By Barbara Rose, PhD
Excerpt from Stop Being the String Along: A Relationship Guide to Being THE ONE
What to do if one person in the marriage grows spiritually and the other stays the same and refuses to acknowledge the other person’s beliefs as right for them? My husband thinks that my study of metaphysics is just temporary and that I will come back to his religion. I don’t know how to handle this, but the issue involves every aspect of our relationship. I don’t feel connected in any sense except by our two small children, aged 4 and 2.
It is vital that you continue to follow your truth with respect to your spiritual growth. No one has the right to judge, criticize, or coerce you to follow his religious or spiritual preferences. This is not up for debate. You do not have to convince your husband or seek approval from him or from anyone else regarding your personal truth, spiritual values, or beliefs. Quite frankly, it is no one’s business but your own.
So I would advise you to ask yourself why you are staying in a relationship when the only connection you feel is through your children. If you feel the relationship is not satisfying and if you feel that your personal and spiritual growth are not being honored, it is perfectly okay to remove yourself from criticism, misery, and condemnation from the man you are sharing your (unhappy) life with.
Alternatively, you can stand in your truth and state that your spiritual growth will never be judged or dictated to by any other human being, and ask your husband to accept you for who you are, despite his differing views. Ask him if he would like it if you tried to dictate his religious preferences. You can ask him to honor who you are, and if he refuses to do so, then you do have the option to end the relationship that is more hurtful than supportive. You deserve respect on all levels. Please remember that.
After 28 years in a dysfunctional marriage, I finally divorced my husband. That was 14 months ago. Now we are both changing and are back together, realizing that we both needed to change to become healthier people. With God’s blessings, hopefully,
Absolutely! This is actually fantastic to hear. When two people love each other and realize that they both need to take personal responsibility to heal and evolve on all levels of personal growth, when each partner is committed to his own personal growth and supportive of his partner’s process, this is a gift.
Our greatest growth in relationships comes from being in relationships, not in isolation. Always share honestly. Always be true to self and have the courage to be real with your partner. You can never go wrong.
How can you use your intuition to figure out where you should move to, to meet your partner, if you are currently single? I am going to move from the town I’ve been living in for 25 years and want to know how I can figure out where I should move to.
Dear One, when you move to another town because you want to live there, to enhance your own life, and for no other reason, you will attract someone who is living his or her truth as well, rather than searching for a partner. The key here is in attracting by living your life for you rather than searching to fill a void. You will find that when you least expect it, someone who mirrors where you are within yourself will pop right into your life. So thrive and create the best life you can. Passionately fill your days and nights with all you love to do, and you will attract someone who is living his or her life that way, someone who will mirror you.
How will I know when I am truly ready to be in a relationship, after not being in one for over eight years? I quit trying after my last relationship turned out to be just like my ex-husband, who was an alcoholic, used cocaine, and went into violent rages. I was severely abused by my natural father, sexually, emotionally, and physically . . . then sexually molested by my brother, brother-in-law, and stepfather (who also beat us). I know from counseling that my relationships with men were my way of trying to “fix” my father/male role models. I think I’m not ready to be in a relationship yet because I feel that I have nothing to offer. I am 200 lbs. overweight and have no teeth. I am also in severe pain most of the time because of fibromyalgia and lower back pain from a fall several years ago. To lose weight I need to exercise, but I am in so much pain that it’s almost impossible. I sometimes feel overwhelmed by all of this and discouraged, but I keep going. I am also an insomniac, and when I do happen to fall asleep, I usually have horrific nightmares. I am telling you all of this not for you to do something about it but so that you will understand my original question about relationships. What is a normal relationship, and how do I know it’s love?
First, know with absolute certainty that you do have a lot to offer, even just by sharing authentically. It took a lot of courage for you to open up, and so many people can relate to you. Many others have asked for similar answers, so I thank you for your question.
