Dr. Brenda Shoshanna, Ph.d.
Psychologist, Best Selling Author and Host: Turning The Tide Podcast
Usually we enter relationships hoping they will make us happy. We hope that this one is the right one, that we are not repeating mistakes of the past, and that finally we will receive the love, support and companionship we have been seeking.
Although this approach to relationships is normal, it usually brings disappointment because happiness comes and goes. It has to, because happiness depends upon circumstances. When things go well, we are happy. When we get what we want, when the sun is shining, others value us, our boyfriend finally pops the question, these are moments of happiness.
Joy is different. It doesn't come and go, or depend upon outer circumstances. When things are difficult, when our hopes are not fulfilled, it is still possible to feel joyful. Joy is a positive decision we have made about ourselves, and others. It involves taking responsibility for our lives and relationships. How much joy do you have in your love life? Here are five ways to find joy in relationships:
Stop Blaming Your Partner for Your Disappointments
When we're in a relationship, it's very easy to fall into blaming our partner for our disappointments, but it's one of the most significant ways we destroy our own joy and peace of mind. It is also one of the biggest ways we undermine the other person.
If you want to find more joy in your relationship, realize that if you are upset, it does not necessarily mean that something is wrong with your partner. Finding joy in a relationship comes down to understanding that it is your own expectations that have disappointed you. When we do not put heavy expectations on our partners, but are willing to spend time getting to know them and discover who they are, blame dissolves more easily. Other people have the right to be who they are and to express it. Your partner has not been put on this earth to make you happy. No one can do that, except you, yourself. Your partner is here to share life with, to learn to be open, accepting and to grow.