Is Your Partner on a Pedestal?
Thinking of your partner as a god/goddess may not be as beneficial to your relationship as you think. We’ve all been there, staring at our partner across the table with large, adoring eyes. Yes, maybe s/he didn’t wash a dish or didn’t say thank you for the meal you created, but none of that matters, because your partner can do no wrong. Right? Wrong! Come and let’s take a closer look at what idolizing your partner can really do.
Staring out the window into the night sky, Cynthia waited for Allen to come home. She had worked extra hard to clean the condo, and make sure everything was presentable. She couldn’t help but think about how amazing he was, and how lucky she was to have him in her life. After all, he was everything she dreamed of in a man. He was a Venture Capitalist on Wall Street, well respected his community, and a gentleman. Cynthia praised Allen daily for his achievements and looked up to him. When he called, she always answered. When he upset Cynthia, she would create excuses for him, and forgive him without discussion. Cynthia sighed, smiled, and continued to wait for Allen.
Unfortunately, Allen came home later than usual that night. This seemed to be often occurring, but Cynthia dismissed the issue like she always did, and received Allen with no questions and an open heart. Once home, Allen would tell Cynthia she was the only girl for him, that he thought about her all day, that one day that would get married, while Cynthia’s eyes lit up with love and adoration.
Three months later, Cynthia was cleaning Allen’s coats and found something very peculiar in a pocket. It was entrance badge to an insurance company with Allen’s name on it. Holding it in her hand, she could no longer ignore the continuous red flags that had been occurring. Cynthia researched the company, and to her surprise found Allen listed as an employee. Knowing that he lied about his job, she began to search through his other belongings. She found an email from a woman that also lived in the city. “Can’t wait to see you,” it read. Cynthia was absolutely disoriented. How could Allen do this? She thought she knew exactly who he was….
According to the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships (May 2014), putting your partner on a pedestal may cause them to pull away, and lie about their core identity. “People who see themselves as over-idealized by their partners experience a threat to their sense of self. They feel their partner doesn’t know them, and the has expectations they can’t or don’t want to meet.”
“People who feel over-idealized are also less likely to make accommodations for their relationships.”
"People who are feeling over-idealized may feel like they have more power in the relationship, so they may be less willing to put their partner first.”
It’s easy, isn’t it? To meet the partner of your dreams and elevate them higher than yourself. S/he seems wiser, more sophisticated, surely a King or Queen. Unfortunately, thinking that way does not give your partner much room to be human, to make mistakes, to feel safe to come to you if he/she feels fearful or sad. You are equal to your partner in every possible way. So next time you feel the slightest elevation of your honey remember this, what goes up, must come down. Eliminate the pedestal and reclaim your energy in relationships!
Relationship Coach, and Master Healer of the Mind, Body, and Spirit.