“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
— Marianne Williamson
Successful marriage counselors remind clients that sometimes the inadequacy of loving each other can be the necessary motivation to building
a successful relationship. Let’s take a look at how insecurity can lead to success.
Meg Ryan once said, “Oh, I’m so inadequate, and I love myself!” What a wonderful feeling it is to embrace our insecurities and inadequacies. Most of us have been taught to replace inadequacy with confidence and security. If at first we don’t succeed in a relationship, we build up our ego (I am a good person, I am worth loving, etc.), attack the problem (You’re doing this wrong), and disconnect from that partner if we become hurt through our efforts to change them. What high expectations we set for ourselves and others, asking to satisfy each other as though love were a right-or-wrong proposition! But what if the inadequacy of loving someone “wrong” could somehow become the motivational factor to loving them right?
Confused? Allow me to explain.
Loving Right: Is There Such a Thing?
If you’ve read enough relationship books and articles, you probably know that each of us has our own love languages. According to marriage counselor Dr. Gary Chapman, there are five methods to communicating: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. Despite the popularity of this message, many of us in relationships continue to disagree on how to love each other. Some couples are too busy trying to convince each other that they are doing it wrong to actually think about what’s right. Eventually, both partners team up on opposing sides, each trying to get what they want. It never crosses their mind that by admitting their inadequacies and wrongs, rather than creating shame, disconnection, and disagreement, they could be finding new forms of intimacy.
While women tend to be creatures with the gift of gab, when it comes to compatibility with men, she is often just as lost and confused as he is. Women pride themselves in their ability to create strong bonds with one another, but this pride can be their downfall if they become too confident in their ability to lead a love relationship. Men are often seen as less verbal and more intimacy-challenged, so when there is a problem, the fault gets thrown in the man’s court. It’s not that he hasn’t done anything wrong, but rather that the partnership has failed to accept equal fault in the situation. Sometimes, the only way to find neutral ground is to admit we are lost when it comes to communicating and to ask our partner for help.
Loving Wrong: Yeah, that’s Right!
To improve any relationship, the first thing to do is accept your inadequacies and openly acknowledge that you might be loving that person wrong. It’s OK, go ahead, you’ll feel a lot better once you do it.
Okay, I admit it. I don’t always know how to love you. So now what?
You’ve just taken the first step to learning what loving right is all about. Now take your frustration and confusion, scoot your pride aside, and ask your partner what it is they need from you. They may wonder what type of reverse psychology you’re playing, but they’ll be relieved to admit their own share of guilt and inadequacy in the relationship. By declining the role of being “right,” you’re releasing yourself from the fear of failure. Without that fear, you have no more excuses for why you’ll never find anyone capable of loving you the way you want. Without excuses, you can finally open up negotiations, getting what you really want out of your relationships, by offering compassion towards your partner.
After all, when it comes to love and relationships, there is no wrong or right, only happiness and unhappiness. Which end would you rather be on?