I recently wrote about how many of our visions of marriage are tainted by the often obscene promise of fairy tale romances or the numbing, heart-hardening lies we’re told about failed relationships (Love lives between fairy tales and apathy). Today, I found some related and extremely valuable thoughts on a fantastic relationship and intimacy blog, Making Love Sustainable, by Wendy Strgar. She writes about a new book by Seth Godin called The Dip, which refers to “the hard place where days can go by before any satisfying results come in.” I encourage you to read Wendy’s entire post. In the meantime, here’s a brief excerpt:
“The Dip though points to a bigger and more rampant problem–the willingness to quit on the hard stuff because we believe ourselves to be mediocre or not up to it. We are afraid to feel the strain, so we quit–and most easily on relationships that are challenging. The problem with this kind of quitting which can become serial. . .as soon as the relationship demands more that we think we have, we bail. That place becomes so familiar, it is the jumping off spot, time after time. The real shame is that often the breakthrough place, where things start to work in a new way is just past that jump.”
What really struck me in this quote is the statement, “we believe ourselves to be mediocre or not up to it.” I think that kind of self-doubt and belief that neither partner is capable of navigating challenging waters is one of the biggest barriers to long-term happiness. If you hit a bump and your mind automatically assaults you with “you’re not smart enough to get through this,” or, “he doesn’t have what it takes to weather this kind of storm,” or, “this relationship isn’t strong enough to last,” you’ll likely not even be inspired to attempt to work through the challenge.
So, if you want to be able to make it through dips in your relationship, start building your confidence in yourself and your partner. Start strengthening your beliefs about the dedication, tenacity, capability you and your partner both possess. Work the muscles of belief and lose those flabby, flat-out-false thoughts that get you nowhere good, replacing them with toned, truths that will become the foundation for a strong, sustainable, and deeply satisfying relationship, whether you’re in a dip or on top of the world.