Help! The Honeymoon Is Over! Now What?

Red Flowers On Gray Wall 1

Written by Terri Crosby for In Care of Relationships

The beginning of a love relationship — ahhh!  It’s like a warm bath.  Everybody’s happy!  Partners sing each others’ praises.  The sound of the relationship is pleasant, melodic and beautiful.  There is plenty of purring, deep breathing (oh yeah) and sighing.  Things are looking up.  Life is good.  Getting to know each other is about discovery, play, curiosity, and the expression of love.

When love is fresh and new, we’re like young kids at play.  We’re elated and hopeful.  We expect to have fun.  And we do!

This joy creates a very powerful kind of positive momentum.  We’re holding someone else in the steady sunshine of our approving gaze.  We find all sorts of reasons to love and appreciate because  — this is important — we’re looking for the good stuff.

Being positive is a natural thing, and I believe it is our natural state – looking for what is fun, what is joyful and meaningful — because it connects us to our best self.  And we like it when we are at our best and feel good.

Watch young children at play.  If left to their own devices, they play for the delight of playing and discovering.  They are exuberant.

A relationship can start out like that.

And Then…

As we settle in and spend lots of time around each other, old defaults can creep in. What are yours? Where do you see them?

This is the stage where we may realize, “Well, shoot, that old problem (or pattern) of mine seems to have followed me.”

Yes, old baggage (beliefs, actions, and scars) can turn a new relationship into one resembling the past.

This can be a bit confusing, and even scary. Perhaps even disappointing or disheartening. It makes us wonder if we should stay in the relationship or give up and start over yet again.

Really, it’s just a matter of our defaults leading the way.  What a great chance to see them and change them gradually!

Not To Worry!Copy of Grad 5-18-2014 Happy Angie

This is the golden point (seriously it is) where everything good can happen, if we want it to — if we’re willing to pay attention in new ways.  It’s a pivot place, and full of positive potential. But here’s the thing.  We can’t create a new and improved relationship by doing, saying or thinking the same things we’ve thought, said or done in the past. Well, duh… Not too surprising. But how does that work, practically speaking?

Learning to break new ground rather than repeat the past requires the assistance of a new (and tiny) muscle called awareness.  We’ve got to find it and exercise it on purpose.

The idea is to use awareness to pay attention to something we do now that didn’t work in this moment and has never worked in the past.

Like Complaining

Complaining to your partner is nails on a chalkboard.  Being a complainer doesn’t inspire him/her to help you, be there for you or support you.  It won’t get you what you want.

Notice tone of voice, too.  Tone of voice gives a complaint extra clout.  (Note: You can ask your partner for feedback to help you at first — let you know if you’re complaining or whining and you didn’t notice.)

Cut Off and Shut Off

Here’s another example.  We cut off, shut off, turn away from, or ignore our partner — we don’t give them our full attention.  He’s interested in telling her how his golf game was today, but she only pretends to listen while she multi-tasks.  He knows she’s not listening.  She knows she’s not listening.  It doesn’t feel good to either one of them.  Nobody wins.

Judge or Blame

Or when we judge or blame.  We criticize, micromanage, question, monitor and correct our partner.  Or we make them the cause of our difficulties, and point the finger at them.

And guess what?  If we have our trusty awareness muscle working, it triggers a small internal alarm that chimes, “There it is. Pay attention right there.”

The inner alarm is triggered when something feels bad.

It’s an “oops!”  It means, “Oops, I just did something that doesn’t feel good, has never felt good, and will probably never feel good.”

And I often say that if it feels bad, it is bad, meaning the result is probably not going in a direction that either partner wants to go.

But the really good news is that you noticed it this time, with your eyes wide open. The simple practice of awareness offers the opportunity to choose to do something different.

In future posts, I’ll write more on cleaning it up.  I’ll give ideas on how to clean up complaining, turning away from your partner, and judging or blaming.

For now, the only important job is to get the awareness muscle working.

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For more information about In Care of Relationships, click here.

About Terri Crosby — I live in the Blue Ridge Mountains with Eric, my partner of 15 years, two cats and a dog, and as many flowers and vegetables as I can plant.  I love really good food, good friends, good relationships!

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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.

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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.

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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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