What a couple’s relationship is all about?

MentalPress 21

I shall pretend there are others. It’s a lie.
It’s only you. You, my misfortune
and my fortune, inexhaustible and pure.

Borges

After talking about the different ways that a relationship can grow apart, Peter said about his relationship: “what is love at the end? We have been living together for 15 years, have two beautiful children and we cannot look each other in the eye.” This is the story of many couples damaged by the corrosion of bored, un-loved and un-wanted actions. This implies that couples not only need their strengths to live but quality and durability need to be considered to prevent this deterioration, which in many cases, is prevalent and indeterminable.

How to assess the probability of a satisfactory performance in a relationship, including the assessment of its risks? How to plan prevention to ensure quality durability?

The first step is to really know in your gut, body, mind, heart and spirit that this is the partner you really want in your life. As you noticed, I used the word “really” twice because this is a choice, and is a decision made from the place where you feel most confident.

After thinking and deciding about it then, these are the ingredients to mix:

  • Be yourself and not the person that you have become because your partner “needed it”.
  • Intimacy is a process of self-revelation. Intimacy means to share your emotions, thoughts, fears, desires, dreams, experiences and wants with the other person. It means authenticity and self-love.

  • Don’t try to change your partner. A relationship is about receiving, but most importantly, it is about giving.
  • Be aware of the power – control issues that emerge in the relationship in terms of responsibility, discipline, role negotiation, and decision making.
  • “Control” helps you to feel safe. It doesn’t help the relationship to endure.

  • Couples need time for sexual intimacy. Erotize your desire when you look at your partner’s eyes. Don’t look at him/her as your wife, or your husband, or a father, a mother or a friend. Instead, look at the playful, risky, adventurous, spontaneous, seductive, funny lover that they are.
  • - Non-sexual communication is 93% of our communication. Use it to break the brakes.

    - Make time to love your partner:10 sec, 30 min, 1 hour or 3 hours. Don’t let children, work, parenting, parents, finances get in the way.

  • Learn how to communicate with each other, learn problem solving strategies and share tasks equally. Do not blame. But take responsibility for the way you contribute to the discord in the couple.
  • Be aware of the challenges that differences in culture, norms and values bring to the relationship. Build a bridge between the world of your partner and your own. Practice “visiting” with curiosity.
  • A healthy couple has a sense of stability, novelty and flexibility.
  • Couples are connected through their histories. They both bring a luggage full of family origin influences and childhood experiences that must be shared to solve conflicts.
  • Couples make a DEAL that is changeable over time. They continue growing and learning from the crises, the challenges and changes which life events bring.
  • Keep healthy boundaries. Think about your partner’s needs and wants as your own. But do not fear saying “no”. The couple requires self-differentiation. It also requires them have a separate identity and individuality combined with negotiation along with the ability to create a third field behind what is recognized as “right” or “wrong”.

A relationship is a journey with periods of transition and deep transformation. It’s like the stages of development in life. Beginning as a baby when learning to walk during the first year, it continues to grow independently in the following 5 years, feels liberated during adolescence and finally matures, during adulthood. What I call “lasting quality” in couples requires courage, investment, innovation and dedication.

How do you maintain “lasting quality” in your relationship? What is the quality of your relationship now? What are you willing to do to create novelty and fun? What has been a challenge in your relationship?

Leave your comments below. I would love to hear your story and be part of this conversation.

If you have questions or would like to read information about any specific topic, you can email me to ympsychotherapy@gmail.com.