Author: Ann Schiebert
Types of Intimate Relationships
The Marriage Divorce Intimacy Style, Part 3
How do we create intimate marriages that sustain? How can we strive to open ourselves to the person who is supposed to be our closest ally – our husband, wife, partner? The years we have practiced the, “meet, lust/love, marry, divorce,” cycle have made our, “joining,” rituals feel comfortable. Sincerely opening up to another will make this a challenge. So many couples go through this cycle and the deepest continuing conversation they have is, “How was your day?” “Fine, how was yours?” “Fine.” “How was your golf game?” “Fine.” These types of superficial ways of talking to each other serve to depersonalize the relationship.
To approach change:
1. Know what you want in a partner. Because of the aging process, the 25 year old good looks, change over time. Look DEEPER. What characteristics do you want your partner to have? Make a list. Look back on the article in this Blog about Values and figure out what YOUR values are. Is it important for your potential partner to share them?
2. Between divorce and your next relationship, spend at least one year alone. If you have been going from relationship to relationship, time to take a break and get to know yourself. If the idea of being, “alone,” with yourself is terrifying, you might want to get some counseling about relationship addiction.
3. During your time alone with yourself, find a safe place, like a therapy group, where you can get feedback from objective people about how YOU are experienced on an interpersonal level.
4. Volunteer for something. This is a great way to get OUTSIDE of yourself. If you like dogs, volunteer at the SPCA or AARF. If you like helping people, investigate what service you could offer that would be gratifying.
5. Find a spiritual connection or develop a spiritual practice. Whether this looks like going to church or meditation, or visiting a Buddhist Temple, open yourself to the concept that YOU are not the center of the universe. Through this realization, most people are able to adjust their, “focus of self,” while in relationship, to a, “focus of us and self.”
More on this topic, next post.