Who is lying? Robert Feldman in his book, “The Liar in your Life”, authored a famous study that found strangers lie to each other about three times in the first ten minutes of meeting each other. And that the average person lies up to 200 times a day. And intimate partners lie, prevaricate or conceal the …
So, there you are having a full-on fight. You each want to prove how wrong the other is. You each want the final, clever last word. And you want your partner to truly see you, and to sympathise with your different perspectives. Having the last word. Even my daughter’s dog, Juno, does this: She’s been …
Christmas holidays are destabilizing, because of the loss of routine and structure of ordinary life. The freedom of the holidays might feel good, but familiar comforts are not available. The gym is closed, and the cleaner is on holidays. Your favourite trades-people are on a long break, often for a whole month, so your usual acts of commerce, which provide both structure and interaction with others, are not available. Apart from not being able to toss off a few DIYs, you feel at a loss.
Mental health issues are at a peak during the holiday season, and loss of routine and structure is one of the main reasons. The other is the unrealistic expectations around what feelings you are going to have, of love and family warmth.
Texting is an important part of most peoples lives. In Tennis anyone? Keeping the communication ball in play, I give examples of how texting can smooth the way to clear communication as a couple. You can also deal with practical details quickly. Even messages of love and affection via text can keep you connected. But there …
Finally we get right to the heart of the sexual aspect of your relationship. How you keep sex alive will depend on your own individuality, as well as the individuality of your partner. And of course, how you combine that individuality.
The next few Insights will focus on sexuality, so we will cover the subject fairly thoroughly. In this Insight you will be invited into self-inquiry. Self-knowledge is crucial for every aspect of relationship, and especially your sexuality.
In another Insight, “How many serious ruptures” I summarised the basis for building trust as a couple.
Firstly, you consistently turn towards opportunities to connect with your partner.
Secondly, you acknowledge and talk about any feelings of unhappiness with your partner.
And thirdly, you consistently see your partner in a favourable light. That is, you cultivate a benevolent perspective, where you interpret your partner kindly.
Here in this Insight I give much more detail about how trust is gradually and consistently built over time. (Trust can also be eroded over time, but that is not the perspective I am taking here.)
When two people get together as a couple, they bring two completely different ideas of what things mean. Sorting out these meanings takes time. The differences in meanings are about specific words, specific values, the value you place on events such as Christmas, and specific ethics. You create an alchemy as a couple. You forge a …
Couples often ask how many serious ruptures does it take before their relationship is beyond repair. In other words, when is it time to give up? Clearly they are in despair.
The answer to this is not straight forward, and here is an analogy to demonstrate the complexities of such a situation.
Say you have a garden, with a patch of lawn/turf that gets a lot of traffic. (This is the vulnerable part of your relationship.) The kids take a shortcut on the way to the front door. You take a shortcut on the way to the car. The dog has a favourite circuit of the yard, which includes that particular patch of grass. The habits of life create a lot of wear-and-tear for that patch.