Dick Schwartz, another leading Marriage and Family Therapist, and Founder of the Center For Self Leadership and Internal Family Systems, writes in his book You Are The One You’ve Been Waiting For that marriage is often a set-up for failure from the start because of the expectation that your mate will be your “redeemer” and fulfill all your unmet needs. This expectation will inevitably result in disappointment and discord.
No partner can fulfill and redeem another. One must first learn how to lead from the self so he/she is able to connect with his/her own natural ability for caring, compassion and courage. By identifying and working with your own hurting parts, learning their story and the emotions and beliefs they hold, you are able to connect with your self and become more “self-lead.”
The ability to be in “self leadership” will allow you to avoid the expectation of your partner to fulfill your unmet needs and therefore remove the constant let down you experience when your partner doesn’t. In turn, this will set the stage for resolving conflict in such a way that each partner feels heard and understood.