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SELF-HELP COLUMN

Dr. Steve Frisch, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in
Chicago, Illinois and Northfield, Illinois.

You can contact Dr. Frisch, Psy.D. at
(847) 498-5611.


Personal Freedom: How to Empower Your Partner to be Who They Are
by Dr. Steve Frisch, Psy.D.

Is there anyone who hasn’t wished at one time or another that their partner could give more to the relationship than they were giving? Is there anyone who at one time or another hasn’t tried to point out to their partner how they have it all wrong—they’re not communicating right, they’re not attending to your wants and desires the way they should, they’re not opening up enough, they’re not spending enough time with you, they’re not…, they’re not…, they’re not…

Is it any surprise then, when your partner pulls further away rather than gets closer, shuts down rather than opens up more, becomes less rather than more available? Does your relationship leave room for you and your partner to be who you are or motivate you to oppose who you want each other to be?

Do you and your partner give each other to be who you are? Are each of you able to freely express in words and actions who you are? How do you limit who you’re partner can be? How do you attempt to shape who your partner is? These questions go to the heart and soul of the degree of personal freedom that exists in your relationships.

It shouldn’t be too hard to see the problem is not what you want for yourself in your relationships as much as how you go about getting what you want in your relationships. As I’ve stated many times before the fulfillment of you and your partner’s emotional needs is the heart and soul of your relationship but to do so while infringing on the personal freedom of your partner will only poison your relationship.

So how can you create and enhance personal freedom in your relationship? Consider the following and the relevance it has to how you treat and are treated by your partner.

Personal freedom in a relationship is about permission—permission to be who each of you are. Personal freedom in a relationship is about celebration—celebrating the differences that exist between you and your partner. Personal freedom in a relationship is about honoring—honoring the innate value and worth that you and your partner have within yourselves. Personal freedom in a relationship is about acceptance—accepting that your partner will likely always love you imperfectly.

Bridge Builder’s Checklist
1.) Commit to honoring who your partner is.
2.) Commit to developing tolerance for the differences that exist between you and your partner.
3.) Commit to accepting your partner for who your partner is.
4.) Commit to stop trying to change who your partner is.
5.) Commit to appreciate how your partner expresses their love for you.
6.) Commit to empowering how your partner expresses who your partner is.

For more information about how to create personal freedom in your relationship, read chapter 5 (Personal Freedom) in Dr. Frisch’s, Psy.D. free online book, Building Better Bridges: Creating Great Relationships With the People Who Matter Most.

G.B.U.

Steve



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