How we end up marrying the wrong person – bad choice or lack of awareness?

the wrong person

Here is a great article about how and why so many of us end up marrying the wrong person.

The article makes a number of great points such as:

  • Don’t seek or expect perfection… The dangers of choosing a partner based on beauty or vague sentimentality.
    • Many of us set the bar unrealistically high, for things (like wealth or looks) that are far from set in stone.
  • “One of the greatest privileges of being on one’s own is the flattering illusion that one is, in truth, really quite an easy person to live with.” So true!!
  • “We don’t understand other people. Other people are stuck at the same low level of self-knowledge as we are.” So get the knowledge – I did and it really paid off.
  • “We need to know the intimate functioning of the psyche of the person we’re planning to marry. We need to know their attitudes to, or stance on, authority, humiliation, introspection, sexual intimacy, projection, money, children, ageing, fidelity and a hundred things besides.” No arguments here!
  • “What replaced the marriage of reason was the marriage of instinct, the Romantic marriage. It dictated that how one felt about someone should be the only guide to marriage. If one felt ‘in love’, that was enough. No more questions asked. Feeling was triumphant. Outsiders could only applaud the feeling’s arrival, respecting it as one might the visitation of a divine spirit.” True again for most of us – certainly for me, first time around before my divorce.
  • We don’t go to Schools of Love.We should. I wish I had done a lot earlier (I waited until divorced and age 39). I learned so much, that I decided to become a relationship coach. Then I realised, this was just the tip of the iceberg… Now, after 13 years of R&D on relationships, I am the headmaster of the best relationship school.
    • Many of us didn’t have a great experience at school. So the thought of going to relationship school may not be appealing. One of the criticisms levelled at the education system is that it doesn’t tailor and adapt itself enough to each individual pupil, their needs and learning styles etc. Instead, the pupils are shoe-horned into the fairly standardised system.
    • The same can be said for relationship coaching, counselling and education. This is why our approach is so different and so much more effective – it is tailored to who you are, as an individual and as a unique couple.
  • The time has come for a third kind of marriage. The marriage of psychology. One where ‘the feeling’…” (of love, or was it possibly infatuation)? “has been properly submitted to examination and brought under the aegis of a mature awareness of one’s own and the other’s psychology.” Hear hear!
  • “We need a new set of criteria. We should wonder: – how are they mad; how can one raise children with them; how can one develop together; how can one remain friends?” Great questions.
    • These need to be asked regularly, not only at the beginning.  Di and I complete an annual relationship MOT, where we go through the key elements of our Relationship Breakthough process.
    • Now this might all seem a little stale, unromantic and not fun. We can assure you, it is the opposite. This is enlightening and encouraging, it can be the most fun together, drawing you closer and more lovingly intimate than ever. Satisfaction and joy replace frustration and that feeling of impotence when things are working.
  • “We want to freeze happiness. We imagine that marriage is a guarantor of happiness. Getting married has no power to keep a relationship at the beautiful ‘honeymoon’ stage.
    • All great points.  Things don’t stand still (unless they are dead). A marriage takes a lot of work, but it has to be intelligent, well-informed work, not just (what feels like) hard work.
    • A well informed, conscious relationship still takes work – and it pays great dividends (of joy).
  • “The statistical chance of one in two of failing at marriage seems wholly acceptable when one is in love – feeling one has already beaten far more extraordinary odds – meeting their ideal ‘one in a million’. ” Don’t accept such poor odds! 

Are they the wrong person, or could it be us?

By ‘the wrong person’, I don’t mean it literally, but are we truly ready to attract and sustain a successful and mutually fulfilling relationship?

Now, here’s what I take some issue with from the article and would like to point out:

  • The article says:-
    • “We are all of us are crazy in very particular ways.” TRUE – we all have our personality, ego and idiosyncracies (life would be boring without)
    • “We’re distinctively neurotic, unbalanced and immature.” YES, and it is entirely possible and advisable to become far more self-aware and consciously mature.
    • “The problem is that knowledge of our own neuroses is not at all easy to come by. It can take years and situations we have had no experience of.” YES and No – this is the norm, however:
      • There is a structured process that you can go through to master your neuroses…
      • AND gain an accelerated self-mastery AND relationship education – starting with the most important relationship – the one you have with yourself.
    • “In a wiser society, prospective partners would put each other through detailed psychological questionnaires and send themselves off to be assessed at length by teams of psychologists. By 2100, this will no longer sound like a joke. The mystery will be why it took humanity so long to get to this point.” Why wait till 2100?
      • The solution is available here and now – on this website!
    • “We aren’t used to being happy.”
      • Much has been written about happiness. From all of the research and client work that we have done over the past 10+ years, we know that:
        • People have different happiness set points, some find it easier than others.
        • Happiness and well-being are closely related to knowing and meeting your: needs and values,  knowing and feeling able to be yourself.
        • Of course, this gets more complicated when you are living with someone else in a committed intimate relationship. So you have to add into the mix: knowing your relationship habits and unwritten expectations/rules; knowing the resulting relationship fears and neuroses; knowing your partner’s needs and values; knowing the additional needs of the relationship; knowing and being able to speak/act with empathy for each other’s preferred languages of love.
        • Now, you may not think or realise that you have any relationship fears or neuroses… The article reminds us:
          • “We recreate in adult relationships some of the feelings we knew in childhood. It was as children that we first came to know and understand what love meant. But unfortunately, the lessons we picked up may not have been straightforward. The love we knew as children may have come entwined with other, less pleasant dynamics: being controlled, feeling humiliated, being abandoned, never communicating, in short: suffering.”
          • As the article also points out – it is very common to subconsciously seek out partners who (unwittingly) match or recreate the dysfunctional parts of our relationship with our parents.
      • “One is never in a good frame of mind to choose a partner rationally when remaining single is unbearable.” Too true.
        • Only this week, Di posted about people who fall for players…. This is a recurring pattern in many single people who come to us for help. As Di said: “Until you acknowledge the part you play in being attracted to manipulators, you will remain a victim of their games.” This sounds obvious and easy – but it often is not, due to a lack of self-awareness and self-love/self-worth. One ladies response was:
          • ” I definitely fall for the Charmers! I know it doesn’t serve me but I can’t seem to help it. I’m like a moth to the flame.” She then added: “I’d love to know when and why the cycle started. Why am I attracted to these types of men in the first place?”
          • Well, you know the old adage ‘if it ain’t broken, then don’t fix it’… The opposite holds true! Yet so few people choose to sort their relationship lives out; instead, they choose to suffer and struggle on, be it single or in a relationship that is not really serving them.

Are you repeatedly attracting the wrong person? What do you need to change?

It is never too late to get yourself a great relationship education. I waited till 39 to start – it took a mid-life crisis (lost mojo, no clear direction) and a divorce to wake me up to go looking for a solution – a better way. Whether you are single, in a poorly functioning unsatisfying relationship, or in a good relationship that you’d like to take to the next level, we have an amazing solution waiting for you. It is a complete framework for learning about yourself and current/future partner. It brings such clarity, direction and practical yet fun actions that you can take with confidence.

Yours, Andrew

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