Relationships

How to untangle your relationship troubles

Author: Canadian Living

Relationships

How to untangle your relationship troubles

The secret goal of your relationship is to develop a shared spiritual space in which each of you has enough room for what is most precious to him or her. For this space, the oft-mentioned researcher of the unconscious Carl Jung uses the images of rooms, which fits perfectly with the homestead: each of you has different space requirements for your emotional needs. One of you, whom Jung calls the Simple One, only occupies a few small rooms. The other, the Complicated One, takes up many rooms and a lot of space. This causes a double dilemma: to the Complicated One, the Simple One has such little space that there isn't enough room. For the Simple One, on the other hand, the Complicated One offers so much space that the Simple One doesn't really know where he or she actually belongs.

• Am I contained in you? Do you have space for me? Is there room in your soul for my soul? These are the crucial questions that can destroy a relationship. This is often what causes someone to have an affair, or pull away emotionally. So it's worth it to address this topic before something happens.

If you're the Simple One

Then you are content with you partner and feel well cared for in the relationship. You are contained in the other person, and the rooms you use in the homestead are enough for you. You appreciate the preferences of your partner and are proud of him or her. Perhaps, though, you also sense that you don't completely satisfy your partner's expectations. You have, as Jung called it, an "unsettling dependency" on your partner, who is a stronger personality or enjoys a higher social standing. You often allow your partner to lead or take priority.

If you're the Complicated One
Then you will always suffer from not being able to find all of yourself within your relationship. You look for new qualities in a partner that can complement your own. You push for expansion in the homestead: plow more fields or add new rooms. For you, your partner is too unrefined, too unsophisticated, or too inarticulate. At the same time, you know how your partner could further develop him- or herself, and you long to experience your partner in a new, equal way.

Page 1 of 4 - Read page 2 to find out how fast relationships can untangle themselves

Excerpted from How to Simplify Your Love, copyright 2008 by Marion Küstenmacher and Werner Tiki Küstenmacher. Used by permission of McGraw-Hill Companies. All Rights Reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher. How both end up in the dark forest
The Simple One realizes that he or she is not enough for the Complicated One and needs to change. This is a shock. The Simple One loses the feeling of security and faces a dilemma: either the Simple One stays how he or she is – which forces the Complicated One back into the confines of the little rooms, feeling like a bird with clipped wings – or the Simple One tries to open him- or herself up to new fields. This isn't easy, because the Simple One does it under the critical eye of the partner and doesn't know if he or she can ever live up to the other's high demands. Or the Simple One reacts with guilty feelings and gives up hope for a fulfilling relationship.

In both cases the Simple One is made to feel insecure. The Simple One loses touch with him- or herself and with the partner. The homestead doesn't feel like a familiar home anymore, but becomes gradually uncomfortable – the dark forest casts its shadow all the way here.

The Complicated One wavers between being true to self and being true to the partner. If the Complicated One puts pressure on the other to expand his or her spaces, it makes like in the homestead uncomfortable and later perhaps even unbearable. The Complicated One can try to shape the Simple One in his or her own image and to pull the Simple One "up" – as in the musical My Fair Lady, where the language teacher turns a common street girl into an educated lady. But the Complicated One won't get an equal partner this way, just a different one. Another possibility: the Complicated One can retreat to one of his or her many rooms. But it doesn't get lonelier than that. 

Whatever the Complicated One does, he or she ends up feeling torn. In the end, the Complicated One looks outside of the relationship for what the Simple One has found inside of it – and the Complicated One finds him- or herself again in the dark forest.

Page 2 of 4 - read page three to learn how to simplify!


Excerpted from How to Simplify Your Love, copyright 2008 by Marion Küstenmacher and Werner Tiki Küstenmacher. Used by permission of McGraw-Hill Companies. All Rights Reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher. Simple and complicated crosswise
In practice, it's rare for one partner to just be complicated and the other just simple. Depending on what aspect of life you're talking about, sometimes one person is contained in the other, sometimes the to other way around. In the traditional marriage, it was usually the woman who intellectually had her place within her husband. She let him think and decide for the both of them. The man, on the other hand, was often emotionally contained within his wife. He let her sense and feel for the both of them. And the exact opposites existed as well.

