Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Questions and Answers on Relationships

We worked through a lot of issues... Please explain... what issues have you worked through? Were they the same issues you have now? If that is so, then maybe you haven't worked through these issues.

We have no intimacy... What does intimacy mean to you? Intimacy doesn't mean sexual or physical gratification. Intimacy means allowing another person to get to know you without all the masks, roles and pretense most of us use to protect ourselves. Has your partner tried to get to know you? Have you allowed them in?

There's no passion... What is lacking here, sexual passion? Was there ever any? Is this a problem of different libidos or a problem of sexual attraction?

I'm just so worried I'm making a mistake... Maybe we are making a mistake. We have tried couples counseling for some time with little to show for it. Have we considered going to individual counseling first to sort out our own issues before we try to fix our partner? One of the first things we all learn is that if we expect our relationship to get better we have to stop trying to fix and change our partner and work on changing ourselves. Once we have worked through our own issues then we are ready to try couples work and improve our relationship. The cart before the horse rarely produces results.

I'm so bitter from the lack of love being shown me and the way I'm made to feel, like I have to beg for love... Once we become embittered and lose our ability to be compassionate toward our partner we are doing to them exactly what we feel they are doing to us. It becomes a self fulfilling cycle of victimization and punishment. We move from being the victim (such a comfy role) to being the punisher (the angry role) and build walls keeping each other out.

Nothing changes and I'm tired of hoping it will - when it seems apparent it won't... even if we could make each other happy it seems it would be both of us somehow being something were not, it would always be fake...This is the saddest comment of all... anticipating that even if our partner does change, we would still be unhappy because it wouldn't be spontaneous. The best relationships are those where both partners make a conscious decision to do the work necessary to make intimacy and passion happen. They often don't happen on their own when partners are tuckered out from working so hard and helping around the house. Partners may begin to get lazy. Instead of trying to make things better with action and effort they may resort to the lazy way of fixing things... complaining... pointing fingers... blaming... It is much harder to do the work of making the effort than it is to blame our partner. Sadly when our partner makes an effort, often we are so angry and bitter that we don't give our partner the appreciation they need to feed that effort. So, after a couple of weeks of trying and not really getting the feedback they need... they give up. No relationship stays static. It is always changing, hopefully growing, and always needs maintenance and care or it dies. How would you feel if you failed and your partner didn't give you another chance to make it right?

I love my partner, but I cant take the pain... Love isn't a feeling. Love is an action verb... it is a word that indicates a willingness to put the person we love before ourselves. Love is patient, kind, gentle, appreciative, humble, giving... when we love we allow them to fail and try again.

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