It sounds impossible, right? After all, it takes two to tango. How can one person transform a relationship without the other one on board?
Well, it does take two to tango, but if one dancer knows exactly what they're doing and practices often, he/she can teach their partner how to be a better dancer without them even knowing it. It may sound a little sly and tricky, but in some cases, it's just what a couple needs to make the shift from bitterness to bliss.
If you're asking how to solve relationship problems without breaking up, this concept is a great solution. We can't change anyone but ourselves; however, when we act differently, the other person responds differently.
Here's why it makes sense. Whether relationships follow a slow decline or there is a dramatic crisis that deeply hurts, each person is responsible for their responses and for the events that led up to the present. A relationship requires both partners to engage. An argument would be averted if just one person made closeness more important than being right or trying to prove a point. An affair would never happen if nurturing the relationship was the priority. Yes, it takes two to tango—but if I'm not fun to dance with, my partner isn't going to want to dance with me!
To quote Thoreau, "Things don't change, we change."
Here's WHY it works. How we live in relationship to others is how we live in relationship to ourselves. Many of our relationship problems are actually an inside job. Our outer experience of relationship is only a reflection of what we believe, what we feel, how we've been conditioned by our experiences to view life, and how we have patterned our responses. When one person shifts their perceptions and responses, there is an immediate impact on their interaction with their partner, and the quality of the relationship changes—for better or for worse.
Here's HOW it works. Transforming a relationship between two people means transforming yourself, because everything we set in motion has an effect and a consequence, positive or negative.
There is no outer change without inner change.
Common relationship problems can mount when a couple keeps making the same mistakes over and over. However, if one person disrupts an unhealthy pattern, it can begin new growth. When one person learns new ways that create a safer space to help their partner open up, the environment of the relationship has changed. When one person replaces conditioned responses that impede loving communication with the conscious choice to love, the effect on the other person can be powerfully healing. When you take 100% accountability for your part in any inclement weather in the relationship, it instantly invites the other person to take responsibility for their part and interact more lovingly.
Related reading: "Love Is a Choice—the Best Marriage Advice!"
Nurturing relationships—first with ourselves—and then with our partner promotes openness and connection.
When we realize we are not victims of our circumstances, we have power to change. And when we have the power to change our wiring, our relationships, and our lives, we are inspired to do what it takes. It may sound like a lot of work, but with the right tools, it does just that...it works. And it can be easy.
Health within oneself creates healthy relationships!
Therefore, one person can transform a relationship. Become a great tango dancer—because once you learn the moves of the relationship dance, it can lead to a level of trust and closeness that you never believed was possible.
For a marriage coach to fine-tune your communication or advice on relationship challenges, sign up for our complimentary Discovery Session!