Suffering in Relationships part 1

Have you ever really suffered in a relationship?

Have you ever really suffered in a relationship? We’re not necessarily talking about being tortured or tormented, although there may have been some of that. But have you ever felt deeply disappointed, hurt and helpless? Just super upset and powerless about something that was happening in your relationship?

What produced that suffering? Was it something that your partner or someone else did or said to you? Did they call you names? Belittle you? Insult you? Threaten you? Curse you? Ignore you? Did they berate you or spread rumors about you? Did they take something from you, strike you, or walk away from you? Was it something that you did or said to them – and couldn’t take it back? A lot of things happen in relationships to which people ascribe the cause of their suffering.

But when you really examine it, what was a constant in every instance of suffering in your relationship? Wasn’t it that you were alone - or at least felt alone - reliving a hurt or pain by yourself - even if you happen to be with your partner or among others? Wasn’t the experience of relationship missing?

Look, maybe there is no suffering in relationships. Suffering happens when relationship is missing, when you are thinking about your pain or your situation all by yourself. There is no suffering when relationship is present, when you are experiencing being related. Almost as soon as you begin to really communicate - as soon as you are relating the pain or the “what happened” to someone else - any suffering begins to dissolve and you are left simply with what happened or what is happening - whether it’s regret, disappointment, sadness, fear or physical pain. For example, as you speak with a doctor about a physical ailment, while the pain may still be there for a while, suffering about the pain dissipates.

In our view, suffering in relationships is produced by being out of relationship, repeating the story of your pain and disappointments over and over to yourself. The antidote for suffering is relationship, communicating your experience of pain and disappointment with your partner or others.

See more about relationship and suffering in our next issue of CONNECTED. Meanwhile, alleviate suffering in your relationship by actively relating/communicating with each other versus talking to yourself.

Until next time,

Sandy&Lon

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