Being in a relationship is so rewarding on so many levels. We have connection, someone to go through life with, shared history, security, love, etc. We also have a mirror and competition. It is so easy to fall in the trap of projecting the things we hate about ourselves or our own failures onto our partners thus making them our mirror. It is also easy to fall in the trap of competing with our partner.
Making it work entails forgiving ourselves and our partners for disappointments and not meeting our expectations. It means building self-awareness that allows us to see when we are falling into these traps and taking responsibility for them. So while some of the work in a relationship happens between two partners, quite a bit more of the work happens within each of the individuals. Our partners can teach us a lot about ourselves and hopefully give us the space to develop both connection and boundaries.