Are you opposite or different from your mate? Do these differences cause you conflict, heartache, and relationship/marital problems? If so, there is a solution for you: Loving Through Your Differences. On Love University, we learned the secrets of successful “Opposites Attract” relationships from our guests, Susie and Otto Collins, world-renowned relationship coaches and happily married couple. Here are some of the important tips we learned from Otto and Susie for having a happy and successful relationship, despite differences:
*See your partner as an ally, not adversary. After the honeymoon period phases, couples may begin to see each other as adversaries instead of allies—they think they have a license to beat their partner up emotionally to make them be the way they want them to be. When this starts happening, ask yourself: Am I treating my spouse/love partner as kindly and compassionately as I treat my best platonic friend? Often, without realizing it, you may treat your friend better than you mate; taking things less personally, giving them the benefit of the doubt. The solution is to remember that each time you talk to your mate, you are talking to your beloved, your best friend, your soul mate—the second half of a sacred union. Also, you can bring in the “Gratitude Police” and think of/write down all of the things that you appreciate about your partner and are grateful for. When you do this, you will start to see them again in a more positive and loving way—as your one and only beloved. .
*When things get heated, slow down your reactions. You and your mate may have a tendency to become argumentative and critical when there is a disagreement. When this occurs, it’s important that you slow down the interaction—perhaps take a time-out and do something else—until both of you are cool enough to talk about the situation more impersonally and logically. At the same time, instead of angrily asking your partner, “Why do you do this?” you can ask, “How can I understand you better?” Adopt an attitude of curiosity and empathy in which you want to see your partner’s side of things: “Tell me more.” When you do this, you will move from criticism and judgment to curiosity and a desire to understand and learn more about your partner. This is a great starting place to resolve and come to peace with differences.
*You and your partner are the same at the soul level. Although you may be different from your partner on various levels—life background, personality type, preferences, hobbies—you are both the same at the soul level. As creations of a Higher Nature—God, spirit, nature—you and your partner share the DNA of humanness as well as the desire to love, grow, experience, and contribute. Of course, you and your mate may have certain differences. You may be more Introverted—getting energy from your own thoughts—your partner may be more Extraverted: getting energy from other people. You like baseball; they like opera. You’re more spontaneous; they’re more structured. These differences, if embraced and accepted, can actually provide a certain spice to the relationship, and can be beneficial as each partner contributes what the other lacks (the Extravert gets the Introvert out of the house; the Introvert helps the Extravert relax at home). Yet, at the deepest level, you and your partner are soul people. You have temporary bodies, shelters for your essence, your soul, and you have the opportunity to grow and learn from each other. Your purpose for being together is more than just for security, emotional support, companionship, sex, or gaining material advantages---it is to create light in the world and leave a lasting legacy of goodness and love through your experiences, friends, children, and contributions. And, above all, you will leave a powerful legacy through the love you expressed while you were still on earth.
Lasting love is not the goal, moment by moment love is. Otto and Susie tell us that people have the idea of “lasting love” all wrong. Some people think they have to work hard at a relationship to create a successful long-term relationship. In reality, we don’t have to work that hard once we are with a compatible soul partner. We simply need to be aware of loving them, moment by moment. When you are frustrated or angry with your partner, instead of trying to change or fix the other person, you need to calm down and allow things to settle. Ask yourself: “How can I be love in this very moment?” In reality, we are all love in our inherent nature—we want to love, be loved, and leave a lasting legacy of love. Look in your partner’s eyes and see the beauty of their soul as they do the same. Otto and Susie recall a time when Otto was fixing a computer and spoke to Susie in a harsh tone—she was very upset. But, then she looked at Otto as her beloved with empathy and asked, “What were you thinking when you were working on the computer?” It turned out he was insecure about doing the work and didn’t realize he was lashing out at her. With this new understanding, Suzie lost her anger and found her love again. By adopting an attitude of curiosity and empathy, they were able to regain their moment by moment loving energy. You can do the same—every day strive to have loving moments with your partner. Added up, and accumulated over time, these moments become a lifetime of love and happiness.
In our troubled and alienated society, we need more love in the world, especially at the level of human coupling—two people who agree to share their lives together and create light in the Universe. The good news is that you can love through your differences with your partner and create a harmonious and lasting relationship. When you see your partner as an ally instead of an adversary, slow down your emotional reactions, and connect with them at a soul level, you are taking a big step toward creating a lasting love that occurs moment by moment. It’s your turn now; go out and love your partner through the differences. When you do this, you will love forever and live the happiest life possible.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON LOVE THROUGH YOUR DIFFERENCES: HOW YOU OPPOSITES CAN ATTRACT AND CREATE A LOVE THAT LASTS A LIFETIME, WITH SPECIAL GUESTS, SUSIE AND OTTO COLLINS, BREAKTHROUGH RELATIONSHIP COACHES