Break Through Your Threshold: Are you Killing Your Relationship?
By Jai Maa
Have you ever wanted something from someone else so badly that you were willing to do anything to get it? You were willing to give up power, manipulate, and try to control the other person to give you what you wanted? How miserable did you make yourself and the other by being attached?
Let’s say the person says “no” to your request, and you feel desperate to get them to see things your way. Perhaps you try to change their perspective by sharing your perspective in many different ways, thinking they’ll eventually “get it” if you just help them see why you’re right. You feel insecure by the other person’s point of view and need them to change.
And they still said, “no.”
If you are deeply attached, you now need a more intense strategy to get them to say “yes.” Perhaps you pull back your so-called love and withhold kindness and affection until they cave. Not honoring someone’s “no” means you don’t have respect for this person’s ability to choose for themselves. This is not love.
If they still won’t give you what you want, you may begin to push their buttons by saying hurtful things, or bring up past wounds in hopes they will feel bad and doubt themselves. When the verbal or emotional manipulations don’t work, maybe you’ll demean to attacking them physically, whether it be their body or personal property. You feel so desperate to get the other person to comply with you wishes, you have now degraded yourself to verbal, emotional, and perhaps even physical abuse.
Even if you don’t succumb to abusive behavior, simply withholding love and affection because you’re not getting what you want is like a slow venom drip that will inevitably kill the love and trust in your relationship. If you do succeed in getting the other person to bend to your will, they will feel less trusting and resentful toward you.
Let’s say you’re on the other end of the spectrum and someone wants something from you. Your answer is “no” but you are attached to how the other person will perceive you. You feel afraid they might be upset and even retaliate because you said “no,” so you’re willing to betray yourself in order to keep the peace. It seems easier just to give them what they want, even though you are giving away your power. You feel weakened, vulnerable, and like a victim when you do not stay true to yourself.
Furthermore, you can’t be trusted. Saying “yes” when you don’t want to is dishonest. Giving in to someone who is disrespecting your right to choose freely reveals that you don’t respect yourself either.
In order to allow the love to flow in any relationship, you must release attachments to needing anything from anyone else in order to feel secure within yourself. You must also release attachment to how you are perceived when you stand in your integrity. You deserve healthy, thriving relationships, and this is necessary inner work to obtaining and keeping them.
Enlightenment Challenge: Take an honest inventory of yourself. Resist the urge to diagnose the other person. Are you attached to another person giving you what you want? Or, are you attached to how you are perceived when saying “no”?