“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!” – Goethe – (1749-1832)
We’re familiar the aphorism “you can’t steer a boat that isn’t moving,” yet this might well describe the reality of many love relationships. Imagine, if you were to ask your close friends, “what are you two doing these days to deepen and add excitement to your love relationship?,” you would of course receive many a blank stare; “Doing? Surviving. Tired. We’re ok. …whatever.”
In therapy one of the most common comments clients make when referring to their spouse, is the simple “we don’t talk.” There’s usually little bitterness or grief in the statement; rather an indifferent acceptance of this status quo.
We may function reasonably well of course, over time having silently negotiated some sort of mutual understanding and day-to-day routine, but just as often a quiet discontent grows and begins to destabilize life. We want connection; somehow, somewhere, sometime!
As we head into this new year, these first days give opportunity for reflection as we wonder what might be different or better in 2017. A “New Year’s resolution” may seem cliche, but with Christmas past, and perhaps a few days off before we dive back in, most have a few days to wonder about where we’ve been, and where we’re going.
How’s your love-life? Great sex? Great friendship? Great passion? Excited about this next stretch together?
Couples are often aware that their relationship is lack-lustre, especially lacking fiery and exciting intimacy, or as we’ve written elsewhere in this site, suffering from the “creeping separateness“ which often overtakes life-long relationships. But there is also so often a feeling of weariness, and a hopelessness that very little can be done to fix things; not without some complicated and huge effort, along with some dumb luck; some sort of magical solution. We’re then tempted to do nothing in particular except to occasionally sigh with envy when we sometimes see some electricity and joie de vivre in couples we know, and to persist in the current arrangement.
Sometimes this mediocrity is shaken up by a wild opportunity or a tragedy, but just as often we can continue along the path of “creeping separateness,” with the consolation that many are on this road with us, and that it could be worse.
Overwhelmed and weary, we usually end up doing nothing about it.
JUST DO IT!
Something new, almost anything new gives opportunity for relief, and for new life to begin to trickle in through the seams. If we’re at least moving together in some way, then almost anything we do together in 2016 has the potential to be life-giving.
Do you have any ideas for your love-life for 2017? Perhaps just one small but do-able idea?
Goethe suggests that your genius, power and magic in this will come simply from beginning!
We don’t talk? Then Talk to Me!
We don’t show our love? Then Show Me!
We don’t touch? Then Touch Me!
When and where might we begin this in 2017?
One couple I spoke with recently decided they would meet for a 1.5 hour lunch every second Thursday.
Another has decided to sit down in the living room for a drink before supper, no matter how late they’re running.
Another goes for coffee together every Tuesday night while their kids are in swimming lessons.
Another wrap up every night in bed, sharing with each other the highs and lows of their day.
Another has decided to drive his wife to work; the morning commute has become increasingly pleasant!
Another decided to have regular afternoon phone conversations (at work!) to make plans for their lovemaking that night.
Everyone has their own thing, but these couples got down to it! Nike! For sure, marital poverty and breakdown is complicated, and not solved by a simple determination to start talking or touching or to just have sex. Old habits, misunderstanding, injuries, resentments and disinterest are scattered across the relationship landscape.
But a best first step into a new place together can come through this simple commitment and follow through to once again pick up the thread of your life-long love affair. Remember, there was a time when the sexual passion and delight in each other was blazing hot! This same life-time. This same husband or wife!
The English poet William Wordsworth suggested that we are far too preoccupied with the pressures and demands of life; so much so that we waste our energies and lives in fruitless pursuits, and fail in the simple love opportunities before us.
“…the world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers.” – William Wordsworth, (1770-1850)
“We don’t talk? Show our love? Touch? Fool around?”
Ask your spouse if they think this describes your relationship. If there’s some mutual agreement that we might make some fresh starts in 2017, then suggest a place and time that will be “ours” throughout the coming year, times and places where we can regularly enjoy some new, occasionally risque, and increasingly heart-warming and lively time together.
“Ultimately, the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or friendship, is conversation.” – Oscar Wilde, 1854-1900
“Laughter is the lightning rod of play, the eroticism of conversation.” — Eva Hoffman – (born 1945)
And if you don’t already have a copy of the game, order yours today! The game makes this kind of discussion and dreaming together a very easy, delicious and successful!
If you struggle at all with getting into delicious and rewarding conversation together, then this is the game to take places and that will that will take you places!
Best wishes for a great 2016. Go!
“Grow old with me! The best is yet to be.” – Robert Browning – (1812 – 1889)