Here's the deal.
So much of the aggravation the we feel in our relationships comes from a mistaken expectation. We expect not to ever be challenged, annoyed, bothered, or pushed out of our comfort zone by our spouse or partner.
When it comes to work, school or any endeavor outside of the home, we can tolerate high levels of discomfort and challenge. We even build entire skill sets and coping skills to deal with the challenges of work and find ways to muster through it. However, when it comes to our committed relationships, suddenly the expectation changes entirely. Any instance that is challenging, annoying or uncomfortable feels like a total intrusion.
Understandable we react this way. Our relationships are the one place in the world where we can experience safety and be our true selves. Our relationships are where we can leave the harshness of the outside world and connect with another human being. A place to connect to another human being with more trust and vulnerability than perhaps anybody else.
However, we do ourselves a disservice when we expect our safety zone not to have challenges, annoyances, or demands that stretch us.
I so clearly remember demanding so much from myself just to do well in school. I worked so hard just for some vague hope that it will somehow improve my quality of life down the line.
Let's face it. Naturally we are O.k. with being stretched and challenged outside of our homes but get frustrated when it happens in our relationships. The irony is, that being O.k. with the challenges that come up at home is the most important skill and improves your quality of life the most.
So next time your loved one says something that makes your blood boil, ask yourself, "If this was my boss how would I react?"
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