Don’t Expect Your Intimate Relationship to Downplay Your Personal Issues.

The happily ever after story of marriage is a fairy tale, and it’s told often. Even to this day, people believe it.

The truth is, a loving relationship is not a fairy tale. A loving relationship won’t make bad stuff go away. It won’t downplay issues we harbor, or things that trouble or challenge us.

To live happily ever after takes some skill. Awareness. It requires some serious chops…

…because an intimate relationship will, in fact, bring anything on our learning curve front and center. Our issues tag along like little lambs wagging their tails (and tales) behind them.

I’m not saying one should forget about being in an intimate relationship or that it won’t help or delight.

I’m saying that our cultural expectations about partnerships tend to be off track. Unrealistic. Idealistic. Let’s be honest here — our happily ever after expectations are ridiculous, really.

I’m not stating this because I’m calloused, jaded or bitter.

In fact, I’m enthusiastic about intimate relationships, even a cheerleader of sorts. It’s just that we have dreamy ideas about long-term commitment that cause us to miss — entirely — the true and everlasting value of being in a love relationship with another human being.

With that, why not go ahead and have a few sips of that wonderful coffee sitting next to you?

Maybe you’ll saunter toward a donut-muffin-croissant to go with that coffee. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

But do come back. Here’s why.

We’re about to have an eat-your-croissant-length talk about the nature of relationships in a way that — if we humans knew this one thing — it would make such a difference in the quality of relating to one another. Everywhere. Forever.

Would what I’m about to say dash the romantic hopes and dreams of those getting married?

I don’t know. It could.

More likely, though, it would provide a proper container for saying “I do” or being life partners which could hold the reality of the challenges that come with relating to another person day after day, for months and years.

Common Secret Belief

I work mostly with women, and I’m going to tell this one on us. I cannot begin to count how many women I’ve spoken to in the last forty years who (secretly) believe that being in a relationship will take their biggest, naggiest, most daunting pile of trouble away.

That being in a relationship will remove loneliness, for instance.

Or worry. Or fear. Or confusion.

Or that, surely this time, the person they meet will be more agreeable than the last one.

They are certain life will improve with someone else around. They believe they will (suddenly and magically and because of this partner) be a different person, especially, a better person, a finer specimen of human.

They believe they will have more fun.

Any of these things could possibly be “true” to start. This is why we invented the honeymoon.

However, at some point, what has been hibernating begins to stir and make noise. These sleepy issues yawn, stretch and walk out of the cave, one by one, to create events unique to your relationship with another.

Because?

Your relationship with another works the way you (personally) work.

Your relationship with yourself guides every other relationship you have. Your partnerships, connections, and friendships with others are built and maintained the way you treat yourself and take care of yourself.

They would have to be. It’s what you know.

How you view yourself, how you understand yourself, the leeway you give yourself — all of these play out with another. Your ability to love yourself no matter what you do or don’t do paves the way to how you include and love another person when they do or don’t do.

Your relationship moves forward the way you personally move forward. Your relationship grows if you do. Your relationship changes if you do. Your relationship evolves in a satisfying way if that’s how you roll.

From your point of view, this is what an intimate relationship is about — you, you, you. Not in a selfish way or an “it’s all about me, let’s forget about you” kind of way, but rather in a powerful, open and blooming like a spring flower kind of way.

Your relationships with others (even that person you just yelled at for cutting you off in traffic, or the person you dissed in the parking lot for thinking you took their space) — all your relationships are about you and your building materials.

Your intimate relationship is about your belief in yourself, your vision, your practice of loving and honoring who you are and expressing that fully and freely no matter who’s around.

It would have to be.

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Terri Crosby

Helping you create life-affirming, ever-evolving, happier relationships with those you love. Follow me on twitter at@TerriCrosby or read myblog.

Comments (6)

  • Avatar

    Shoshana

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    Terri, I’ve recently gotten into a relationship and this excellent blog has certainly put it into perspective. Thank you.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Terri Crosby

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      Shoshana, such good timing, yes? Thank you for sharing your comment and all the best to you in this new relationship.

