Having successful intimate conversations in a relationship is an art and practice. Even those who may have picked up some communication tools for the workplace, or from self-improvement workshops, won’t necessarily be able to transfer those skills to the type of very personal conversations that happen at home when emotions are running high. Our conversations with our partner hold a lot of weight. Everyone suffers when communication breaks down at home.
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Where does sex fit into grief? The myth we tell ourselves is that these two very basic human experiences are mutually exclusive. We believe that we shouldn’t want sex until we’re feeling sexy and receptive, and we can’t be grieving if our bodies are turned-on and orgasmic.
Trauma lives in those who are obviously dysfunctional, as well as the lives of the seemingly highly functional. Trauma lives in the lives of the privileged as well as the lives of the underprivileged. Trauma doesn’t know an income bracket. When it comes to the impact on happiness, trauma treats all people equally.
There’s no getting away from the fact that couples in long-term relationships impact each other profoundly, in small and large ways. If you’re a couple who live together there are moments throughout each day that bring you together to discuss something, to work on a task, to accomplish an errand, to share a story, or listen to one. Partners flow in and around each other with such symbiosis, that we can sometimes feel like we’re one mechanism with a shared mind.
As most happy couples will tell you, good relationships require ‘work’. The work required is ‘good’ work. It’s not suffering battles, it’s not betraying our values, or crossing our boundaries. ‘Good’ work is exploring our beliefs, shifting our perspectives, and expanding our understanding what makes a great relationship.
Erotic power exchange is a term that describes the play of sexual polarity between partners. In order to play with power exchange you have to first understand that you’re playing with opposites. If you’ve ever seen tigers mating the polarity of the pursuer and the pursued is exciting and very sexual. Nature’s sexual polarity teaches us about our own inherent workings.
Vulnerability is actually a gift that descends upon us when we stop pretending to have it all together and admit to our human flaws and fragility. It’s a gift we give to ourselves and our partner, because it shifts our state from one of closed-off superficiality, to one of feeling and deep sharing. When one partner in a couple opens the door to vulnerability, they create space for their partner to join them there, and it’s in that space of shared vulnerability where hearts connect and intimacy is experienced.
April 22nd was Earth Day, and I couldn’t have found myself in a more awe- inspiring part of the world, The American Southwest. It was my first visit to the Grand Canyon. My partner led me up to the rim with my eyes covered. He placed my hands on a metal barrier that stood over a very deep part of the canyon and told me to open my eyes.
Sex is probably one of the hardest things to talk about with a partner. It’s easy to take things personally because sex is deeply personal. Confessing our desires and asking for what we want takes courage and trust that your partner is going to hold your feelings with care. If sex is difficult for you to talk about the best thing to do is to start talking, but do it in a way that keeps you both feeling heard and understood.
When two people get together to form a relationship, there are two sets of wounds merging and intertwining, our partner’s and our own. We know when our old wounds are being dragged into a conflict because our pain and defensiveness will suddenly spike. If our partner is speaking the same words as our inner abuser, the armor will go up, and disagreements will escalate into shouting, tearful battles.