“When we're incomplete, we're always searching for somebody to complete us. When, after a few years or a few months of a relationship, we find that we're still unfulfilled, we blame our partners and take up with somebody more promising. This can go on and on--series polygamy--until we admit that while a partner can add sweet dimensions to our lives, we, each of us, are responsible for our own fulfillment. Nobody else can provide it for us, and to believe otherwise is to delude ourselves dangerously and to program for eventual failure every relationship we enter.”
I remember the first day, the first moment that I met my husband. It was as if time stood still and it was just the two of us, gazing into each others eyes. We talked for hours. We spoke about nothing and everything. In my eyes it was the most brillant, interesting conversation I'd ever had with anyone. It was that "I found my soulmate!" moment. He talked and I listened. I talked and he listened. Oh what a perfect couple we made! Until...
I started noticing at times, when I spoke, he'd get a glazed look in his eye and wasn't really listening. Or he would talk to me and my mind would be elsewhere (like thinking about how I really needed to go to the grocery store right in that moment!). We'd end up getting angry, throwing sarcasm, blame and criticisms at each other. He'd say that I wasn't interested in what he had to say and I would yell back that maybe this was because all he did was talk and never listen. Little things like this started happening more often and soon the rosy glow of first love started to fade.
Essential Ingredients of a healthy, loving relationship...
If we kept going down this path we would have ended our relationship. Fortunately, the foundation of our love for each other, the friendship, connection and respect we have for each other is strong enough to help us learn from our differences, our past hurts and where we still need to grow. We've had our fair share of highs and lows, just as life does, but overall we have learned a great deal about areas that are tender and in need of healing and areas that have been stunted in growth and need to be encouraged to develop
Growth and healing can only happen in relationships if you are willing to risk. If you can open up to your partner and speak from the heart, then your relationship has the potential to help you connect with the joy, lifeforce and aliveness that is present in each and everyone of us.
Developing an intimate relationships is a lifelong journey!
It means opening yourself to being seen both for what you love about yourself and what you don’t. It also means being vulnerable and open to getting hurt by the Other. Because there are two different people with their own experiences, views, feelings, etc. conflict will happen and can be a catalyst for personal and relational change. You can’t have intimacy with out risk. Learning how to move towards intimacy with openness, curiosity and a desire to know the other is the key. It's a skill that all of us are capable of learning. It's not easy and sometimes we need support along the way.
Are you ready to take the plunge?
Cindy Ricardo, LMHC is an Imago Relationship Therapist with a private practice in Coral Springs, Florida. She specializes in running workshops for Couples about how to create loving and supportive relationships. She also counsels couples and individuals on learning how to create a balanced, joyful and empowered life. For more information please call her at 954.793.6442. or visit: http://www.acaringcounselor.net/