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Relationships and Growth

Most people have a fantasy about relationships. It goes
something like this:

One day they will meet their ideal partner. This person will
understand them completely and will easily connect with them.
There will be no arguments. Everything will be perfect. Magic
will happen and will continue forever.

The reality of relationships is quite different. An intimate
relationship is one of the most powerful opportunities for
personal growth. And growth -- even for the most transformed
person -- often brings pain. But it also brings incredible joy.
Relationships are akin to life -- sometimes sublime and
sometimes challenging. As with life, the amount of satisfaction
you derive depends on how much you are willing to move outside
of your comfort zone.

Sometime between three and twelve months into a relationship, a
couple enters a period of struggle. During this time, the couple
begins having disagreements and one or both partners blame the
difficulties on the other. This period lasts approximately one
year, depending on the individuals. In my coaching practice I
have seen this happen to every couple, without exception.

The couple is actually establishing the rules of conduct for
the relationship. Each partner, having grown up in a different
family culture, has different conduct rules. Since these rules
are subconscious, neither is aware they are enforcing their own
standards. For example, a woman may have been raised in a family
where feelings were not expressed and communicating her feelings
was scorned. Her partner was raised in a family with excessive
emotional closeness and sharing. While she may not expect any
emotional expression and sharing in the relationship, her
partner does.

The couple's task during this period is to create a shared set
of rules that are independent of their respective family
dynamics. Each one must look inside and discover what they want
from this relationship. This requires a strong commitment to the
relationship and detachment from family patterns.

Without realizing it, most people are deeply loyal to their
family patterns and beliefs. Each partner will believe that his
approach is the correct one. If and when the other partner does
not comply, he will be made wrong and attempts will be made to
force compliance.

This period in the relationship is frustrating and painful.
This is the point where most relationships end. The key
ingredient to the survival of the relationship is the
willingness of each partner to grow. Both must be willing to
rework their rules of conduct and meet in the middle. If one
partner becomes unwilling to grow and change, the relationship
is functionally over. A vital, dynamic, loving partnership
cannot exist when one partner exerts his will over the other.
The relationship will eventually end with both people deeply

Relationships are not the way they are portrayed in fairy
tales. The beauty of relationships is that they are an
opportunity for each partner to transform. Growth will be
painful at times because it will require each partner to go
beyond what they know about relationships. If you are unwilling
to look within yourself and move outside your comfort zone, then
stay single and date casually. If you are willing to grow, you
will reap the benefits of a dynamic, loving partnership.

Your Relationship Coach,
Rinatta Paries

(c) Rinatta Paries. Do you know how to attract your ideal mate? Do you know how to build a fulfilling relationship, or how to reinvent yours to meet your needs? Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries can teach you the skills and techniques to attract and sustain long-term, healthy partnerships. Visit where you'll find quizzes, classes, advice and a free weekly ezine. Become a "true love magnet(tm)!"

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