Now, it is time you forced yourself to discover every wonderful quality you have from the inside out. Your worth is not determined by your weight or your teeth. All of this can be adjusted. You can get a dental bridge and have teeth. Some people are overweight due to thyroid problems, and they are just as worthy as people who are stick thin. This is a time to love yourself by discovering what you truly love, what you really want to express from within concerning your life purpose. These discoveries will help you to heal your self-degrading feelings. Take heart. I used to be the world’s biggest doormat. I had an unhappy childhood, failed relationships, and very low self-esteem. I had to discover my passion, find my value from the inside out, and express it as my joy-filled work each day in order to feel my value as an equal member of the human race.
Nobody is better than you. Nobody is less than you. A normal relationship is one in which you can value yourself and the other person equally. In a normal relationship, you are treated beautifully, and you treat the other person beautifully. A normal relationship has one prerequisite: you must really love yourself. Plenty of people who write to me and many people I know look like models, and they still feel unworthy. I used to be one of them, too.
Ask yourself this: If you had ten million dollars in the bank and could do something for the rest of your life that would fill you with great joy, what would that be? What would bring you so much joy that you would do it for free? Search within for the answer. It will lead you to discover your life purpose. Who are the people you admire and connect with from your heart? What are they doing with their lives? That is a good indicator of a natural direction for you, a natural purpose for your life. Moreover, perhaps you suffered the experiences you have been through so that you could reach out and help others overcome their abuse and pain. Usually, our greatest challenges lead to our greatest life purpose fulfilled.
You do have a special purpose. And you are a special human being. Look into your heart to discover what really matters to you. Then bring it out into your life as your work. Being an example stems from your heart, not from your looks. You will attract a wonderful man into your life once you discover and believe that you are wonderful.
Is unconditional love possible between two persons in a relationship?
Yes, as long as they both love themselves unconditionally, without self-judgment, self-criticism, or self-abuse of any kind. You can only give what you have on the inside.
How can I help myself to recognize the “one” that I am supposed to spend my life with?
When you can be your authentic self in every way with that person, when you treat each other equally and beautifully, love each other’s company, communicate openly and honestly, share similar values, respect each other on all levels without ever compromising your truths, and have wonderful chemistry and passion in bed, then you will recognize that you have found “the one” for you.
Is there a soul mate for each person?
Yes, but not every person meets a soul mate in this lifetime. Many people have soul agreements to work out karma from previous lives together or to support each other in this life. We also may experience a soul level recognition with many people in our lives, such as with our best friends or relatives.
A soul mate relationship is not always a bed of roses. It can be one of the most growth-filled and transformative relationships we ever have; and it may or may not last for the remainder of this life, although it serves a deeply important purpose for individual growth.
If you want to attract a wonderful match or spiritual partner, grow to love yourself deeply with genuine appreciation for the person you are. Shine and express all that you came into this life to be and express. You will certainly and naturally attract a wonderful counterpart who will mirror your highest level of growth, and you can share an astounding relationship with that person as your equal on all levels.
There is no “perfect” person. Thinking of a soul mate as such is a myth. But you can attract an incredible person into your life once you become the incredible person you came into this life to be and express on all levels.
Why must we be prepared to accept that some wonderful relationships, even of soul mates, are destined to end? Phrased differently, how can we know if a sacred contract is going to result in a relationship ending? How can we carry love forward from that point?
We cannot hold on to another person for dear life. We never know if suddenly a person is going to be out of our lives. The most important thing is to be and share your greatest self with the one you love, and create the most joy-filled life possible each moment you are fortunate to experience love with another. Life is filled with constant change. Love with all of your heart, share all of who you are, do your best, be your best, express your truth, and always allow the other person the same freedom of being and expression. There are no guarantees in life, but loving fully and purely is one of the most rewarding experiences of life on earth.
How will I ever feel that I can trust enough and become vulnerable enough to be emotionally intimate with someone without giving away my power?
The only way you can ever trust another is to first trust yourself, your feelings, your instincts–and listen to them. Then a person can earn your trust over time and through many small experiences. Notice what you instinctively pick up on. Watch to see if the person’s words and actions match.
Don’t just give all of your trust to others without getting to know them over time.
