In this time and season, societal rules and protocols are ever-changing. What's right, and what's wrong varies by day. Who are they/them of the world that tells us what the right structure is for our lives? Why should we even listen to them? In our current day and age what marriage should look like has been in the great debate. No matter how you feel about the public debate on what marriage should look like, I want to challenge you to rethink your conforming to the traditional model of marriage/committed relationships. The traditional model displayed by June and Ward Cleaver on the Leave it to Beaver show that we attempt to pattern ourselves after was not created or developed with us in mind. We weren't here, and no one asked our thoughts or opinions. When the societal model is encouraged and propagated it does not consider the nuances, unique nature of you or your partner, your socioeconomic situation, your culture, ethnicity or how you were raised, the family of origin dynamics. We are not a homogenous society. We are a uniquely crafted salad with tons of flavors, colors, scents, texture, and flare. Our relationships should reflect that same uniqueness.
I believe it is time for you to begin to shift your thinking about how you approach your relationship. We are all uniquely crafted by the many factors of life, so why deny or avoid any part of your make up. You and your partner must begin to make choices based on what will best impact your relationship. The time of the one family income, hardline gender roles, basic traditional sex, etc. should be challenged by those that are married, in committed relationships, and those looking to be in relationships. It's time to develop a relationship, relationship structure, and environment that allows you to thrive and function in your greatest self; anything less is mediocracy! This shift in how you approach your relationship should also take place in the bedroom. In my office, I come across too many couples that have been together for decades and have lost sight of one another; they don't feel the connection, they have fallen in the rut of the functionality of life and maintenance sex if that. These couples are going through the motions, getting the day to day done in an effort to just keep things moving. They are not talking to each other, just hoping things will change eventually. Being a sex therapist, I ask my clients about the quality of their intimate lives, the quantity of sex they have opposed to what they would like, and how well each knows their partner's body, sexual desires, and how they are best satisfied. The response is often "my partner doesn't have a clue." I find in my office that heteronormative sex, opposite sex, partners do not talk enough about sex, intimacy, and sexuality. It appears they enter relationships with the mindset, "We both have history and we both have pieces and parts, so let's throw them together and hope for the best!" This is dysfunction waiting to happen in your intimate relationship, which will most likely impact other areas of your relationship. By taking this approach, we are not connecting with our current partner. Using our history as the only frame of reference does not make our partner and current relationship a complete factor in our present. I believe this equates to using an old mindset in a new paradigm.
Think about this, in most cases, we come into a relationship with a mindset or model, whether conscious or unconscious. The issue with the mindset or models we each bring to the table when entering a relationship is that they were not created with the other person in mind. It's designed and orchestrated by your life situations and family of origin experiences. Face it, as children we often say we are not going to be like the people that raised us and then we live long enough; we find we are like the people that raised us. Unless we take an intentional mindset to create our own existence and expression, we will live an old paradigm in a new experience destined for challenge and complacency.
It is time to question what you desire by asking yourself, why? Think about something you've said you have wanted, and when you received or achieved it, it was not enough, nor did it impact you the way you thought it should. Are you making the choices that best suit you and reflect your voice and your truth? Or are your utterings the echoes of society, your family of origin, and/or the voices of times past. Even religious text states, referring to marriage: The Bible in Mark 10:7-8 "For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh." The Koran states, "4:1 O people, keep your duty to your Lord, Who created you from a single being and created its mate of the same (kind), and spread from these two many men and women. And keep your duty to Allah, by whom you demand one of another (your rights), and (to) the ties of relationship. Surely Allah is ever a Watcher over you."
I believe both texts are simply stating, once in a relationship you become one with your partner and you must focus on building a customized experience that is inclusive of both of you. Yes, that means you will have to do some internal work. Look within yourself, introspectively, at who you are, what you want your relationship to look like, and the experiences you want to have and share. Know and accept your truth well enough to be willing to be free and vulnerable to reveal your truth to your partner. Yes, you will have to talk with one another about real matters to create an experience you can both thrive in and become your greatest selves. I think, as you should, you and your relationship are worth it!
Another way of saying it is the two of you coming truly together effectively communicating to create a tailor-made relationship that is perfectly aligned with the collective unit. Why is creating a tailored relationship important? Simply stated, it makes no room for anyone or anything that is not congruent or consistent with your collective success. To find out more contact Todd Malloy of Inner Peace Counseling Center, www.innerpeacecounselingcenter.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or (704) 937-2286.