A variety of relationship experts are counseling men to pump up their masculinity and women to return to their softer feminine sides, in the hopes that some lost chemistry between the sexes will return. What’s great about these ideas is that it encourages men and women to think about pleasure, polarity and how they want to feel. But let's not sidestep the judgement in this way of thinking.
When we are unprepared, our vulnerability gets triggered, which is a good thing in terms of growth and learning for the next time. But if we take the time to really learn, and prepare to better handle what threw us off center the last time, the more opportunities we will have to risk and bring our vulnerability to our partners by choice.
You’ve probably found yourself analyzing and diagnosing your significant other, hoping that he or she will listen to your diagnosis and change. This is both natural, and potentially toxic.
Change is destabilizing -- and for most people, destabilization is very triggering. When people are emotionally triggered or feeling insecure, relationships suffer. Sometimes, sadly, they cannot withstand the stress, and people grow apart. But does that make personal growth an adversary to good relationships?
On a recent summer day, a large group of family and friends were enjoying a picnic at a local state park. After eating, the kids jumped up to play, while the parents hunkered down at the next table for some adult time, which was abruptly interrupted.
Everything of high value requires your protection: Your sentimental objects, your iPhone, your children, your health, your IRA. So why not your dear, dear heart? Counter to popular new age philosophy that being open with and about everything is the key to living well, I am going to counsel you to protect your vulnerability.
You can’t always choose how life is going to go, but if you pay attention to the roles that simply take over and lead you nowhere, you can begin, as Katherine models, to select what roles you want to play. And that enables you to steer the relationSHIP to safety in rough waters.
Katherine got into the car, and immediately felt Steve’s lousy mood suck all the air out of it. “Oh no,” she thought. She knew Steve wasn’t thrilled about going to visit her brother’s family. It was a chilly winter Sunday. He wanted to lounge about, watch the games, and stay put. But she expressed it was important to her and he had agreed to go. Does he always have to punish me with his mood? she wondered, agitatedly. She was...
When you compare where you are with where you want to be, you will feel inadequate (a flavor of shame). When you compare where you are with others who are doing what you want to do, you will feel deflated (yet another flavor!). And when you set out to do that big marketing thing that you are avoiding, and your avoidance wins, you will feel slightly more than disappointed in yourself. How to keep moving?