It is an important aspect of the Relationship Path that we accept each other’s imperfections. Indeed we go further, we help each other to minimise the negative effects of each other’s issues. This is in sharp contrast to when we followed a therapeutic path in which we confronted each other about imperfections. Wherever possible we will work on our attitudes and traumas, using a variety of different tools, so that they impact our lives as little as possible. However we also accept that there are some aspects of our personal history that we cannot change – they have become an integral part of our personality.
For example I become irrationally nervous whenever I am preparing to travel anywhere. I can watch my body doing its thing and accept what is happening, but it is beyond my conscious control to stop its reactions to travel. I know a lot of this dates back to my mother being evacuated from London in 1944 a few weeks before she gave birth to me; she was terrified because she was leaving her mother and sisters and also not knowing where she was going. Eva accepts this about me and helps me to overcome it by giving me reassurance and by making most of our travel arrangements. Over time her care of me in this context is actually reducing my reaction to travelling, but it has not (yet) eliminated it.
We now regard it as a central part of our path to accept the aspects of each other that cannot be changed and to work together to alleviate the associated symptoms. It is an important way in which we care for each other. However there is a danger in this approach, namely that we will collude together in avoiding facing something that should be confronted – something that is not in the category of impossible to change.
There is an important distinction between acceptance and collusion. When two people collude about an issue they both receive a pay-off, they both avoid facing something about themselves, although usually different things. In contrast when a couple accepts one person’s trip, the person with the trip receives a pay-off in not facing it, but the other partner does not (apart from the general improvement in the relationship).
An example of an early collusion between Eva and me was that I blamed her for everything (thereby avoiding facing my responsibility) and she assumed it was her fault because she was a bad person (which enabled her to avoid taking responsibility as well). A more recent example of collusion between us is my ‘superman trip’, described in detail here. My pay-offs were avoiding feeling vulnerable, avoiding noticing when I was not considered and feeling superior because I was doing everything. Eva’s pay-offs were not having to do much, feeling protected by an invulnerable strong man and free to focus on herself most of the time. So we were both receiving pay-offs that involved not facing stuff about ourselves – and were therefore holding back our relationship.
It is important to note that whilst we were colluding on the ‘superman’ trips we were able to make Divine contact and have a great relationship. Since we have made progress undoing the collusions involved in the superman trip, we have found it even easier to make Divine contact, we experience even more love between us – in short our relationship has become even better. And this has been our experience all along, each time we remove something between us things improve and this encourages us to face the next issue.