I once heard a speaker say that buying one tube of toothpaste or two is a marriage problem. Everything else is a personal problem.
To a great degree, that's mostly correct. We learn a schema or framework about relationships, love, care, commitment, and more from a very young age. Whether or not that early learning was healthy, we then project that learning onto our future relationships in adolescence and adulthood.
That can get messy (here's where I start to visualize projectile vomiting rather than a movie projector). It takes a lot of self-awareness, curiosity, and commitment to self to learn about what we learned. It takes a lot of work to sort out what we want to keep, get rid of, and change. It takes a lot of courage to choose learning a healthier way, and then to follow through.
If you find yourself asking, "Why does this keep happening?" or "Why do we keep having this fight?" or "Why do I always feel this way?" it's worth doing the work to step back and ask "What am I projecting into this relationship?"
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📸 Alex Livtin | @unsplash