Let us start at the beginning. Everyone needs to be polite and considerate, even when fighting, which most of us sometimes do. All need to bring up objections, pain, misunderstanding sooner rather than later or not at all. It used to be thought that a happy couple did not fight. That is no longer believed. It is now thought that a happy couple brings up disturbing behavior. There is much more likeliness of happiness for people who do not bury gripes rather than living in the frightened state of waiting for the shoe of discontent to drop. So, we need to tell the other what is bothering us. This does not mean to endlessly nag about something. Both need to speak and to listen. It is a time for greater understanding. Usually, both change their behavior and viewpoint. It is not a happy couple where one wins and the other loses. There is no win or lose here.
Another point of happiness is to not fall into a dead routine. You need to explore what you want to do next. It may be your usual walk to the lake or something totally rare which you aren’t sure you can carry out. The goal of doing this is to feel the thrill of newness, the sense of the unknown, something outside the self. People who become obsessed with household chores as the center of their marriage, frequently become bored with each other and even competitive about who is neater, cleaner faster, cheaper just to get some feeling flying.
Togetherness is a state of mind. Some people do everything together and still feel unrelated. They are doing the same activity but their minds and hearts are far apart. Achieving a shared state of mind/heart is the essence of togetherness. You know the person is with you no matter where you are. I remember a man who insisted on sailing around the globe alone. I think he broke a body part on route, but had brought medical supplies, strapped his injury and sailed on till he reached his destination, a bay in Australia where he was greeted with fireworks and boats. He asked what all the fuss was about. He had not sailed to prove anything to the world, not to get public notice. In the midst of all this hullabaloo, his wife was asked how she felt about her husband going on a potentially death-defying trip. She said calmly and in all innocence, but that is what he wanted. She wanted him to do what made him happy. This expresses love. Being on the other person’s side, being identified with their passion creates a happy couple.
Partners who keep the other from doing what they want to do because the objecting one is fearful and cannot tolerate anxiety, call their demand an act of love. I stop you because I love you. They justify standing in their partner’s way. This kind of so-called partnership has a lot of prohibition in it. Here, the naysayer takes the role of a controlling parent of a disorderly child. The prohibited one feels that he is powerless, penned and disrespected. Neither feels the freedom and joy that true partnership brings. In a true partnership, no one dominates.
Then there is the issue of aggression. Often people who are too much “in sinc” lose interest in sex. Sex needs wildness, it needs animals stalking and taking. The couple is simply too nice. They need to introduce a bit of the tiger, not to hurt each other but to generate reaction: fear, flight or fight. It is amazing how the sex drive can climb the back of the tiger and ride. A pillow fight will do, a physical struggle that sets the fires burning. Try it. I dare you.
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