We are social creatures – of that there is absolutely no doubt. Anybody who has lived at least 50 years on this planet will have understood that its absolutely essential to be in a relationship to maintain good emotional and physical health.
Video on the benefits of relationship
In this situation, it’s hardly surprising that when a relationship breaks up people experience such high levels of anxiety, depression, worthlessness and fear! These are all common responses to the breakup of a relationship, although its also equally common for people to experience anger and depression.
This in turn explains why its so important to most people to keep a relationship going even when that relationship appears to have gone beyond its sell by date. In fact, relationships can almost always be sustained, and there are very good arguments for making sure that you do put the maximum amount of effort into sustaining a relationship even when it appears that divorce or separation is inevitable.
If you’re already in the throes of a breakup, then you might want information about reconnecting with your partner.
In general, people breakup because they can’t communicate effectively. Also, the emotional issues which arose in their childhoods, and which haunt them to this day, are still uppermost in their minds. So, when dealing with a partner in their relationship, a lot of people will actually respond emotionally rather than intellectually or rationally. This could be described, in fact, as reacting rather than responding. This is a great opportunity to heal old emotional wounds from the past by using a system of personal growth called Shadow Work. (A Jungian term.)
If you’d like to really learn how to reconnect with your ex partner, there are many clear advantages to be gained from being (or staying) in relationship. As social creatures were all programmed to be in relationship, for many reasons: the emotional and physical relief we get from sexual pleasure; the interaction of ideas; the support and emotional well-being that comes from having a partner to talk to; and to meet our relational needs. You see, liking comes from a feeling of closeness and affection derived from a mutual understanding and a degree of empathy.
How easy is it to love someone wholeheartedly?
Long term, you may seek to engage with somebody who has essentially the same values, beliefs and attitudes as yourself. Without that, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that (at least in the longer term) a relationship won’t survive.
In the short term, however, likeability and liking a much more tied into particular behaviours: empathising, reflective listening, paying attention, being fully present your partner, and indeed simple things like apologising when somebody’s upset.
Another thing that’s important is maintaining a positive attitude to your partner. It turns out that when people offer less than five positive affirmations for every negative interaction in a relationship, the prospect of long-term survival of the relationship is really quite low.
What I think I take away from this is that there are simple things that you can do which are very helpful in sustaining a relationship. But in addition, you do need to do the deeper work to get rid of emotional baggage from the past.
Nowhere is this more true than in the field of sexual problems.
If either the man or the woman in a partnership has some issue with sex or some kind of sexual dysfunction, be it low sex drive, premature ejaculation or whatever, then it’s extremely important to attend to this. The reason? When a couple are making love with pleasure and satisfaction, and in particular when the woman’s having regular orgasms, the relationship will be much more stable and happy outside the bedroom than it will be if the sexual connection between the partners is failing or non-existent.
One of the reasons we seem to have such difficulty with relationships – whether entering into them, staying in them, or leaving them – is that we aren’t taught by anyone, at any time in our lives, the things we need to know to deal with the emotions associated with a relationship effectively. No wonder, perhaps, why more than half of all marriages end in divorce!
Poor Relationships Have Poor Communication!
- Blaming rather than listening – when your partner says something important to them about the way you’re interacting with them you don’t respond by giving them space to speak considering what they’re saying, you just launch an attack straight back
- Powerplay – where the main objective of your relationship appears to be to be the one who is always right, the one who knows best, or the one who “wins”.
- You did this, I did that – another strategy where you try and blame your partner for what they did when they’re talking about the way you behaved.
- Escalating – where the trivial discussion becomes a major argument, apparently of its own accord, without you quite knowing how it happened
- Dirty tricks department – where you deliberately play dirty by hitting your partner in the most vulnerable areas of their psyche
- Taking the moral high ground – pretending the your the innocent party, and that you’ve done no wrong
- Uncontrolled anger – a reaction which never helps calm things down!
