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The True "Perfect" Partner

By William Weil

Previously, I would have thought that the ideal partner would be someone who had all my broken parts handled for herself. What I learned is that my ideal partner - based on my higher goal for myself as outlined above - needed to have three qualities; perhaps this is true for you, too.

  1. She would have her own issues to work on, or her own way of being, that would challenge me to work on my own stuff. For example, I have abandonment issues. So periodically, my ideal partner would emotionally or otherwise "abandon" me in some way so that I would have to deal with that.
  2. She would be someone who is completely committed to growing together with me. It is vital that whatever breakdowns we might have would be viewed as opportunities for growth, not reasons to give up on the relationship. In this context, the very worst that could happen would always bring about an opportunity for the very best that could happen.
  3. She would be someone who could be 100 percent emotionally responsible for herself. I'm fine with being blamed in her moments of depression, anger, rage or hostility. But when the dust settles, when we're both feeling balanced, I need for her to be able to own her piece of the interaction.
I hit this relationship trifecta jackpot when I met JoAnn. Unfortunately, I didn't have these aforementioned self-realizations. Within a few weeks, we started having one meltdown after another, and I almost ended our relationship after a month.

Relationship-wise, JoAnn was about as broken as a person could be. She was sexually abused when she was four years old. From the time she was six, her parents routinely left her alone in the house for hours at a time, and she would lock herself in the bathroom to feel safe. JoAnn was raped by her brother's friend when she was 14. Soon after, she discovered that her father was cheating on her mother. When JoAnn was 19, her mother committed suicide. JoAnn became an alcoholic and a drug addict. She had a number of relationships with men, including two marriages, and every man she was with was unfaithful to her.

Little did I know on our first date that I was dating a woman with more landmines than the border between North and South Korea. And, to continue the metaphor, I was a guy stomping around in clown shoes. A shameless flirt. I had three other girlfriends out of state (they all knew about each other), and I had a habit of ogling women that was so unconscious, I had no idea how obvious it was.

I don't know what made me realize that JoAnn was the woman I needed to be with for the rest of my life, what made me take on that challenge, but I knew that to be with JoAnn, I was going to have to change. I was going to have to evolve into a level of consciousness that, in retrospect, I could not have anticipated back then.

Beyond having our basic survival needs met (shelter, food, clothes, health), what does make us happy? Here's a short list.

  • Feeling loved.
  • Feeling lovable, worthy and capable of having someone love us.
  • Feeling balanced and internally peaceful.
  • Feeling at one with the universe.
  • Being of service - having an experience that we make a difference.

If we want to feel contented and fulfilled, that's where we need to put our energies. If we want to get there, we need to learn how to be present and grateful. If you can get there without doing any more work on yourself, you have my congratulations. For the majority of us, perhaps the purpose of having a relationship is to support our intent to work on ourselves. A new earth relationship gives us someone to push our buttons, so we'll have to do that work. A new earth relationship allows us to get the positive and negative feedback we need in order to true ourselves to a higher purpose. And a new earth relationship gives us a real partner to support us during the good and bad times.

Sometimes the thing we want so much is right in front of us, if we're willing to let ourselves see it. I think a lot of us struggle with this. I wrote the following for my partner, JoAnn, in the wake of such a struggle.

When a day feels too long
When people aren't much fun
You drive home in the waning light
Looking for a nowhere moon
On a gray dismal day
With your knees aching
Feeling somewhat colder than before
Warding off today's headache
With yet another Anacin
As you squeeze the car
For the millionth time
Into your narrow garage
And dragging too many
Bags of clothes, food, makeup
Open your door
To cold, darkened rooms
And you climb the stairs
To take off your face
And, for whatever reason
Take a cold, hard, maybe
Too close look at yourself
And think God
Am I'm getting old
And when you move
Slightly out of the way
Of your own reflection
And see me standing behind
You think to yourself
Maybe just once in my life
I could let myself have
The one thing I've
Always said I've wanted.
And when I look at
You in the mirror
I see so much more
Than a beautiful woman
I see a brilliant, gifted
Giving soul who can
Meet me where I live
And it makes me think
Maybe just once in my life
I could have for myself
The one thing I've
Always said I've wanted.
It occurs to me as a miracle that JoAnn and I have arrived at a place where we fully trust each other, are generous with the way we listen to each other, and love each other unconditionally - warts and all. Our stage was set for a tragic ending, as will become clear in the following chapters.

Copyright © 2009 William Weil
Excerpted from New Earth Relationships - a new book by William Weil about how to grow personally and together with your partner, but altering your consciousness about yourself, your partner, and the context of relationships. Feedback from early readers:

"Terrific! Concise. Readable. Practical. Incredibly useful."
"Caused me to rethink my relationship to couplehood and spirituality."
"...added new ideas and perspective to my relationship coaching practice."
"Moved me to tears! I can't wait to share this!"
"I felt privileged to read it...."
" much useful information to use with my couple's therapy clients."

Also, you might try my Couples Relationship Consciousness Building website - it's free; it takes only a few minutes... allow yourself and your partner to get through three assignments before judging it!

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