of the greatest oversights in the history of relationships, we think that everything will be perfect because we love a person so much… but eventually and inevitably we will hit a rock spot where all the differences will seem to blow up and in many cases overpower everything else.
No wonder there are so many jokes and warnings about married life, it’s like we are blinded by nice feelings and once the juice of that is gone, reality strikes and we realize we don’t want the same things, even if once we thought we did.
But what happens? is the “magic” really gone after you get married? are you meant to just settle for struggles in the time to come? Like you’ve been sentenced to prison and you can’t escape?
I believe that we can have a healthy relationship and many happy moments together but we should watch out for perfection, it is a big delusion. Humans are not made for being perfect so letting go of expectations inside of a relationship can save us many trouble.
Expectations are created inside our own mind about the outcome of something that is neutral, yet if we don’t experience the result we fantasized about, we “feel disappointed, misunderstood, betrayed” and the problem starts… we want to control the outcome of the situations around us so we want to control the behavior of others just to guarantee our own comfort.
And as often as we might hear that releasing expectations leads to a peaceful mind, expectations are really hard to get rid of, specially because it makes perfect sense to your mind to have expectations when it comes to subjects you judge as very important.
Another factor that I find very important is that what we judge as important is completely subjective so it’s likely that we consider some things important where other people don’t and viceversa and even if we agree on many, it’s impossible to agree on everything 100%, I believe that inherently men and women consider different things as important and that is also something we should keep in mind.
As illuminated as I want to be, I think choosing a partner to share many years of your life with is a decision that comes with expectations already, when you choose someone to be a father to your children, instinctively you expect to have the basic needs covered so you can devote your body, mind and soul into bringing a strong and healthy human into life and making sure it survives until it can become a notable source of good for the world. Moreover once the child is born you expect your partner to give very bit of his soul into making sure the child is taken care of in every way.
As a woman you know you can provide shelter, food and support to your child by yourself, nothing will stop you… yet when you share that stage of life with a partner you want that person to be involved, the trick here is, what are the parameters you are setting for that involvement? what are you expecting the other to do?
I believe it’s support, support in your decisions as a being who is truly connected to life and all the universe in that moment. I haven’t experienced it yet but I believe that when you become a mother you transform into something else, you develop higher senses and you are granted access to the net of life, I picture something like what happens in the movie “Avatar” when they all connect to the tree and do a ritual together.
But with great power comes great responsibility and once you are part of that network you must learn how to balance your expectations and let your partner be. A man will never be able to embody and experience being a vessel for life, he can be touched and moved but not transformed as a woman will.
Are men allowed to be their same selves or do they need to immediately become the perfect role model of a father that will not think of anything else except his family?
I think that everyone has a different personality, people who are naturally responsible and proactive, people who are hyperactive, people who are slower and need a lot of practice at things, people who are family oriented and people who value their space alone. To expect a perfect behavior from a partner is to doom ourselves to unhappiness.
Having the freedom to choose our partner is a luxury that not everyone can afford, so whenever I feel discomfort due to a behavior that I deem not what I would want in that moment, I stop myself and let go, remembering that it is my choice to be here and now with this person exactly how he is, not with a fantasy of that person, with the real person that has it’s own thoughts, feelings and needs.
It is never a simple thing being in a relationship and I consider that it’s very important to remember that it’s not meant to be perfect, a person is not a machine that you can program to your every preference, yet with will from both sides and actual work you can achieve a balanced and sustainable relationship where you both can feel accomplished, seen, heard, valued and respected.
Be true to yourself and allow the other one to be…