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.
Confirmation bias. We all have it. We experience it every day in the news, in our politics, in our workplace, and most directly in our relationships, where partners can suffer the consequences of confirmation bias on a daily basis. When it comes to our relationship it makes sense then that our brains are far more skilled at noticing what’s wrong with our partner, than what’s right.
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.
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 your desires and asking for what you 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.
One of the most defining moments in my life was losing a brother when I was 14 years old. One day he was there, and the next day he was gone. Life's big lessons are irrefutable, and usually hold within them great wisdom. When you lose a family member, you never forget that impermanence is built into existence, and with every loss comes a second lesson which is equally important to understand. Here’s the confronting truth about life that’s hard to avoid, but easy to ignore. You’re going to lose everything and everyone you care about in life.
You may think that having a threesome would be exciting, but the truth is, you’re already in a threesome. There’s you, your partner, and your relationship. When we begin to view our relationship as the 3rd in our threesome, it’s easier to see how we are either feeding it with attention and nurturing care, or we’re literally ignoring it to death.
Once again, I’m inspired to write about a topic raised by a few of my coaching clients this week, the F word. The word that makes some of us open up wanting more and makes some of us close down, running in the opposite direction.
If you’re in a sexless marriage (or relationship) and, you’re both honestly ready and wanting to bring sex back into your life as a couple, here are some important steps to take in order to traverse that seemingly vast and vulnerable chasm. For most couples, the word, ‘sexless' is terrifying. For most, it feels like a final declaration of unrealized relationship fulfillment, a shame-filled resignation to unmet expectations. It’s a state of the union that, for some, is a precursor to separation or divorce.
Three recent conversations with clients inspired me to write about pleasurable touch, and why most people can dish it out, but they can’t take it. There is so much more to touch than laying our hands on another person’s body. There’s context, intention, expectation, desire, sensation, communication. Touch is a language not just between you and your partner’s body, but it’s also a communication between your hands and your brain.
Shame doesn’t change behavior or eliminate the desire that is motivating our actions. It drives our desires into secrecy, and secrecy coupled with shame undermines the trust and intimacy of a relationship.