Have you been reading this series on relationships without being convinced that you need to make any changes? Let me guess: if only you could convince those with whom you have relationships to change, life would be much easier, right? After all, you have made it this far on your own; why should you have to change? It’s so much easier to remain in your trench, where you’re safe from the flying arrows that could pierce you. Plus, experience has taught you that every time you let someone get close, you end up engaging in hand-to-hand combat or espionage. Thus, the whole concept of relationships and the intimacy they require in order to be successful is simply exhausting.
The reason you find relationships exhausting is that when you choose unhealthy ways of dealing with your wounds, your behavior has no benefits—only prices to pay. For instance, addictions bring dependence, sickness, and financial problems. Anger may be useful to keep the people around you in fear, but it raises your blood pressure and predisposes you to heart attacks, strokes, and some cancers. Isolation and emotionally distant behavior may keep others from getting too close, but it also keeps you sad, lonely, and feeling hopeless. You can’t insulate yourself from wounds that come from those you love without paying some kind of price, and while some people choose to exist this way, it is a counterproductive way to live.
While no relationship can offer a guarantee, the best way to ensure that you find a healthy relationship is by getting healthy yourself. If you wish to change the dynamics of the relationship you are already in, first take a long look at yourself. You may find that many of the problems you experience didn’t start with your other half; they started with you. Once you know the truth, no matter how painful it may be, it is the only thing that will set you free.