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The Realities of Your Relationship

Relationship Reality

One of my aims in life is to break down any sense that we are alone, that our
challenges are in any way unique or special. It's all just stuff that gets in
the way of us being our best, but just like gum on your shoe, it can be scraped
off.

Every relationship you get into is going to move through three nicely
predictable stages. Romance is first up, being of course the absolute best bit.
It's like the cherry on your cake, knowing you've met Mr. or Mrs. Right and
loving everything about them. The next stage, unless you're taking some
delusional narcotics, is the inevitable power struggle. This is the time when we
start to establish whose needs come first in the relationship. Trust me, this is
where it gets messy. Do you know that according to Barbara De Angelis there are
four stages a relationship moves through as it hits this struggle? These are
resistance, resentment, rejection and repression. The power struggle is a
nasty, painful phase and potentially we squabble in way's we're not proud of.

The bad news is that using the examples we grow up with the best most of us ever
reach is the stage of repression. We look around and realize there are no better
options, we love the home we've built together, we've got mutual friends, and
we're more comfortable than we've ever been. We then settle for what we've got
using the tired refrain, 'you just can't have everything' and 'Oh well, it's
really not that important'. Well at this point I think it's really important to
ask yourself who's the it you are referring to?

Potentially, we now have a relationship where we endure each other and live as
roommates rather than lovers. It's the norm, most of the people around you exist
in it so it's not surprising people feel a little guilty when they begin to want
more. Fortunately for those brave souls willing to ask for more we've got the
potential for co-creativity, a phrase coined by Seana McGee and Maurice Taylor
in 'The New Couple'. This is where the relationship manages to evolve beyond the
power struggle into adulthood and we get back to the place where we can ask
ourselves what we can give to our partner rather than getting stuck in trying to
get our needs met.

It's not a big deal and the skills you need are in no way complicated. Most of
us don't need therapy; we just need strategies that lead to happiness.

Copyright 2003 by Michael Myerscough 'The Great Sex Coach'.


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