by Sarah Mirk
Saving Love Relationships
This is again, one of the No. 1 questions that patients want to know in Sex therapy sessions is “Is this fixable?”, Of all of the issues of love, lust, libido, relationship, sex and intimacy in relationships…most everyone at one time or another asks this question. My response is, that with faith, love and hope, anything worth fighting for can be fixed!
I always ask my patients to think back to what it was that attracted them to each other to begin with. In other words, what little nuances like, the way the other person smiled, or was easy to be with…or perhaps was kind to animals and strangers, or always offering to help out those in need. These types of personal and behavioral characteristics are what makes up the charm or charisma that you were most likely first drawn to upon the first encounters with your partner. Once into the grit and grind of daily life however, it is all too easy for us to lose site of what it was and is that we adored most about our lovers.
So to the question of how to know if this is for real? Whether you’re dating, living together, or married for just several years or 50…the key to knowing if you’re in the right place is simple.
No. 1 – Do you respect the person you are sitting across from at the dinner table, or sleeping next to in bed at night? It is crucial that you think this one over for awhile, before you jump in to answer. If you have had a recent argument or don’t like the color your wife has painted the house, thats a disagreement, not a life determining factor that should make or break the relationship. We all fight, in fact, it is those couples that “don’t fight” that truly worry me. Fighting fairly is a way of communicating and is healthy as long as certain rules are followed. This means no bringing up the other persons past, no back stabbing or name calling, nor undermining the other person. To fight fairly can be learned, these skills are available and should be utilized in order to prevent harm that can sometimes not be repaired.
Verbalizing anger can cut as sharp as any knife and feel like the heart has been stabbed. For some, they can easily forget and forgive, for others…those words hastily spewed will resonate in their minds forever, surely dissolving the love and respect in any relationship. If the two of you can find your way back to one another, by way of healthy communication, putting yourself in the other’s shoes, by allowing your partner to speak their truth, without fear of retaliation… or judgment, then you’ve taken the first steps to re-connecting with him or her. But this is work and must be consistent. Chances are, you will find the love, respect, and devotion that was first there in your relationship. These attributes are not something to be taken for granted. They must be nurtured, implemented and planted in your relationship on a daily basis, just as you would care for a fragile flower.
The heart has a mind of its own, yet knows when it truly loves and receives love back. Being truthful about these delicate matters is not always a painless experience. However, moving forward and building on your love is the only way to grow a beautiful and thriving relationship.