If you’ve been with your partner for a while, take a moment to think about how you’d describe the relationship you’re in. Do any of these strike a chord?
1/ The suffocating cocoon. In the beginning, you couldn’t stand to be apart for a second. You lived for the time you spent together and when you were apart you counted the seconds between phonecalls, texts or emails. After a while, it was impossible to tell where you ended and they began. These days you feel as if you can’t breathe and nor can your relationship. What started out driven by passion has become a prison.
2/The routine rut. It all works smoothly – like clockwork. And that’s the problem. Everything becomes predictable, right down to what they’ll say or what you do next. Every moment is like every moment you’ve had before. Emotionally, you’re miles apart but tied together by practicality.
3/The war zone. You’ve gone from being totally in love to enemies firing salvos of all sizes across a huge divide. When you’re not engaged in full on battles, you’ve both retreated to emotional corners from where you chuck comments designed to hurt at each other like hand grenades across the room.
4/The one act play. You’ve both become locked into roles you can’t get out of. These can be anything from Victim and Tyrant to Smothering Mummy and Naughty Child. Or even the Practical (but boring) one and Dizzy Funster. Over time, you get more deeply immersed in a part you never wanted to play. And the better you play your role, the better they get at theirs.
5/Best friends. You adore each other. You have fun together, support each other and you still spark off each other. But the passion has gone. Every night you tuck up together like Victorian siblings sharing a bed.
If any of these sound horribly familiar, fear not! No matter where you have ended up, you can turn things around. You can get back all of the good things you had at the beginning and add to that the depth of intimacy and shared experience you’ve gathered along the way.
The relationships that we have deliver the most powerful potential for our soul’s growth. They act like mirrors, reflecting our own strengths and weaknesses, patterns and potential. Often what drives us mad about someone else is a cue to look at something deep in us we might not even be aware of.
This is the first in a series that I’m going to write a series on how to keep the love alive in long term relationships. If you feel that your relationship has changed and become something you want to turn around, or if you’d like to move it to the next level of depth and passion, start with this.
Take out your journal and write the heading
‘Our relationship is like…..’
Then sit for a few moments of reflection before you start to write your answer. What you’ll arrive at is a metaphor – a symbol that represents the relationship as it is at the moment, like a war zone or a one act play. Maybe your relationship is like any of the one examples above, or perhaps you have your own unique representation for yours.
Then write out and answer the following questions.
Who was I when we met?
Who am I now?
What did I like to do when we met?
What do I enjoy now?
What would I like to do in the future?
This is about reclaiming yourself as an individual within your own life and your partnership. Your answers will reveal a huge amount and give you a lot of food for thought. Make a commitment to take time out of the relationship for you, even if you can only find an hour a day. Do something that expresses your individuality. To start with, this will be enough to rejuvenate the energy, bring you back to your own centre and source of power and shift the dynamic between you.
See the divine in you and in your partner
After you’ve read what you’ve written, sit quietly and close your eyes. Often we get so distracted from everyday life that we lose sight of the sacred in ourselves and in the other person. Breathe gently until you can feel yourself connecting with that divine spark within you. When you feel that you have made that connection, conjure up an image of your partner in your mind’s eye and see them as divine. Stay with that for a few minutes. You may find that you want to make a few more notes in your journal after that about what that one simple exercise has revealed. Do this mini-meditation once a day and you may find that it works its own miracle.
Of course sometimes relationships are over and it is time to move on. In my next article in this love series I will talk about when is it time to let go?
Loads of love,
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