Understanding Partner Differences

Something happens to us in early courtship. 

Flooded with hormones, we see our partner through a blind set of eyes. They can do no wrong. They light us up from within. They’re everything we’ve ever wanted. “Soulmates”.

We tend to see ourselves in our partner. Sometimes, they bear the characteristics that we aspire towards. Other times, they seem like a mirror image of us. What better experience than to partner with ourselves for life? 

In some relationships, partners never seem to have conflict. They’ll say “we don’t fight” and seem to agree all the time.

That type of union makes it difficult for partners to evolve. It can also lead to something called enmeshment, where each partner seems to blend into the other with no distinct “I”. 

Other couples confront a different reality. They “suddenly” discover that one partner seems polar opposite to the other. This can wreak havoc on a couple’s self-concept. Partners wonder how they EVER got together to begin with. What were they each thinking?

Welcome to the world of differentiation.

Some couples fail to achieve it. Other couples struggle to accept it. 

What is healthy differentiation and why do we need it for healthy love?

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