30 Sep RELATIONSHIP QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE THE S*#T HITS THE FAN
Perhaps the most important question you can ask a potential love partner relates to their relationship with the shadow- their own, and the shadow that emerges in the relationship itself. That is ‘How much work are you willing to do on yourself and the relationship when the s*#t hits the fan? Are you willing to go as deep as we have to go to work it through, or are you only interested in a breezy, low-maintenance relationship?’ Few people ever talk about this during the romantic phase, because they are not envisioning the challenges to come, but it is an essential inquiry. I have known many people who were shocked to watch their ‘great love’ walk out the door when the connection required personal accountability and therapeutic work-through. Some of us will brave the journey; others will flee the fire. Some of us will do the work to transform our stories into the light at their source; others will run away with their ‘tales’ between their legs, only to find out later that their tales go with them everywhere they go. If we can determine someone’s willingness at the beginning, we can save ourselves a lot of trouble later. ~Jeff Brown, Uncommon Bond
I was shocked to watch my great love walk out the door. It’s not an experience I’d wish on anyone.
We talk about so many things before we marry someone, but do we talk about how we deal with conflict? Do we talk about our coping mechanisms and how we handle our own shame? Do we share if we tend toward fight, flight, or freeze and the best ways to help us feel safe so we can think rationally again? Do we talk about commitment level, and make a specific plan for if life gets hard and we’re “not feeling it”? Do we care for each other’s woundings and plan for our own personal growth? Are we afraid to face our own shadow, our own shame?
I’m personally struggling with fear for everyone in an intimate relationship. I believed I chose well and had a strong, loving relationship with a strong, loving man. If my husband can become a Stranger, anyone can. He’s the last person on earth I would have imagined could change so drastically and destroy everything he was and everything we are. It’s been a terrifying experience.
I don’t want to be scared. Perfect love casts out fear. The Lord will continue to work in me to remove that fear and trust again, I know. But it’s not an easy thing.
If you’re in a relationship, these are some great things to think about. Conflict will occur. You will at some point come face to face with your shadow side. Will you learn conflict skills so you’re able to fight well and repair? Will you face yourself and be healed from your shame? Or will you refuse to see and walk away, only to discover that you can’t walk away from yourself?
Love is a choice. Forgiveness is a choice. Honesty is a choice. Are you willing to do the hard work in an interdependent relationship? Is your partner? These are a few of the questions that could help put you on the path to self discovery and spiritual growth as a couple, well before the s*#t hits the fan.