The major sticking point for many people in relationships is the belief that there is a problem that needs fixing, either with themselves or more often than not with their partner.
This mistaken belief leads to arguments* and recrimination. Unable to fix ourselves or the other at some point we tell ourselves that that is just how they/we are and the argument that cannot be resolved is best avoided. We create no go areas within the relationship in the hope that this will lead to fewer arguments. In doing so we rob our relationship of its ability to hold the full expression of who we are as a couple and as individuals. As the relationship grows colder our passion and energy for one another begins to die and with it the ability to maintain a healthy and vibrant relationship. Expansion and joy are replaced by feelings of claustrophobia and boredom. Rather than an expression of who we are the relationship transforms itself into an expression of who we are not. When this happens it is only a matter of time before we begin to look outside the relationship for the freedom, joy and vitality that we crave.
In attempting to fix ourselves or the other what we are really trying to do is make our relationship safe, to fit some preconceived idea, no matter how vague, of what the relationship should look like and how the other partner needs to behave in order to make that happen. All too often arguments are seen as road blocks to our creating the ideal relationship. Rather than nurturing the relationship and allowing it grow at its own pace and develop its unique and distinctive shape we restrict it with rules and fill it with unfulfilled expectations.
When we are free of the mistaken belief that someone needs fixing we are free to see arguments* for what they are; an essential part of a healthy relationship. Arguments provide the nexus through which the relationship can grow. Our ability to resolve them provides the relationship with the permission and safety to expand our compassion and empathy for one another, and in doing so create a new sense of closeness.
* Arguments - we include everything from the heated slanging match to silent resentments, things left unspoken, that find their true voice in how couples behave with each other.