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What is the single most important success factor with your intimate relationship?

I share my answer to this question from my own experience. For me…

It’s a realization more than something you do.

It’s easy to forget, to overlook, to by-pass.

But it’s impact is profound.

It’s so simple… and yet depending where you are in your consciousness it may be difficult to live it.

But I know it can be done. I’ve experienced it, and as a partner, it is very liberating.

So this is it:

It’s to own that everything that arises in consciousness – whether it’s love, happiness, sadness, turmoil, pain, anger, resentment, frustration, indeed any emotion or feeling state is mine. It arose in the story of ‘me’.

If my partner has done something to trigger an emotional reaction in me, then that is what has happened. At this point, the easy and most habitual response would be to feel the emotion and tell myself a story about what my partner has done to me. I have noticed that when I do that, it escalates, the emotional response gets more intense and the story I tell myself gets more intense and before I know it, I am blaming my partner for what happened. Then when I express that blame to her, she gets triggered and off we go on the conflict merry-go-round.

Errgghh!! (sound of horn blaring)


I need to take a fresh look at this – to interrupt the pattern.

My partner has done something that has triggered an emotional reaction. It is my emotional reaction and most likely it has NOTHING to do with my partner. They are simply the one that has stimulated the reaction in me. The core understanding of this is that emotional reactivity is what we bring from our childhood as unresolved trauma.

So this means that to deal with my emotional reaction I need to own that what has been triggered is a pattern of unconscious reactivity in my being. And choose to respond differently.

On the other side…

I have experienced my partner getting triggered by something I did, and excusing herself while she sat with the uncomfortable feelings until she was able to come to a resolution by herself.

OMG! That is amazing to witness.

My body is flooded with gratitude when I acknowledge her capacity to take responsibility for what is going on within her.

So that’s it.

The single most important success factor in intimate relationship is to take responsibility for your own emotional reaction and to acknowledge that your partner has simply been the trigger point.

Then it’s just a matter of doing what you need to do to resolve the energy in your body… and that’s the subject of another post.

By the way, I am not condoning passive receipt of abuse. If your partner is abusing you, it’s an opportunity to stand for yourself and what is important to you. That too is a topic of another post.

What do you think?

What would you say was your most important success factor with your intimate relationship?

I’d love to hear your answer to the question here.

I have created a 'Loving Together' workshop to support my work with couples. You may like to explore this here.

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