- Pointing out your partner’s failings – telling your partner what’s wrong with them is never gonna help lead to a rational discussion
- Calling for support – enlisting other people, either physically, or in their absence, to support the argument that you’re putting forward about your partner’s failings and inadequacies
- Quoting from the past – it may be true, but recalling things that happened years ago is not can help establish harmony in the present
- Sullen and silent – just being sullen and silent the opposite of what you need to have an intimate relationship which is, in case you’ve forgotten, open and honest communication
- Blaming – I told you that would happen if you did that, and you didn’t listen; it’s a common line in relationships but it’s not a very helpful oneIndirect attacks – another common strategy where people can’t say what they’re feeling directly, making unpleasant digs and offering putdowns at your partner, particularly in the presence of others, is very destructive
- Storing things up and then letting the floodgates open – usually happens because you’re not brave enough to say something until you have a certain level of anger propelling you, at which point you lose control say far too much, that becomes damaging.
None of these add up to reflective listening or open and honest communication. If you can take the time to think of an example of when you used each of these and any other strategies in relationship and consciously decide that you’re not going to do that anymore, you going to stand a much better chance of actually reaching the point of open and honest communication.
You see, a lot of what happens in relationship is down to your intention. What is it that you intend to do through rebuilding your relationship? Presumably, to have a harmonious and loving relationship? If you can set that clear intention, and then you can actually commit yourself wholeheartedly to doing whatever it takes to establish such a relationship, then your frame of mind is going to be a lot more likely to it about than if you’re vague and indecisive.
Another useful technique is mindfulness, aka living in the now – in other words, you can make a decision to step around the past, and what it’s legacy may be for you, and to take the time effort to live in the moment with your partner now. And of course talking about positive experiences you’ve had together may work positively to rebuild trust and affection.
Establish Great Communication About Sex (and Sexual Problems)
One of the important things that men and women really need to get to grips with is communication about sex. For one thing when was the last time you reassured your female partner about her attractiveness in bed? The truth of the matter is that men are insensitive to women’s needs when it comes to sex, and very often women don’t express their needs in a way that men can respond to.
For example, men should really appreciate any effort that a woman makes to be sexy, because she’s actually trying hard to accommodate her man’s needs, as she see them. Women see a big difference between having sex and making love; they also see a difference between sex and romance. And they certainly see a difference between desire and passion.
They attach emotion and meaning to sex: much beyond physical pleasure and gratification — they want intimacy, tenderness, soft words, attention, and the feeling that they mean something to the man who is making love to them. And of course while men want these things as well, the fact is that what they want mostly, perhaps more than anything else, is physical relief from the sexual tension they experience.
Advice for men
If you have a problem with erectile dysfunction or difficulties with delayed ejaculation, read up on how you and your partner can actually become closer by working on the problem together. And learn how to satisfy a woman in bed.
What about the question of “taking” a woman an orgasm? Well there’s nothing wrong with expecting a woman to have an orgasm, and indeed wanting her to have an orgasm, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with trying hard to make sure that a woman does have an orgasm.
However asking a woman if she’s had an orgasm is a definite no-no, because it’s a double bind for a woman. If she says no, then the man’s ego is destroyed, and if she says yes, when she hasn’t had one, she’s introducing an element of distrust and insincerity into the relationship.
Knowing how to make a woman climax is vitally important, there’s no doubt about that, but doing so must be done with sensitivity and care. Much of a woman’s ability to reach orgasm is in her head. And although being turned on mentally will enhance her ability to come physically, the fact of the matter is that she’ll need lots of foreplay. And enquiring about how near she is just before she comes can instantly take her orgasm away from her.
So stop focusing on just giving a woman an orgasm: slow down so that she can focus on every sensitive nuance of the experience she’s having before she even gets to orgasm. In other words, consideration for the other person’s needs is paramount in any relationship, regardless of whether or not you understand where they come form or why they have arisen.