So often I hear my clients say that they still love their partner but are no longer in love. Often this is given as the reason for wanting to end an otherwise good relationship. These clients always make this claim with some despondency and with a sense of finality, as though once it’s gone it’s gone.
This is understandable, as it’s a common belief that there is the exciting, passionate ‘in love’ honeymoon period and then there is dreary ‘loving’ companionship ever after. But is this fact or myth? Is loss of ‘in love-ness’ inevitable or can we keep it going? read more...
The LoveLife Blog: guidance on mindful, bodyful, soulful loving!
The fairy tales got it wrong. Two do not become one and live happily ever after. Two halves do not make a whole. Rather, two complete people come together and form a third entity, their coupledom. You, me and us. Not just us.
'Two becoming one' is co-dependence. Two becoming three - two self-reliant individuals and a strong bond as a couple - that's what gives security and freedom in life.
I was in session with a couple recently, looking at some challenging aspects of their relationship, when one of them said: ‘I guess you have to wade through your shit to get the insights to make change…’ and I responded with: ‘You’re not wading through it, you’re composting it!’.
They loved the analogy! And it’s a good one. We’ve all got our shit – defences, traumas, fears, confusions, resentments - that has accumulated over our history. If you don’t deal with it, it ferments and turns bad. But if you do deal with it, you are composting it, turning it into fertilizer for new growth. read more...
You can live life to the full or you can sink into dreary monotony. You can mature with vibrancy or you can grow old and tired. You can have a relationship that continues to explore and grow or you can have one of complacency and dullness. You can see your parenting role as one of keeping under control or as growth and delight (for you and your children).
It’s a choice. There is nothing ‘inevitable’ about how life turns out. The only thing inevitable is that life mirrors your attitude and beliefs. If you believe life, relationships, anything is all downhill after the early flush, it will be. If you believe life can continue to open up and bring new and interesting experiences, it will. read more...
Phase One: Two Become One
When we fall in love, there is so much newness and discovery that it’s very easy to feel like ‘two become one’, you feel you have so much in common! It’s just like the fairy-tales and you feel that you really will ‘live happily ever after’!!!
This is the ‘symbiotic’ phase of a relationship. It’s a very important part and builds a strong foundation.
Symbiosis or Fusion?
However, inevitably, you start to realise that two have not become one, two are still two. The cracks start to appear, your differences are more obvious and unsettling. I call this the ‘aargh’ phase of a relationship.
At the end of my last Couples Retreat, one participant, who’d had quite a challenging time of it, declared with a big smile and evident relief that she realised that prior to the retreat she had not been relationship-oriented.
I see this a lot, in various manifestations.
In some couples, one declares they are quite happy in the relationship and so their dissatisfied partner must have their own issues to deal with. Well, no, I’m afraid that if one person is not happy then there is something wrong with the relationship not with only one of the individuals in it. Thinking otherwise is not being relationship-oriented.
I see other couples where they might both be feeling dissatisfied in the relationship, but one claims to know what the problem is, and the problem is the partner, who needs to sort out ‘their’ issues. This person is also not relationship-oriented.
The secret to a strong relationship is that you merge your love and sexual energies within you and share that constantly. This creates a unique vibration between you, like your own radio frequency. It’s a frequency that has the warmth and support of love yet with a zest, a frission of the sexual. It is a potent energy.
This frequency manifests in myriad small ways throughout the day - in looks, touches, comments, tokens (gifts, surprises, services). I’ve described this in other blogs as sharing ‘quanta of deliciousness’, maintaining the 'mmm' factor, and focusing on the 'beforeplay' .
When you keep this frequency strong it creates a depth of connection, a profound intimacy. It makes it both easier to move into genital sexual connection, as you are already so connected it’s not a great jump (important for people who have resistance or difficulty being interested in genital interaction), and paradoxically genital sexual connection becomes less important because you already have a strong sexual energy flowing between you (important for those who have a strong need or urgency for genital interaction). read more...
We’ve discussed the importance of sharing before you move into solution mode. How you do this is equally as important.
John Gottman, has also identified four negative ways of communicating, which he calls the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”. These might not seem as drastic as the originals from the Bible: war, pestilence, famine and plague, but these lesser horsemen can reek just as much damage on a relationship as the big ones do on a whole society. read more...
John Gottman, noted American couples therapist, has some wonderful ideas around good communication. One I particularly like is the concept that you have to share before you can fix.
What this means is that when you have something you need to discuss or resolve, it’s important that the two of you take the time to share how you feel about the situation before you try finding ways of solving the situation. read more...
Taking a break together is always a good thing to do, helping you relax and rejuvenate and hopefully have some quality sexy time away from the stresses of everyday life.
So why would you add a couples retreat to your time away? What are the benefits to you of going to one of my LoveLife Couples Retreats?
Well, where do I start?! Feeling the love and connection in the group and seeing the couples blossom is an experience that’s hard to put into words.
But I’ll try...
- How to Stay In Love
- Expanding Your Sexual Play Pt 2: How
- Expanding Your Sexual Play Pt 1: What
- Simple Sex is Good Sex
- Solo Sex: Mindful Masturbation
- Own the Crone
- Porn Star vs Prude
- “When One is Pretending, the Whole Body Revolts”
- Non-Linear Love-Making: the Picnic Approach to Sex
- Your Bedroom As Sanctuary
- Sexy Debriefing
- Getting "Love Drunk"
- Make-Over Your Sex Life
- Be Real, Express Freely
- The Fairy Tales Got It Wrong
to my LOVELIFE blog for regular inspiration on sex, love and intimacy!