There’s been a pattern I’ve lived within my relationships of wanting to save the other person, in a way deliberately selecting a particular partner that I can see as a ‘rough stone’ that I can carve and sculpt for them to become the ‘better person’ I believe they can be. Now in relation to the starting point of an Agreement – which are the relationships established within a mutual self-supportive platform within the Desteni principles – it is to exist already within the self-commitment to support oneself, so that a relationship doesn’t become a co-dependence and lack of self-support where the other partner stands as that support for another, to complete another, to be the support that another is not willing to give to themselves.
Now in my case even if there has been the understanding of these principles in a relationship, I’ve seen how I have placed myself in the position of wanting to help, save or assist another that might not have been entirely serious or fully understanding what this self-agreement is all about, which creates a point of compromise for it in the sense that the agreement can only work if both individuals are first living a self-agreement, a commitment for self-support and when this is not so, what happens is that there is an inequality that eventually catches up in the nature of the relationship, where one is living such self-agreement or focusing too much on ‘supporting another’ and neglecting one’s own process, who one is in the relationship, which is what has happened in my case.
So in the context of an agreement, it is by default understood that we are supposed to want to see a change not only of our partner but of both in the relationship considering that’s the foundation of it, to become better, to expand, to create ourselves into people that can be best for all essentially. However if this starting point is not entirely existing in one or both of the partners, then an agreement cannot simply exist.
So, the point of accepting another ‘as they are’ is compromising within the context of an agreement where yes there is an initial acceptance of who one is, but of course what comes next is the process of change from that into something better, otherwise the purpose and starting point of the agreement/relationship is useless and that’s where an assessment comes in relation to how valid or supportive it is to continue a relationship that is not leading to a self-supportive outcome for each in the relationship.
I have often fallen into the trap of wanting to change another based on my association with them and having too much of a ‘drag’ within my life because of being in a relationship with someone that is mostly considered as conflictive, troublesome person, a ‘rebel’ type of person and this was quite a while ago in my life, which is where I started this pattern of wanting to be ‘the point of change’ or ‘change catalyst’ in a person’s life, considering I could see who they could be if they could change certain aspects of themselves, but this of course became me enforcing change upon them, them not having any intent to change and so breaking up, which was the most obvious form of control that was reflecting back to myself my choices, which is something I just didn’t look at, what are my choices in relationships reflecting about myself, what am I accepting and allowing within diminishing myself in a conflictive situation? And the bottom line as well is a sense of inferiority where I considered before that I could change another and make them ‘best for me and the relationship’ and in a way also saw myself as ‘not good enough’ for someone that was more stable, grounded and already living self-support in a way. Therefore I can only see that my choices were made through my mind’s perspective of ‘liking challenges’ and kind of proving to myself and others how I could be the one that ‘changes them for the best’ – of course, failing every single time at it because my starting point in it all was flawed, and was already from ‘giving a chance’ to another, which means inequality from the starting point of the relationship.
So in order to calm down those anxieties around ‘what other people might think of me’ I would put extra effort in trying to change them so that I could then appear as the good influence over them, though it is definitely so that when you are in a relationship even more so living together, it is not easy to try and ‘push someone’ to support themselves, it usually backfires and the whole starting point of having to ‘push’ or ‘wanting another to change’ already denotes a necessity in me and also a lack of self-commitment to support themselves in the other person, so that’s another flaw in the context of an agreement.
The hardest point to look at is what my choices and my ways towards them reflected about myself, and that is also because of considering that there is some kind of nobility or ‘further effort’ in sculpting, molding, changing a person to become who I wanted them to become, and so kind of see myself reflected on them and who they would become, and I wasn’t realizing that in doing this, it was a way to create a co-dependence that is not at all supportive where another is ‘changing’ because of ‘me and the relationship’ and not for themselves, which of course ends up being a very enslaving situation and not best for both in the relationship.
So I had to see how I was diminishing myself in my choices considering who I am, what I’ve walked, what I’ve realized about myself and the potential that I am working on, which is something I have to take into consideration whenever assessing an agreement, and discard completely my previous starting point of perceiving I could walk this ‘noble path’ to support another and ‘change them’ and create a relationship based on such change. It could be so if both are entirely geared in a self-agreement of self-support, but if not, it’s quite impossible to get to any supportive outcome where one becomes the ‘cane’ for another to walk with, it’s just inequality and therefore, not supportive for either in the relationship.
