Kirra, Coolangatta and Tweed Heads

Saturday 09 August 2014

How to Have the Love You Want

6 Ways to Encourage Romance with Your Partner

When our coupledom brings the love we envisage, it is magical. There are 'things we can do' to encourage this envisaged romance. The “love bubble” of our desire will often seem to manifest early in a relationship, then in creeps dissatisfactions which can escalate as annoyances, then often to outright conviction that “if only 'the other' would do this, this and this, in this, this and this way, all would be well”. Herein sets 'the rot'. 
My husband and I (also known as "Timetabled and Shrew”) certainly did explore that distressful avenue of 'blame-shame' with each other. He seemed to constantly be conservative. She seemed to constantly 'demand more'.
1.Romance flows when we pay attention to the other’s dreams, disappointments and desires
We learned that allowing irritants, apparently caused by each other, to infiltrate is a major mistake. That focusing on “how the partner is or isn’t doing as we want” is the actual cause of disharmony. The simple opposite, i.e. acknowledging what is given that we DO like, is a secret to happy relationship. That “needing the other to be or do in ways of our preference” acts as water dousing out the fire of romance. Romance is natural when each feels free to want to create ways to be playful, pleasing, passionate. Romance is natural when we really listen to each other and hear what each others dreams, disappointments and desires are. Intimacy can increase when acceptance, as I am - warts and all, is felt.
Common now in our culture, is a belief that things must be a certain way, according to the most dominant or most vocal partner. This is a sure fire way to disaster. Because, for a relationship to be optimally enjoyable, a mutual values ‘recipe’, embracing encouragement of each other’s views, rather than dominance of one partner’s view, is a powerful foundation to enjoyment.
2. Accept and respect the other’s view fully (even if you don’t agree).
When tempted to 'force' a partner 'to talk', or when feeling that communication is not as satisfying as desired, it usually helps to review how much we are respecting each other’s point of view.  Often, when satisfying communications seems to not be, it’s because we are not accepting of some (or all!) aspects of our partner’s view. We don’t need to agree. We DO need to hear and care. Everyone likes to 'feel heard'. We learned that 'what you give you get' and that satisfaction within the relationship was a simple matter of learning to embrace and enjoy and understand each other’s foibles, rather than find some of them annoying. 
Many foibles we both had.  Lots of them poised to potentially be a source of annoyance to each other!  That "Timetabled” needed to do everything at exactly the same time every day in exactly the same way.  That he fretted if the temperature was a couple of degrees different and needed a wardrobe of different 'denier' garments when we travelled. With what “Shrew” considered an unnecessary selection of colourways  available for suitcase living, drove "Shrew” nuts, until she realized that during his harsh formative years (between age 1 and 7) he had spent in a Siberian labour camp and had only one sweater, had often been cold, had been given no food, and from age 18 month, had to sleep on the bare earth with only his overcoat as his 'blanket'. "Shrew” put two and two together and realized that his (to she, “very annoying”) need to be temperature comfortable and feel he could select garments at will, was most understandable given his story.
3. It is very wise to learn and consider each other’s 'back story'
In it is often contained the key to most of our potential happiness or horror, together.  Seeking to understand why and how we each developed our individual foibles can be most useful when we are genuinely impulsed to deepen our interactive naturalness. This doesn’t require intense analysis. Merely an outline picture can supply much valuable insight. Then respecting each other’s revelations and certainly not criticising them, is a key to happier homelife.  Each party in a relationship needs to feel their more vulnerable ways are valid. 
4. Learn that we each contain everything
Usually if we are annoyed by another, it’s because they are displaying an aspect we deny in ourselves.  Certainly, "Shrew” did not want to feel she was 'wussy' about temperature changes! Nor, that she had a 'wussy' hubby, who had to change his jacket when the temperature fell another 2 degrees!  When she remembered that she had been brought up in New Zealand to 'be tough' about temperature and withstand great ranges of temperature with no garment change, then a potential ‘conflict crucible’ was able to be avoided as well as become a place of nurturing and kindness.
I came to love to ensure my hubby had a selection of 'denier and colour choices', particularly for when we travelled. For this was when he seemed the most susceptible to the need for an available selection.  And over time, with this genuine kindness and understanding and some “indulgence” toward his “neurosis”, he came to require fewer available choices.
5. The more one gives, the more one gets
I also became a competent and humourful “suitcase schlapper”!  “Timetabled” had a quirk in relation to putting bags on and off airport carousels.  Namely avoidance! “Shrew” was indignantly appalled about this because hubby, in all other matters, treated her with utmost gentlemanly deference. It took a few 'humpf' sessions before she realized he had a huge fear of  “twisting his back and thereby being rendered unable to ‘protect and provide’ for his darling”. Although this manifested irrationally, as soon as I understood that its origin was also from his Siberia story, when he, as a small boy, observed adults in their pod rendered disabled from having been forced to drag suitcases for 8 days and nights on foot.  Being of hardy stock, I good humouredly became the 'suitcase schlapper' until hubby felt unafraid enough to see life here now had not the threats that memory so vividly produced for him. This was a process of patience. Not Shrew’s prime virtue!  Yet, over time, we both learned and enjoyed to naturally honour each other’s needs and preferences. The magnificent bonus from this is: "the more one gives the more one gets!"
6. Potentiality for enjoyment together is infinite
Once the relationship is on a roll of each focusing on how to please each other, rather than self. For we, it increased with the years. "How and what can I do now to give hubby enjoyment"? became a question I asked myself daily because of the pleasure it gave me to figure out what this might be.
A little 'tip' for females... Men are constructed in such a way that when we give them 'an inch', they usually give back a mile!  Maybe not immediately; first he needs to feel and know the giving is fully sincere, with no agenda expectation; that the giving was done purely for the pleasure of the act of giving. This applies equally for all and any 'giving'.
Zonti responds to this week’s reader’s letter from the "Relationships Wisdom Oracle" file.
Dear Oracle,

"My fiancé is not showing interest in our wedding arrangements. He has become distant and is spending more time with his mates. Is this just because he wants his last months of freedom to be a memory of a great time, then he will settle to our married life better?" 
Worried (Coolangatta)
Dear Worried,
You need to be! Not specifically because your fiancé is spending more time with his mates. Rather, because here you clearly identify the time before you are married as 'his freedom' and after as he is required to 'settle'. This perception is a disaster waiting to happen. We all need to not feel we are 'settling' for anything, because life offers choice. Your very concept that your soon to be hubby must 'settle' will automatically have him feel he has a noose round his neck and he will behave accordingly. Then you will rapidly both be miserable!
Similarly, your phrase of 'his last months of freedom" intonates there is a 'before and after' formula that you both must adhere to. The most satisfying relationship is the one where both partners feel free to be themselves. To constantly unfold as the Being we are. To do this with a partner who is respectful of this, is the best.  To have this, one must differentiate 'the being I AM' from - the 'behaviour I want to do"!!!
Many make the mistake of 'drawing lines in the sand', of expected behaviours from each other and calling them 'this is who I am'.  Then using this convenient “insurance policy” to behave in ways to curtail each other’s freedom to optimally evolve.
To ensure your marriage increases in enjoyment, intimacy and genuine sharing with each other:-
1.    Examine and adjust your own expectations and insistences.
2.    Tell your fiancé of all you like and appreciate about he and his behaviour.
3.    Ensure you together have an aligned reality about practicals i.e. children, housework, finances, family and friends, etc.
In ALL love,
Relationships Wisdom Oracle