In modern relationships, it's even more complex: here you often find both of you in the position of the Complicated One; the contentment of the Simple One hardly exists anymore. Both of you accuse the other of having shortcomings and demand that the other change. This leads the couple into a narcissistic dead end: "The other has to change him- or herself into what I want."

How you can solve the dilemma
• What the Complicated One can do:
Be loyal and patient. Stay in the relationship. C. G. Jung know from his long psychotherapeutic practice that a separation from an "unsatisfying" partner doesn't really solve this problem. His advice is to endure this dilemma consciously, and call your soul to the rescue. Because the soul always strives for unity, doing so will mobilize your inner strengths. You will find an opportunity to reunite with your inner self, instead of seeking it in another person. The greatest reward for you patience is that you experience yourself as "undivided in yourself." You find more unity in your own depth, are more protected in your coupledom, and your relationship is safe.

• What the Simple One can do:
Broaden your horizons, and try something new. The fact that you can recognize the problem of "simple" and "complicated" at all is an important sign for your relationship. It enters a new phase, the phase of transformation. you now have the chance to give a new depth to your relationship. Signal to your partner that you want to shape the new phase together. Tell your partner, "I'm happy that there's more there than I had thought." Build new spaces for yourself within your relationship, and invite the other in. Get interested in something new, develop yourself, transform yourself – do it somehow. You don't have to conquer the fields of interest and depth of your partner's soul – just go after your own at first. As long as your partner understands your new aspects, he or she will feel relieved and glad: "There's more in you than I thought there was."

• What you both can do:

Learn from each other. The Simple One encourages you to be content and indicates how much good there already is between you. The Complicated One encourages growth and shows what all is still possible for the two of you. The good news is that in your homestead there are many more rooms than you think! There is room to add on, renovate, and expand; there are completely new, undiscovered regions. It's like a married farmer couple who turns their estate into an organic farm, starts a guesthouse, gets into energy production with rapeseed field and biogas, or whatever. It's exciting and challenging, rewarding and risky.

Page 3 of 4 - page 4 tells you how to sort it all out.

Excerpted from How to Simplify Your Love, copyright 2008 by Marion Küstenmacher and Werner Tiki Küstenmacher. Used by permission of McGraw-Hill Companies. All Rights Reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher.It's the same way during your renovation and expansion phase. Each of you will sometimes feel insufficient and then sometimes superior, sometimes full of energy and then sometimes irritable. This can heavily burden your relationship. There will be moments again and again where you lose your faith in the great, shared project and wonder if it isn't better to go it alone.

Untangle instead of tearing
Resist these thoughts! Avoid an abrupt separation from your partner. It won't solve anything and will be the wrong kind of relief. Don't run blindly into another relationship. Don't send the other person off feeling hurt because you are painfully missing something. What you're looking for you can find above all in yourself.

Admit to your partner the unrest you're feeling. Give each other more room to search for your inner selves. Stay loyal to each other, "We are both looking for ourselves, and we won't hold each other back." Agree to continually talk about it, and allow each other to participate in the search. Reinforce your loyalty and your trust in your partner with clear language. Do so especially often and lovingly during this time. Your relationship will thus slowly expand and offer both of you more space. During the renovation phase of your homestead, it can still happen that the two of you lose touch in the construction site. Both develop further, but not necessarily in the same direction. So trade rooms again. Keep each other informed. Get into the craziness of the other, as strange and unusual as it may seem to you. Orient yourself according to the following rule: "We never know everything there is to know about our relationship, but it always offers enough space for learning more."

Maintain patiently the image of your large, magnificently expanded and renovated homestead in your mind. Orient yourself according to the motto: "Slowly disentangling is better than tearing." Even if it takes you a long time, you will avoid many frightening experiences in the dark forest.


Page 4 of 4



Excerpted from How to Simplify Your Love, copyright 2008 by Marion Küstenmacher and Werner Tiki Küstenmacher. Used by permission of McGraw-Hill Companies. All Rights Reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher.
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How to untangle your relationship troubles

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