The dynamics resulting from standing in this position of ‘being the one that supports the partner’ for the most part is a relationship of control, where I became at times a bit paranoid on how the other was doing and asking questions constantly to see ‘where they’re at’ constantly– meaning the starting point of it was of fear already, fearing that they are already building up some kind of consequence within themselves or towards others – and this becomes a point of fear manifested as ‘control’ in relation to me wanting to see a ‘change’ in another and constantly being ‘checking’ how that is going and progressing.
So it is so that one starts focusing more on ‘the other person’ and kind of handling, managing, controlling potential outflows of them not acting in a self-supportive manner, rather than being in a situation where both partners are entirely self-responsible, supporting themselves, sharing with one another to expand and create a platform of self-support in the relationship, without having to be fearing about each other’s life, outcomes or possible ‘falls’ because one would know each one can stand up for themselves. But when there is a situation where there is a clear inequality in that self-commitment, it becomes an unsustainable relationship, where in my case I would become quite angry the moment another would show/demonstrate no change in certain aspects and then having to compromise myself on those aspects, create a leeway, let go of ‘my control’ and give space to expand and change at their pace, but it also results in an ultimate question of ‘when is enough enough?’ which is a very pertinent point to look at so that we can give a leeway for self-change at another’s pace, though also considering it doesn’t become a constant paranoia, desire, hope that is endlessly elongated, becoming a situation that is only tolerated, which is of course not cool at all in an agreement.
What I have realized about myself in choosing a partner that I could change or save is that I was trying to prove that I could change another, that our relationship could be supportive to the extent of them finally having something that they desired – for example a supportive environment, a supportive partner, someone that can know about their life and still accept them, so to me it was a way to ‘do onto others what I wanted to be done unto’ as well, considering that I perceived myself as not good enough, not appreciating and regarding myself sufficiently in my past, so a part of that would still come through when it comes to choosing a partner that in a way I could see as ‘inferior’ in the sense of not yet been entirely ‘self supportive,’ so that I could implement a point of control in the sense of having them do and be the way I want them to be and create a point of security around that. Though I’ve actually realized how this becomes a very unhealthy relationship because the other person is entirely there ‘just for you’ and aren’t really focusing on who they want to be for and as themselves and are only existing ‘for you and the relationship,’ which makes one feel like their entire life now depends on you, and that’s certainly not a ‘weight’ one would like to carry on with for a lifetime.
I was willing to do that for a while but throughout my repeated experiences within this same pattern, I’ve finally realized that I have to step up within my choices and realize that I can be in a relationship that is more equally supportive and where I can be challenged not in the sense of ‘me changing another’ but more in the sense of me pushing myself to be better, to adapt, to learn from another that is also supporting themselves. And I mean I could do this also to a certain extent in those previous savior-relationship contexts, but not to the extent I realize it can be possible when being with someone that is fully grounded in walking this process for themselves.
The ultimate question is: when is enough enough? And drawing the line when one has given sufficient time for them to support themselves in walking through particular patterns or points they are having to work with in their lives, and I here could consider it as a healthy situation to make it part of the initial settlement of the agreement to ‘review’ the agreement on a periodical basis, maybe each year where both know exactly which points are to be changed/worked on individually and together and be aware that there is such thing as a timeframe to work on these points and that the agreement is not a ‘set point’ as a marriage where you’re supposed to just go with the flow in it and ‘accept’ another person the way there is, because in an agreement there is such thing as an expectation of change, individually and together in the partnership. So, it is very much like a business you know? Where it is based on practical living, on living paths, plans and considerations, on how healthy and supportive the communication is, the interactions, the overall development of both as a partner in their environment – and according to that, it can be assessed that if after one year of setting certain points to change within oneself there’s no improvement, both can decide how much longer it is needed, or when is enough enough.
In my case there have been always very determining factors that had led me to say ok up to here where I see the obvious codependency and the other person entirely defining themselves according to a relationship, a neediness of sorts which is not a statement of self-independence in self-support and in my case it also involves letting go of the idea of having someone I can completely ‘mold’ according to my taste and requirement and make them depend on me to exist on, because that’s not healthy at all, that’s not self-supportive and this is where the point of applying Tough Love comes in, where it is best to end an ‘agreement’ that has become a relationship, where fear of loss of one another exists, where there’s a self-diminishment in one’s lives and potential, and where it becomes too much of a comfort zone when it comes to one or both in the relationship focusing too much on ‘the other one’ instead of on oneself and ultimately that’s the kind of set-up where one knows that ‘something is just not right’ and continuing it out of tradition, compromise or dependence will only lead to further self-compromise and self-diminishment, so I am definitely now aware of how it is most supportive to have a clear communication with both in the relationship around this point and be willing to stand in the position of letting go, ending a relationship when it is clearly not supportive for both any longer.
