Nationally Known Psychotherapist Bill Benson, LMFT, LPPC Gets in the Holiday Spirit and Talks Relationships. With or Without the Fireworks…
Why the Healthiest Relationships are Declarations of Independence
We all hope for fireworks in our romantic endeavors but what may start out as glittering displays of passion often spiral into relationship misfires. As a relationship expert, my biggest challenge is helping my clients understand there is more to coupling than just chemistry.
Popular culture has long promoted notions like “without you, I’m nothing” in its songs and cinema. But these ideals are more setup than solution. Sure, it’s natural to want to be a part of a winning team, but why do we feel the need to give up our rights as individuals in the process?
In reality, many people pair because they’re afraid to be alone, or they couple to gain their family’s endorsement, or they need to feel worthy in another’s eyes. Conversely, some avoid dating altogether - gambling that they’ll unintentionally bump into their soul mate (just like in the movies). Sadly, some endure life-sentences, imprisoned within toxic relationships because they once said, “I do.”
So how do we form a more perfect union?
Using relationships in an attempt to fix or fill parts of us is a rookie mistake: our journeys toward enlightenment do not come with lifetime warrantees - nor should they. But, let me be clear; I’m not a relationship hater. I am actually a huge advocate of people pairing together for the greater-good. What I oppose is the notion that love comes paired with a required loss of individuality.
Self-esteem expert Carolyn Myss agrees: "Our healthiest relationships are the ones we don't need." What she implies is that it is not our desire, but our dependence that keeps us wobbling away from emotionally positive experiences.
This is why I'm striking-up-the-band to proclaim a Declaration of Independence for couples!
Strong relationships account for the individuality of each participant. Understanding who you are and how you feel is vital because you will need to continually dip into this well of uniqueness and contribute these vital aspects of yourself to maintain the health of the relationship you are raising with your partner. It is through the sharing of our distinct individualities that invincible bonds are created.
This isn’t easy: building something solid is a marriage of focus and intention. Healthy relationships demand communication, cooperation, and compromise from each individual. By consciously deciding to purposefully take on, work thorough, and rub off on each other, partners become emotionally stronger – as a unit and as individuals.
This July, let independence ring within your relationship’s structure. Decide that you don't need to prove yourself, defend yourself or give yourself away – rather, contribute to the greater good by being yourself and maintaining yourself.
Take a tip from America's forefathers: Get in the patriotic habit of valuing both your and your partner’s unique roles in establishing a loving union. It takes a blend of perspectives and experiences to create something that’s sum total is greater than its parts.
So, the next time there are fireworks, admire the many different colors that make up this beautiful display and then work to have the celebration last a lifetime.
About the Author: Bill Benson is a go-to expert in the Psychology field, Bill has appeared on a variety of television programs, including Fox's Good Day LA, CBS' Woman to Woman, and NBC's Tonight Show. Bill is a recurring panelist for Huffington Post Live and co-hosted 250 episodes of the cable talk show Doc Talk.
Bill is a published writer, covering creative solutions to life’s challenges. He and his work have been featured in newspapers and radio programs across America. For additional information about Bill and availability for Keynote speaking, corporate consulting or additional media coverage contact Gary Monroe, MERG Digital Public Relations firstname.lastname@example.org