The skills we need to “work the relationship” by “working ourselves” inside the relationship are different from qualities prized in the “intervention from above” model — being right, being powerful. That flies out the window when we begin to think relationally.
The following two selections are from Terrence Real’s important book, How Can I Get Through to You? Closing the intimacy gap between men and women (2003). Relational therapist, lecturer and author Real looks at the “thousand cuts” that contribute to the death of a marriage and the “intimacy skill set” that is essential for reconnection.
Relationship and sex therapist Esther Perel notes that, much as one must be able to conjugate certain core verbs in order to speak a language, one must similarly practice seven basic relational verbs to sustain a satisfying friendship or relationship. In the bedroom, practicing these verbs becomes even more significant.
In her New York Times article, Great Betrayals (10.05.13), New York psychiatrist Dr. Anna Fels writes eloquently about the corrosive, confusing and life-altering impact of betrayal and deceit in a marriage.
She describes how lies eat away at the fabric of the betrayed partner’s past reality, creating the need — in order to move forward — for a new narrative that integrates both the good and the bad. The following is a selection from her longer article.
When our partner snaps at us, s/he is generally sending us a distress signal. That distress may be connected to an immediate need that is not being met; to a sense of being overwhelmed; to a feeling of inadequacy or of being misunderstood; or even to an old (painful or uncomfortable) family-of-origin dynamic or trauma that is being triggered.
Emily Nagoski pens the popular sex blog, TheDirtyNormal.com, and teaches a course on Women’s Sexuality at Smith College. In her new book, Come as You Are: The surprising new science that will transform your sex life (Simon & Schuster, 2015) Nagoski explores the whys and hows of women’s sexuality, based on groundbreaking research and brain science.