When people show you that they can be counted on by following through on what they say and by sharing themselves, you can slowly open up and share yourself. You can share your truth and be emotionally intimate by standing in your truth, regardless of what they do or say.
Never back out of what is true for you to please another person–that is giving away your power.
How do you change someone’s belief system?
You don’t. Ever.
Would you like it if someone tried to change your belief system?
You must respect all human beings enough to allow them to be who they are, even if you have different preferences or beliefs. You are not on this earth to change your belief system to please any other person. Therefore, no other person is on this earth to change his or her belief system to please you.
Sometimes you can be in a dating relationship and it can be great, and then you get a vibe that the partner is not 100 percent there, as they once were. Immediately, women in general start to analyze: “Why didn’t he call me? He always calls me at this time. What does that mean?” Then women start to doubt themselves, overanalyze, and wind up making it worse. Women then say: “Well, if he’s not calling me, I’m not going to call him.” And they start giving out weird vibes and all turns to dust.
When you are feeling doubt in a relationship that once was strong, what do you do? How do you address it?
The best thing to do is to get super absorbed in your life, your purpose, and allow the other person his or her space.
Then, when you do speak, you can make plans to laugh and have a blast for the next time you get together.
If you are secure within yourself and truly absorbed in your life purpose, you may notice that you don’t always have the chance to make a call at the exact same moment every day. But if your world is revolving around the other person’s phone call, then of course you’re going to feel insecure, because you are more focused on the other person than on yourself.
Sometimes people need some breathing room, time to call their own. Maybe they just want to rest or are on the phone with a friend or are watching a movie and don’t realize what time it is. Or maybe they are losing interest. Either way, the more centered you are within your own life and the more centered you feel within self, the less this is going to disturb you. When you do see each other, laugh! Create a great time. Create a wonderful memory. Share what is going on in your life, and show interest in what is going on in their life.
When you have a great deal of self-worth, your life will never hinge on another person. Never make the other your oxygen tube for a happy existence. Make your life purpose and sharing your life with the other a joy rather than an obligation.
When you are together, if the other person is acting distant or different, you can say something like: “I want you to know that I care if there is anything bothering you. And if there’s something bothering you with respect to me, I want you to feel safe that you can let me know, no matter what it is, and we can address it honestly with each other.”
This lets the person know that you are strong enough and open enough to listen, even if it might be to something you may not want to hear. If they think you’re going to crumble, and they are your world, chances are that they will avoid telling you something that they think might crush you. If you let them know that they can talk honestly, and it’s all okay, chances are greater that they will share anything that may be bothering them with respect to you. More than anything, be their genuine friend, at all stages of a relationship. Then you can each share authentically, with full respect for each other’s feelings, and you can clear the air at any time, honestly.
How do you determine early in a relationship if there is a great chance for success? The reason for my question is this: I have been in a relationship for close to six years, and my significant other decided to break things off. She says it’s because she has a fear of commitment. How could I have seen or known this earlier?
The truth is that we do not know if a relationship is going to last forever. If a person has commitment issues and shows that right from the start, then there is nothing you can do or say to change the other person. Trust me on this. I tried it for four years in String Along Valley. Moreover, if you were with a person and decided that you did not want to continue the relationship or share the rest of your life with her, you would have every right to follow your truth. She simply did what she wanted to do, and by doing so she opened the door for you to attract someone into your life who is looking for all you are.
It’s usually a gift when people leave our lives. I learned a saying: “When the universe says no, that means there is a better yes for us on the way!
Next time, you will be able to look over the string along warning signs, and that will help you notice a lot more in the beginning of a relationship that you may not have been aware of previously.
In any relationship, you can only live in the moment. It is in the moment that you can share and express any concerns that you have. Open and honest communication is the absolute key to a successful relationship. That is the way for you to know and see it all truthfully, so that you will know what to do each moment of your life.
Exclusive Book Excerpt published by The Rose Group (April 2005) from the book Stop Being the String Along: A Relationship Guide to Being THE ONE ISBN: 0974145742
© Copyright 2005, 2012 by Barbara Rose, PhD All Rights Reserved.