Mirror Mirror On the Wall...

Relationship Quandaries

October 23, 2014

by, Glori Zeltzer, MA, MFT

Although Walt Disney would have us believe that marriage is a perfect harmonious union of bliss, it is not usually a blissful experience. Being in an honest, sincere, and committed relationship helps you to become a better version of yourself. You have to push yourself beyond your comfort zone, beyond your limits to find your better self.

Remember the evil step-mother in Snow White? She asked her mirror who the most beautiful woman was in all the kingdom, and she DID NOT like the answer! That’s often the case in relationships.  When we live with someone else, they are holding a mirror up to us that points out our flaws (as well as our strengths).

I often hear,”It would be so much easier if I lived alone”.  Well, that’s true, when we live alone, there’s no talking mirror except the voices in our head.

Intimate relationships can be rough at the beginning. They can be like two jagged edged puzzle pieces trying to click into place. Sometimes it feels like you may not fit together at all, but with a little bit of compassion and understanding, you will probably find that you’ve found a wonderful partner.

Here are 9 Questions to ask yourself:

1. Can you be quiet together?

Being quiet together is comforting. Whether you are reading in the same room, or driving in the car, there’s a quiet peace between you.

2. Does your partner express interest in your successes and encourage you?

Your partner is not threatened by your growth, personally or in the work world. Your partner can take pleasure in your successes without feeling competitive.

3. You know your partner’s flaws and the benefits in them.

    Can you live with them?

Yes, it’s true. Our flaws have benefits. Every trait has a positive as well as a negative side. There is usually a benefit to each flaw. Stubborn people are good decision makers. Overly organized people are great at paying bills on time. If the flaws have to do with addiction or uncontrolled anger, that’s another story.

4. Do you share similar life goals?

You have similar values, ethics, and goals. You may have a different way of reaching those goals, but you both want the same end result.

5. Are you or your partner threatened by the need for alone time?

Whether it’s tennis three times a week or girls night out, you respect each others’ need for independence, knowing that when you get together, your time alone is special.

6. Can you respect each other’s differences and opinions?

Do you listen and honor the differences? Conversations can be challenging, and expressing concerns or attempting to make decisions can be uncomfortable. How you two disagree will tell you if you can grow together, or will grow apart.  

7. Do you know how to apologize?

It’s not easy to say “I’m sorry” or admit that you did something that hurt the person you love. A sincere apology acknowledges that the other was hurt, reflects on how the situation could have been handled differently, and if at fault, admits fault. Sometimes we don’t intend to harm others, but we inadvertently do.

It brings to mind the saying: “The road to hell is paved with good intention!”


8. Can you make room for each other’s personality?

Yes, I’m sorry to say it but, your partner is not going to be just like you. We are all different. Partners often compliment each other. It’s the yin and yang of harmony. One person may be an extrovert, while one is an introvert. One may be social, while the other a homebody. We are often attracted to a person who has qualities that are missing in ourselves.

9. Are your partner’s arms a safe haven?

There is no place you’d rather be at the end of the day but in each other’s arms. If you had a rough day filled with kids squabbling, a fight with your boss, or too many errands and phone calls, whatever happened is lighter when you cuddle up together. There is a warmth in your heart, an inner peace you can feel.

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, or the questions bring up MORE questions, call or email me for a consultation.  

(805) 648-3535   glorizeltzerma@gmail.com

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