Sex, Relationships and Growth
Relationships are people making machines. They force us to change and grow. How successful your relationship is depends, not on how close you are to your partner, but on how you differentiate yourself from them. We grow by looking after ourselves, accepting the differences in our partners and being honest about wanting to change as we mature. This is a skill that happy and successful people and couples have. But sometimes we are ready for growth when our partners are not. That's when relationships experience gridlock.
To work out where you are with yourself and your relationship, think about these questions:
- Am I confident in myself, or do I look for my partner to "bring out the best in me"?
- Do I put a higher priority on what my partner wants than what I want?
- Can I control my anxiety and soothe myself in difficult situations without my partner's involvement?
- Can I tolerate the difficulties of a relationship without losing control of who I am and over-reacting?
Being confident in yourself, not depending totally on another for approval, making your own choices and being able to manage your emotions and anxieties is the secret to being a good partner. But many people are too enmeshed with their partners. They each need the other's support and approval to function, but then feel overwhelmed, controlled or dominated by them. The anxiety, anger and confusion of these couples makes good sex impossible and sexual problems more likely. If these couples break up, they tend to go on to have the same problems next time.
If you feel your relationship is gridlocked, then you or your partner may need help to make change happen. Or perhaps you are exploring why your relationships always seem to follow a similar pattern.
Working with a therapist can enable you to grow: to make you a happier, more successful, more attractive person; a better partner and a better lover. Seeking help can mean the difference between staying together and learning to grow or splitting up and repeating the patterns all over again.
I am always happy to discuss without obligation how I work and how I might be able to help. You might also find the following pages helpful:
Whatever the issue that you want to address, the most important step is to call a therapist to talk about it.