Rafed English

Bring Yourself to Your Relationship

by Emma Viglucci

It is a phenomenon when we feel energized, connected, and alive past the infatuation stage of our relationship.

At the beginning, we fall in love. We feel euphoric, on top of the world, passionate, wanted, etc. This stage lasts and can be maintained only for so long. In this stage we live in a state of arousal: heart rate increases, different hormones and chemicals in our bodies are triggered, we loose our appetite, we need less sleep, we loose concentration, we become obsessed with the other, we spend most of our time together or thinking about each other, etc. This stage is Mother Nature's way of insuring a bond is created between two people. But eventually reality needs to set back in, and life needs to continue on happening.

It is at this point that couples start running into trouble. Negotiating and balancing the relationship, one's needs and life in general is a struggle. And so people do the best they can and resort to their usual defense mechanisms to cope with and manage their lives. These defenses are a trigger for their partner in that these do the opposite of what the partner needs. For example, you might go about business by being detached and aloof so life and the relationship are doable for you, but your partner needs somebody who is emotionally available who checks in, nurtures, caters, pampers, and wants to talk.

Because what our partner needs is out of the scope of our usual functioning, we have difficulties giving them what they need, and vice versa. This is how we get stuck in dissatisfying interactions. This is what creates the repeated arguments, issues and lack of resolution. This is how we start to grow distant. Sometimes we might get lucky and have a stretch of good days, but usually we feel out of sorts with our partner. This is the power struggle stage of relationships.

The reason we can't give our partner what they need, is because it would stretch who we currently are. Our partner is triggering old wounds in us that require the usual defense mechanisms to cope with the feelings. For us to do something different would mean becoming vulnerable, feeling unsafe, and very uncomfortable, that is if we are even able or even have the skills or know how on how to provide what our partner needs. This is due to us having had less than perfect caretaking growing up that truncated part of our development and skill building impeding us from having our full Self and associated skills accessible to us.

One way to start breaking this cycle and to be able to give each other what we need is to finish our developmental task of growing up, get to know and fully develop our Self. When we do this, we have our full Self to bring to our relationship to interact and be with our partner. When we are fully there we can then be in relationship. If we are not present or if we don't exist, how can we be in relationship?

Start acknowledging, finding, nurturing, holding, appreciating, accepting, recognizing, integrating, expanding, and owning your Self. Feel the liveliness, resonance, vibrancy, energy, buoyancy, warmth, glow, zeal, passion that is You. You are alive, you exist, you count, you matter, you make a difference, and you are needed for your Self, your partner and the world! Become the Master of You. Make sure being connected and feeling good in your relationship isn't just a phenomenon but a given in your relationship. Get your Self and share It!!

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