David Viscott, in his book How to Live With Another Person, explains:
Relationships seldom die because they suddenly have no life left in them. They wither slowly, either because people do not understand how much or what kind of upkeep, time, work, love and caring they require or because people are too lazy or afraid to try. A relationship is a living thing. It needs and benefits from the same attention to detail that an artist lavishes on his art.
If you are reading this article chances are you have fallen victim to, or know someone who has fallen victim to, a weak, broken or struggling relationship. Either you or someone you love appears to have lost the once deep feelings of love, adoration, respect and appreciation you felt for one another. Don’t despair. There is a way to turn your love around. But you must want to learn your relationship skills and be willing to use them to keep your relationship strong.
In today’s fast paced world, we can too easily turn around and find ourselves miserable. We don’t understand what causes our love and happiness to shrink before our eyes, wither and begin to die. We work hard to achieve success at work, often to discover that we are failing at home. We are in a constant struggle to accumulate more, only to discover that in the end, it is not enough. We give all we’ve got, only to find that we feel taken for granted, or worse, someone we love wants out of the relationship because they have decided that they can’t take it anymore.
There are irrefutable laws of attaining and maintaining happy and successful relationships by using simple, effective, time-tested techniques filled with love, emotional intelligence, and logic, but more importantly, you must be able to identify the greatest enemy of happy, successful relationships: entitlement.
Entitlement is one of man’s slyest enemies because it pretends to be a friend, an advocate, something that has our best interest in mind. However, it is more like an illusionist who draws our attention away from what is real and important. It seduces us into believing whatever illusion it creates. When the smoke and mirrors are removed we discover that entitlement is a clever enemy whose true goal is to steal happiness and success from every life that it touches. Everything that entitlement promises to bring you, fulfillment, happiness, security, power, and/or love ultimately becomes its opposite.
Entitlement is the clever destroyer of what you care about most, and you need to arm yourself with the knowledge of how to defend you, and those you love, from entitlement’s destructive wrath.
At The Relationship Healing Resort couples retreat or private intensive, you will learn to recognize entitlement and the sound of its voice, even as it tries to disguise itself as a friend. The clearest, simplest way to do this is by learning how to monitor your thoughts, which color your perception of life. The connection between your thoughts and the outcome of your life is inseparable.
As the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Neils Bohr put it: “What we experience is not external reality, but our interaction with it.” In this context, perceptions are profoundly influenced by our beliefs and the thoughts that sustain them. Therefore, you will find entitlement thriving in all the places where your life simply doesn’t work, the places where your relationships are falling apart—areas where you are unfulfilled, dissatisfied, and completely miserable.