When we think of someone strong in a relationship many of us imagine someone tall and powerful, maybe someone who has a deep voice and a forceful way of expression. These all represent strength. But this isn’t the strength I am referring to in a relationship.
What Does “Being Strong in a Relationship” Mean?
I am talking about the strength it takes people to be real. What does real mean? It means that you are not afraid to talk to your partner about what you think, feel and desire. It also means you are not afraid to take “ownership” of something you might have done to hurt your partner’s feelings.
This is a strong mate. This is a person who is able to speak desires, thoughts, ideas and wishes so their beloved can learn them. This is a person who is confident in him or herself and comfortable in knowing that what they are about is enough. This is a strong mate who isn’t trying to please the partner by sacrificing his or her own needs.
Being Strong in a Relationship Is Hard
This is not easy. In fact it can take a lifetime to get really good at it, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. When working with couples I often encourage people to try and learn about their thoughts and feelings. It is my belief that when we know ourselves, when we truly understand what happens to us when we get our feelings hurt, and when we can explain this in a non-threatening way to our mate, we are showing the greatest courage a human can muster.
It takes great confidence and courage to show what is going on inside us to the person we love. Many of us just assume they already know. That is not true. Even though our partner loves us to death, love does not provide a decoder ring to the many, intricate parts that makes up you.
Know Yourself So You Can Communicate with Your Partner
No one will know you like you know you. It is my hope that when you learn about yourself, what makes you unhappy, what you feel when your feelings get hurt, what you might need from your mate when this happens and your ability to ask for what you want, you will be able to live in a peaceful relationship with your mate.
And if you can accomplish all the above, then you are strong beyond measure, and you will model for others, including your beloved. Power comes from knowing yourself and being truthful to others about it. We can’t crush another with our strength and expect to live happily. We can honor them by being forthcoming with what is right for us in a graceful way. Now that is true brawn.
More Tools for Being Strong in a Relationship
Read a Book with Communication Tips to Help You and Your Partner Handle Hurt Feelings
Can’t make it on Monday? You can learn more about how to be strong in your relationship by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It’s full of relationship advice, including tips on how and when to communicate with your partner. It might just help you tear down walls and connect on a deeper level.
Get Couples Counseling
Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.