Okay, you’re going to hate hearing this, but I’ve got to say it. Ready? Your partner is your mirror, and the behaviors you see in him/her, the ones that make you pop a vein in your neck, are hidden aspects of you. “What? You’re crazy, and you should be tarred and feathered for even suggesting such a thing!” Okay now, calm down, take a breath, and let me explain. Because when you get this concept, you can use it to make your life better. I promise.
Let me take myself as an example. During my husband’s romp with his young pheromone (better known as his affair), lies were flying out of his mouth like bats out of hell. Each time I uncovered a lie, I was so enraged I wanted to kill. And, believe me, I stood on my self-righteous soap box railing quite a bit. But then, I remembered…”mirror, mirror on the wall,” and the next thing I thought was… “No way. I would never lie like that,” which was the truth. I wouldn’t lie like that. But was I lying in some other way, and was it hurting me?
In traipsing through my inner sanctum, I found out that indeed I had lied. I lied to myself in ignoring signs all along the way. Signs that indicated what was festering beneath the surface. Had I acknowledged them, I might have averted a lot of hurt. Can you see how valuable this discovery was for me? How realizing that I had betrayed myself would then encourage me to watch for the same kind of thing again, thereby sparing myself a lot of unnecessary pain?
From that time forward, I have been diligent in asking myself this question…”Am I being true to myself right now? If not, what price might I pay down the road for this denial?” That doesn’t mean I will never be in denial again, but it does mean that the chances of it are less likely given my awareness.
Let’s be clear about something. And this is important. The mirror concept is not about blame and judgment. It’s about uncovering hidden aspects of yourself so that you work through them and ultimately make your life better. Two more points: 1) What you uncover in yourself won’t look exactly like what you see in your partner, and the degree to which you do it won’t necessarily be the same. But however yours looks, and to whatever degree you do it, bringing it to the surface will allow you to face it square-on. 2) Not everything you see in your partner is your issue. But the things that really, really make you crazy usually are. Just do a little inner work when you notice something in him/her, and be as honest as you can about whether it’s yours or not.
The more things that lie hidden in your sub-conscious, the greater your pain. The more things you uncover and change, the better your life will be. Looking at your partner as a mirror requires courage and honesty, and even though that’s not the easiest road to take, in the long run your bravery will be richly rewarded with a happier life!
Check out my book, The Affair: From Breakdown to Breakthrough, A Therapist’s Real-life Journey, for more great tips and insights about relationships. You can buy it on Kindle worldwide from all Amazon websites, including www.amazon.com