Did you know that there are always 4 people in a relationship, not just the usual two? Knowing this can help you understand a lot about relationships:
• why you have those brief, frustrating, and dead-end relationships
• how a great relationship can, without apparent cause, suddenly turn into such a downer
• why it's so difficult to talk with someone even though they seem wonderful
• why it's so difficult to have a meaningful conversation with your significant other
• why asking someone for a date requires so much courage.
For those of you who are married, you're probably thinking the other two people in your relationship are your in-laws. Well, they may be trying to insert themselves into the relationship, but that would mean there would be 8 people fighting for their place! So, let's just concentrate on a relationship between you and one other person.
Carl Jung said that getting a better grip on understanding the difficulties between men and women begins by accepting that we are androgynous. Androgyny is a Greek term made up of two words: andros and gynos. Andros means "male" and "gynos" means "female." So, if we are androgynous, then whether we are physically male or female, we each contain an invisible opposite. In other words, a man while expressing physically as a man has an invisible female or "feeling nature." A woman while expressing physically as a woman has an invisible male or "thinking nature."
So, in any relationship between the sexes, there are actually four people involved. Two visible and two invisible. Many of your relationship problems can come from the fact that you are not aware that you have an internal and invisible partner who is nonetheless REAL! And, your invisible partner expects to be nurtured just like you do.
When you hear people say that a man should get in touch with his feminine or a woman should embrace her intellect, this is more than mere fancy. It is based on the truth – on how important this relationship is between you and your invisible partner.
GETTING IN TOUCH WITH YOUR OPPOSITE
Why is getting in touch with your opposite so important? No matter what kind of relationship you are in –marriage, dating, friend, co-worker - it doesn't matter. They are all influenced by the quality of the relationship you have with your invisible opposite.
How does this work? Well, any part of the relationship you have with your invisible opposite that you're unaware of or refuse to accept will be projected into the relationships you have in the world. In other words, you see these attitudes as coming from out there rather than from inside your mental world.
Now these projections are strong psychic energy, and they can be of a positive or a negative nature. They exhibit such powerful energy that you will swear the object of your affection or the object of your disgust is out there and you know his or her name. Of course, the relationship you have with an inner opposite ranges in intensity.
In the extremes, if you are a man and have a negative relationship with your inner opposite, your projection will cause you to see the woman in your relationship as a witch. If your projection is positive, she will seem to be a goddess or an angel. For a woman with a negative relationship with her inner opposite, the male recipient of her projection will be a demon. If her projection is positive, she will see him as a knight in shining armor, her savior.
The ability of the invisible opposite to project itself outward explains why people can fall head over heels at first sight. Falling in love like this is almost always caused by a person projecting a positive opposite onto some other person. Our divorce rate is close to 50%. I believe this happens because rather than two real people getting married, two projections get married. When the façade caused by the projection falls away the marriage ends.
Romeo and Juliet are a good example of this type of projection. They were each projecting the highest view of a positive invisible opposite onto each other. No human can, for very long, live up to the standard set by such a powerful psychic projection. Sooner or later, the illusion fails, and they fall out of love as dramatically and quickly as they fell into love. These kinds of relationships are not grounded in reality. Can you imagine Romeo and Juliet dealing with diapers?
THE REAL PURPOSE OF YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
To say that relationships are complex is a huge understatement. I don't have all the answers but I want to offer you a way of looking at them that may help you see that the struggles between the sexes has a much deeper purpose than just getting along. While the relationships between men and women seem so important on a human level, they are meant to serve a much higher purpose on a spiritual, psychological level. Seeing this higher purpose makes the difficulties much more reasonable and meaningful.
The only real, lasting purpose of earthly relationships is to give each individual involved the opportunity to bring themselves into a state of complete harmony with their invisible partner.
When we come to this planet, the relationship with our invisible opposite is in various stages of antagonism. Interestingly, we are totally unaware that our invisible opposite exists and that our primary responsibility is to develop a loving relationship with it.
Let me recount an ancient myth that illustrates this concept of invisible partners. According to the story, there was a time when beings were shaped like spheres. These spherical beings had four arms, four legs and two heads facing in opposite directions. These beings developed tremendous power and made the gods envy and fear them. So the gods cut the spheres in half and scattered them around the planet to divide their power. It is said that when two of these halves find each other, they are joined in a bond of love and harmony.
Most of the time people think this is referring to finding a "soul mate." But what the myth is really illustrating is the power you have when you become "at one" with your invisible partner. When this happens, your thoughts (the masculine) and your feelings (the feminine) are in harmony. This harmony enables you to be the fully functioning, creative being you were meant to be.
This is the planet of lesson. Learning to be in harmony with the sum total of what you are is called being in love with yourself. Love is the glue of the universe. It is the harmonizing magnetic force that draws like things together. You attract what you are, not what you want. The more harmony and love you have within yourself the more you attract its likeness in the world of your relationships.
So, if you're having trouble in a relationship, consider how you feel about your invisible partner. Perhaps you're projecting your own insecurities about your feminine or masculine nature onto others. If you have trouble talking with the opposite sex, maybe you're avoiding dealing with your inner opposite. If you're sitting across the breakfast table from someone and you feel a subtle dread and an emptiness, it may only be mirroring the relationship you have with your invisible opposite. If you're timid about asking for a date or fearful of accepting one, you may just be afraid to get involved with either your feelings or your thoughts.
No one ever said relationships are easy, but it helps to know that there are 4 people contributing to the quality of a relationship – not just two!