I often use my own personal experience to highlight elements of my posts. Even in therapy, my own stories shared sparingly and at the right time can help others to put their own stories into perspective. The Native Americans believe in their culture that life is about stories. When one story ends, another begins and the telling of stories and understanding them is the key to solving problems and moving on in life. This, I buy into and believe, in that we can all learn from each other’s stories.
This is one of those times and on this occasion, I am learning from my own story. At this present moment, I am in Europe, Spain to be precise, and away from home for one night. Even though it is a short time to overcome, it puts many things in my life in perspective. My recent posts have pontificated about happiness and what elements we need in our lives to make us happy. There were various factors highlighted but nothing specific. This is because happiness and what it means to us is as individual as we are. If someone had asked me what made me specifically happy, I would have a clear answer. This answer would come from a base of healthy self esteem, personal growth and independence on my part. All factors that have embroidered my happiness.
My clear answer would be sharing my life with the woman I love.
Now I know we all say that as a default answer and one that you might expect but I have the clearest evidence possible to make that claim. Firstly, I now know that I spent the majority of my life with the wrong people (we do not know this until we find the right one). Given that experience and the lessons learned, I am in a position to know what is right for me and what I can reasonably offer to the right relationship. I have truly found the one.
For me, we have everything we need to maintain a healthy long term relationship and it is not about honeymoon periods or infatuation, we are long past that. We have the basis of honesty, trust, respect and mutual benefit. However, you can never test those things until you get to difficult times. We have had these in abundance. For example, we have moved across continents (more than once), been apart for long periods and endured emotional, logistical and organisational challenges frequently. All are enough to fuel tension and possible conflict. It would be very easy to lose yourself in blaming and finger pointing when things get tough or don’t go as you expect.
What I really love about us is that we slip immediately into problem solving mode, solution focused and work together to get things done. We dont just compromise, we find new solutions and any conflict is dealt with with this in mind.Whatever, the issue, it is always that thinking that emerges. I personally, didn’t believe that existed and had maybe given up hope of ever finding it.
This single factor, in my opinion, is the key to happiness with another person. When you have this, you can conquer anything.
Dr. Nicholas Jenner is a counseling psychologist in private practice working with individuals, couples, groups and companies with a speciality in CBT techniques. Apart from seeing clients face-to-face, Dr. Jenner also runs a thriving online therapy business bringing help to those who find taking therapy online as convenient and tailored for their needs. More Details HERE