As a life coach I have witnessed the good the bad and the ugly of relationships that sit behind some of the worlds most talented individuals. And what I’ve discovered about human nature is that it is sometimes happy to hand over aspects of life that make it dysfunctional because it “feels good” to become one instead of two people in a relationship.
Two people in a relationship will survive a very long time, but when there is a merging that goes past a healthy inner life and attempts to divide up roles that a healthy individual needs to personally embrace, the dependency becomes unhealthy, when two people become one, then one of them isn’t necessary.
Peter was a businessman – working in high powered corporate finance, his partner, was a writer, musician, performer. They divided their inner world into “he’s the creative one” and “Peter is the money guy” a divide that led both of them to incredible unhappiness.
Peter went to work thinking his partner would express his creative talent for him, and so, Peter’s attitude at work was cold, remote and removed. His partner went to work and felt bullied and emotionally overwhelmed because in their relationship, Peter had all that macho strength and he had little of it.
They loved each other but the more they tried to help each other by dividing their inner worlds into strengths and roles, the darker their individual lives became. And this started impacting their relationship.
When I began coaching Peter he simply wanted to raise his personal game at work, He had an opinion of himself that was rich, but he was tired, and he confessed, things at home were getting less fun. He was a great guy, but the divide in his heart was a wall of steel. When I tapped on that wall he bit back, protecting his discovered and corporatised identity.
But, my job is to take the bites and ignore the push back. Bit by bit he began to recognise his creativity – started to become whole, started to take back from his partner what he had thought was a healthy divide of two into one. He cooked a meal, wrote a poem, joined others for a cafe lunch and became more like his partner. Taking back what he had lovingly handed over, becoming whole again.
His partner didn’t like it. His partner had rule the home with his creative dominance and felt diminished, belittled by the sudden lack of dependency. Suddenly his partner felt a competitor in his lair. I became a controversial topic in their home. But Peter knew, he had to become whole again, be his full self, in order to embrace a rich inner life as well as the success of the money he made.
We say at Innerwealth, change one, change all, and this story is the perfect mirror of that. As Peter emerged from his time in Siberia, as the business half of a merged identity with his partner, so too, kicking and screaming his partner had to emerge from the plastic coated cocoon that had diminished his prowess as a commercially successful artist, he pushed back on the bullying, found his commercial voice and started to feel whole for the first time in his own life.
Now, two whole and balanced people can do what lovers are meant to do, meet heart to heart as two whole individuals, balanced people sharing a loving home taking full responsibility for their inner richness in a holistic way, no divides, even though, at home, Peter’s partner still chooses their evening music… it’s no longer because Peter thinks he can’t, it’s simply easier to dance to the music his partner chooses.