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Revitalize Your Love Thinking

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Revitalize Your Love Thinking

Love and work are the cornerstones of our human-ness… -Sigmund Freud

Learning how to stay and grow inside your relationship is an art form, a meditation practice and a work ethic all rolled into one. The nice thing about the work is that it is constructed of basic skill sets you can develop and strengthen just by attending to them and practicing. No one is born a great communicator or even a skilled listener. Many of us grow up in the midst of invisible negative thought patterns that infiltrate our best thinking efforts, without even our notice. Even showing up for your relationship is a skill that gets better when expectations and the meaning of promises are shared and negotiated.

In this new series, I will share stories about couples that might resemble people you know. See if you can imagine a way that a single interaction in the story could have changed to make the situation more sustainable and healthy. What else could have happened for the people involved that would have made the relationship more compelling? How could they have been kinder to each other?

•••

Nancy had seen her boyfriends fall out of love before. She knew all the signs – the distracted half kisses, the late nights of work, the impatience at small requests… She also knew that her response to Michael had become short and less-descript. She tried not to fixate on the stupid way he left his dirty socks rolled up in a ball in the couch cushions or the way he slurped the milk at the end of his cereal because she knew it wasn’t the little things that mattered. She tried to ignore all the ways she felt disappointed in Michael and she tried not to notice the quiet ways she felt him looking at her with the same disappointed glances.

Walking on eggshells might have been easier than the ways they both worked to dance around the change in their relationship. Each night one of them lingered longer in the study or in front of the television so that they wouldn’t have to face each other in the quiet of preparing for bed, a time that used to be Nancy’s favorite moment of her day. The more space they built in between them to hold their unspoken feelings, the more lonely and resentful Nancy became of the socks she would find under every cushion.

She thought she loved Michael, but now that he was hardly ever really present, her doubts about what he was thinking about her and their relationship seemed to show up even in the smallest of exchanges about where to meet for coffee or who would pick up bread for dinner. Finally, one evening while making dinner, Michael broached the subject of finding his own place again. “I just think it would be good for us to have more space…”  His voice wandered off. Nancy couldn’t decide if she was relieved or sad that another relationship that seemed to have so much promise was disappearing in front of her eyes. She caught his eye and for a moment thought she could see the same mix of doubt and regret that she was feeling. She wanted to do this differently even though she was afraid she would just make it worse….

Meanwhile, Michael too wished he could think of a way to reach back in time to their connection that felt so strong just a few months before.

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Read more: Ask the Loveologist, Love, Making Love Sustainable, Relationships, Sex, Spirit

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Wendy Strgar

Wendy Strgar, founder and CEO of Good Clean Love, is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love, intimacy and family.  In her new book, Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy,  she tackles the challenging issues of sustaining relationships and healthy intimacy with an authentic and disarming style and simple yet innovative adviceIt has been called "the essential guide for relationships."  The book is available on ebook.  Wendy has been married for 27 years to her husband, a psychiatrist, and lives with their four children ages 13- 22 in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

14 comments

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2:31PM PDT on Sep 11, 2011

thank you

11:56PM PDT on Sep 10, 2011

thanx..

3:13AM PDT on Sep 9, 2011

tfs

1:56AM PDT on Sep 9, 2011

noted

9:57PM PDT on Sep 8, 2011

Lupe, you are exactly right. I want to add that men use women
like that a lot. Men are brought up to think that women were
put on earth for them to use as breeders and slaves. They know that a woman is in love with them and they know they are not but they stick around to suck everything they can out of them. They get away with it because women are naturally more nurturing and have a stronger nesting instinct.

8:26PM PDT on Sep 8, 2011

thanks

12:42PM PDT on Sep 8, 2011

It does take 2 to make a relationship work -if 1 doesn't try-nothing the other does do will make a difference

10:16AM PDT on Sep 8, 2011

This only works if both are on that same level of understanding. I knew that after I tried everything I knew how within my level of patience & care, that if he wasn't responding or trying to, that it wasn't worth saving. I knew he wouldn't but still I tried. I knew exactly when I fell out of love completely & the sadness I felt for how immature he was & how I had made a boy into a man in my own eyes. I knew then that it was partly my fault for putting on my blinders because I was in love but he knew he was not in love but chose to stay for convenience because I was responsible. To understand what you've written, one has to be mature enough to get to that level.

4:44AM PDT on Sep 8, 2011

thanks.

3:01AM PDT on Sep 8, 2011

thanks

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Thank you.

Right on, Adele P., no drugs/sleeping drugs needed! But, of course, there's money, big money in drug…

Nutmeg over baked custard or custard pie - that's the best.

Has Joan been considered for liver transplant?

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