A big reason why much in our relationships are in chaos is because we use people and things are ones loved by us.
I’ve once a married couple in therapy that lasted for about a year. Both of them came from very wealthy families.
Their lives together is laced with separate businesses, bank accounts, and managed properties. They “profit” from each other’s ventures.
In my working with them in our sessions, I could not be sure if marriage is truly the best word to describe their relationship. You see, since marriage, they never “dated.” Sex stopped for decades. They lived their lives as if they’re co-dorm mates.
Until one day. The wife discovered her husband having affairs with multiple women. One of them was housed in one of their condominium properties. Their world crashed. And both of them declared they still “love” each other.
It’s a deep mess. The unfaithful husband apologized for his betrayal. He assured his wife that he was letting go of the other women. And he agreed to his wife’s requirement for them to go through personal and marital therapy.
Both of their lives had not been easy despite their families’ affluence. They told me repeatedly of tales of abandonment, the drugs, the alcohol, and the lonely nights that define their past.
They speak of dysfunction freely of their families of origin. It was as much a part of their story as what happened to them in their relationship.
In therapy, they developed emergent awareness and honesty. When they’d learned to be honest, they’d become aware that much of their relationship with each other is focused on “things.” They used each other to increase these “things.”
And in the course of doing so, they missed each other’s persons.
Indeed, our pockets may be full. But our hearts are empty. Love people, not things. It’s the path to better living, your best self and relationships ever.