After 30 years of clinical experience facing literally thousands of couples and individuals it is clearly apparent that not many of us can articulate what we truly want, especially when we think about our marital relationship.
I would estimate that 90% begin describing changes they desire from their spouse or use the pronoun “we” when discussing what they want to experience in the marriage.
Such a perspective will NOT work in redesigning a marriage or relationship of emotional investment. You will learn why as we move through the modules.
But, I want to give you a taste now of what waits for you. I will talk a great deal about the shifts you can make to radically change the flow of your marital relating.
Here’s a sample.
Take a couple minutes to rank order the top 3 shifts you want to make in your marital relationship from the chart below:
21 Shifts from a Tension Based Relationship to EASY LOVE
|Rank top 3
|From: I’m fearful I will lose myself in this marriage
|I will feel better and better about myself.
|From: This marriage is becoming an emotional death trap
|This marriage is a place that gives me life.
|From: I’m fearful of losing you
|I have confidence you will be with me forever.
|From: I’m fearful I’m going to think of myself as inadequate
|I will feel more proud and competent in all areas of life.
|From: I’m fearful I will want to push you away
|I want to be able to accept you for who you are and welcome you into my life more fully.
|From: I don’t want you to touch me
|I want us to be physically affectionate.
|From: I fearful my emotional meltdowns will ruin this marriage
|I want to learn more about my personal needs and fears and overcome them.
|From: I feel bored and lifeless
|I feel passion and excitement.
|From: Thinking we must be alike
|Deeply appreciating our differences.
|From: Resenting that I must meet your needs
|I want to meet your needs when appropriate and helpful for us.
|From: I’m fearful I must spent so much energy pleasing you
|I want to shift my focus from pleasing others to letting you know more fully who I am
|From: I think I must hide and not speak my mind
|I want to disclose fully and freely, without fear, my thoughts and feelings
|From: I’m fearful my career and vocation will suffer in this marriage
|I want this marriage to be a healthy and productive springboard for my career and vocation.
|From: I close my mind and begin reacting when you speak
|I want to hear powerfully.
|From: I fear that what I say will be not heard, acknowledged and diminished
|I want to be heard powerfully.
|From: I’m afraid of conflict with you
|I want us to share our differences and disagreements powerfully and respectfully.
|From: I’m afraid I will be smothered
|I want to feel expansive freedom and joy.
|From: I want to run away and avoid you and this marriage.
|I want to eyeball you, smile and enjoy it.
|From: I want to chase and pursue uncontrollably
|I want to invite you to come close when appropriate and mutually agreed.
|From: Feeling like I must perform to be intimate
|Intimacy is something that emerges naturally
|From: I’m afraid to move close
|Closeness is something I look forward to and is a natural part of you and me.
How does that seem to you? Helpful? Can you begin to appreciate where you are now and the possibilities for where you want to move to in the future?
For the time being, store these three desired shifts in the back of your mind.