      Reply

  • Avatar

    David

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    Terri, Thanks for your thoughts. Being mindful of self is not selfish, I like that. Okay, I’m a guy wanting to create more intimacy in my relationship….its on me! Got it! Thank you.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Terri Crosby

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      David, yes, from your vantage point everything is “on you” regarding your relationship. Being mindful of self is one of the most important things you can do for your relationship, so that you can show up as the real you.

      Reply

  • Avatar

    colleen

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    Terri,

    This is ideal timing for me to hear and thank you , yet again, for clear and powerful wisdom.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Terri Crosby

      |

      I love that good timing thing. You’re welcome, my friend.

      Reply

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Rise Up by Andra Day

What a great set of words for these oncoming days.

Rise Up

 
You’re broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry go round
And you can’t find the fighter
But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out
And move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
And I’ll rise up
High like the waves
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
When the silence isn’t quiet
And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe
And I know you feel like dying
But I promise we’ll take the world to its feet
And move mountains
Bring it to its feet
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
All we need, all we need is hope
And for that we have each other
And for that we have each other
And we will rise
We will rise
We’ll rise, oh, oh
We’ll rise
I’ll rise up
Rise like the day
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I will rise a thousand times again
And we’ll rise up
High like the waves
We’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
We’ll rise up
And we’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
Ah, ah, ah, ah
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Cassandra Monique Batie / Jennifer Decilveo
Rise Up lyrics © BMG Rights Management

Terri’s book of photography combined with poetry is here! 100 Words: Small Servings of Whimsy and Wisdom to Calm the Mind and Nourish the Heart.

Read more

Rippling Abs, Anyone?

Rippling Abs, Anyone?

During this strange time in history, I noticed y’all were tackling all sorts of interesting projects. I decided I needed one, too—something positive to remember the pandemic of 2020 by.
 
I decided to pay attention to something I had abandoned…
 
Nope, I’m not cleaning my garage. I am not organizing one single thing. I’m not planting a garden or cleaning up my yard.
 
Instead, I decided to take care of myself better. This, folks, has made all the difference for me.
 
With relatively little time and effort on my part, I feel so much better than I did a month ago.
 
On March 30, I got on the exercise bike and the yoga mat for the first time in a long time, and did 30 minutes each. I liked it so much that I decided to do it every day. But I fell short of that, and changed my commitment to every other day, which felt more manageable, reasonable, and doable.
 
I also get off the bike after every song, take a couple of sips of water, shake out my legs and arms for a few seconds, and get back on. This makes the bike project a reasonable proposition, too.
 
Daily walks of any length—by myself, or with my little guy, Jackson—are a fresh air bonus.
 
My recumbent exercise bike has pulleys to work my upper body while I pedal, which gets my heart rate up fast, and also helps my whole-body strength. It feels good to get up from writing, or doing a consulting session with a client, to do something physically challenging while listening to good music.
 
After only a month, I feel a sheet of muscles on the front of me I haven’t felt for a very, very long time. Goodness gracious. Who knew they were there. I’ll be posting rippling ab photos soon, I’m sure.
 
I have no idea what the scales have to say about my bike/yoga project—I don’t care. Paying attention to scales tends to send me sideways, and therefore, I’m ignoring them completely.
 
But—I LOVE the way I feel! Hang in there, everyone.
 

Terri’s book of photography combined with poetry is here! 100 Words: Small Servings of Whimsy and Wisdom to Calm the Mind and Nourish the Heart.

Read more

Check Out This Troublemaker in Relationships

Check Out This Troublemaker in Relationships

Sometimes we ask intimate partners to do for us what is actually ours to do.

We ask our partner to give us the reassurance, love or appreciation we feel is missing in ourselves, with the hope that they will give us what we’re asking for—and then we’ll feel better. They’ll take care of our problem.

But when they do give us what we’re asking for, it can never be enough, because we have insufficient context for what they’ve given. We haven’t build the inner foundation to receive it, hear it, welcome it, believe it. They try to help, but their love for us falls into our void, our black hole, our love bucket with no bottom.

As always, there’s hope. Check out the video below.

Terri Crosby. http://www.incareofrelationships.com/.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

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Terri Crosby

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