Now, this is nothing personal, I mean I am recognizing my decisions, my choices, what they reflected about me, the patterns I’ve played out in all of my relationships up to now – to varying degrees – and this is what self-honesty is about where we have to be willing to see those patterns within ourselves and others to see who we’ve become as our minds, as our habits and acceptances that we can then decide to work on and change within ourselves. Therefore this is not an intended ‘bashing’ of sorts towards anyone because I am sure that once that one is able to give a step back and recognize the patterns within oneself, one can see one’s truth when stepping into self-honesty, which is something that is also possible when a person decides to do so upon facing consequences – most of the times. And I’ve been able to see this in my last experience related to this where we were both able to see and recognize the points that each one lived or didn’t get to live and be humble enough to accept the facts, which are all based on actions, words, deeds, reality based aspects that we cannot deny or blame anyone else for, and that’s where one gets to a solid point of self-stability in relation to it in order to accept the outcome of something that wasn’t being supportive and functional anymore, and that’s the moment where it’s best to let go of it.
So what I would do in a future establishment of an agreement or a supportive relationship is first of all be very practical, assess where the other person is and this time definitely give myself the ability to choose and decide what would be most beneficial for me and for the other person depending on life paths, plans, points of self-development not only at an internal level but also interpersonal or in relation to activities in the world out there, and definitely getting to be aware that the person is genuinely supporting themselves where I won’t conform with having an intent of self-support in another but rather having a consistent proof of that through one’s everyday living. And in relation to myself, I will also have to let go of my surreptitious desires, wants and needs based on having someone with me that is more of a ‘supportive’ role than an active co-creator in a relationship. My definition of wanting to be challenged is no longer going to be in the sense of being challenged by/through relationships with people that I’ve defined as ‘challenging’ as having more ‘difficult patterns’ than other people and stop pretending that ‘I can change them for the best’ because as long as that intent is not there within themselves, it just won’t work.
The bottom line is, remembering that an Agreement as established and defined within the Desteni Principles is about SELF-Agreement, not about ‘the relationship’ or ‘the other person,’ it’s always about who one is and what one accepts and allow within a relationship, which means that at all times, whatever I accept and allow to exist within me towards another in a relationship or what I accept and allow to coexist with Is what I have to take responsibility for, as well as reminding myself that I can always have the ability to practically assess what is functional and when something ceases to be functional in self-honesty – no fear of loss, not keeping a relationship based on ‘everyone else’s expectations’ or my own ‘hopes’ around it, but be self-honest according to what the results are on practical reality on a day to day basis.
Ultimately, not to forget that it is me/myself/I that I will live with for the rest of my life anyways, so this is to not forget myself in the picture of a relationship-entity in separation of myself, but always realize that I am the one that determines my outcome and creation within a relationship, and that I have to be the one that is self-honest and self-checking to ensure self-compromise is not being allowed – and if it creeps up, to open it up and correct it within oneself, because ultimately who we are going to live with is ourselves and in our creation as an outflow of our choices and decisions, so what a better way to ensure that this is an effective outcome other than practically assessing what’s self-supportive for oneself and so others as well, always considering the potential, the process of change, being gentle and flexible yet practically assessing the continuity to this self-process within me and so within the context of a partnership or relationship.
That’s where I have to focus on myself, where I see I can best support myself, where I see there is more potential in the co-creation process with another in a relationship instead of placing myself from the beginning as the ‘supporter’ or ‘helper’ or ‘guiding light’ for another to get to a point of basic self-support, which at least for me, my position, my process, my life, what I’ve walked and done for myself, I am now deciding to recognize all of this as myself, who I am, my creation so that I no longer see myself through the eyes of ‘who I was in the past’ in the perception of being this ‘inferior’ person that would latch on to anyone that showed some appreciation back, but stand as who I currently am in my disposition to further develop myself, further challenge myself in conjunction with someone that is also visibly and practically challenging and pushing themselves to be better every day – and yes, I’ve heard it many times from people around me ‘Oh you’re asking too much, people are just not wired to be like that!’ but it is not so, I was once ‘the lost one’ that was existing in self-deprecation looking for a relationship to be saved as well, only to then turn into that myself once that I started ‘getting out of my own hole’ and that’s precisely what I have to stop perpetrating, inequality in a relationship and instead, create and establish self-supportive agreements where 1+1 = 2, nothing more and nothing less than that.
Thanks for reading
Check out our hangout on this topic with Maite and Matti
Trying to Save or Change your Partner? – Relationship Success Support
And Matti’s blogs on this point as well:
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