ProConnect

Help! Merging Our Lives is Harder Than We Thought!

By

Help! Merging Our Lives is Harder Than We Thought!
Are you & your partner challenged in how to lovingly live together when you are so different?

Lily and Don, both in their 40s, decided to get married after dating each other for a year. Lily's children were in college, while Don still had children coming to his house every other weekend.

They discovered early in their marriage that it was one thing to date and quite another to merge their lives in the same house. Little things started to bother them that were not issues when they were living separately and just spending weekends together.
They called me for a consultation. "How do we take care of ourselves while respecting each other's needs and ways of doing things?"

For example, Lily always woke up each morning by her own internal clock. She could tell herself at night that she wanted to be awake at 7:00 and she would wake up at 7:00. She hated waking up to an alarm clock.

Don always woke up with an alarm clock, and during the week would get up at 5:30. Since they had previously been together only on weekends, this had never been a problem. Now it was a huge problem. Don needed the alarm and Lily, jolted awake each morning, was feeling very grumpy. They wanted to sleep in the same bed. What to do?

And this was only one of many different issues that had come up since they got married.
All relationships have issues such as these. It may be that one person is neat and the other messy, one partner is on time and the other is late, one is a morning person and the other a night person, one a democrat and the other republican, one wants sex frequently and the other is not often turned on. Does one partner have to give himself or herself up for the other? This does NOT work well. It will eventually lead to resentment.

Problems such as these get resolved only when both partners have each other's highest good at heart, as well as their own highest good. If one or both partners are focused on winning or not losing, neither will be happy with the solution. But when both partners care about themselves and each other, they will find solutions where both feel like winners.

As Don and Lily opened to learning and caring about themselves and each other, some solutions came to mind. One was for Don to get some hypnosis training to learn to wake himself up without an alarm. Another was for him to get a quiet, musical alarm and for Lily to wear earplugs. They decided to try both solutions and see how they worked. The process itself of being open to learning and caring about themselves and each other — rather than just trying to control or not be controlled — created warm and close feelings between them. Knowing that they were both going to care about themselves and each other created a deep sense of safety between them.

Win-win conflict resolution occurs only in an arena of deep caring. All close relationships offer us the opportunity to learn and care about ourselves and each other.

Share this with someone you love (or even like a lot)!

Let's make it
FB official
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Margaret Paul

Author

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process - featured on Oprah, and recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Take our FREE Inner Bonding course, and click here for a FREE CD/DVD relationship offer. Visit our website at innerbonding.com for more articles and help, as well as our Facebook Page. Phone and Skype sessions available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Location: Pacific Palisades, CA
Credentials: PhD
Specialties: Anxiety Issues, Couples/Marital Issues, Depression
Other Articles/News by Dr. Margaret Paul:

How Far Am I In The Narcissism World?

By

All of us have some characteristics and behaviors that fall into the category of narcissism. Narcissism is on a continuum from mild, occasional, and subtle to the more ubiquitous, obvious or extreme behaviors of a Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Since narcissism is likely a part of everyone's ego wounded self, it is helpful to your personal growth and ... Read more

Using Your Inner Strengths To Become More Intimate

By

"Intimacy begins with oneself. It does no good to try to find intimacy with friends, lovers, and family if you are starting out from alienation and division within yourself." -Thomas Moore Do you try to create intimacy with your partner without first checking inside to see if you are connected with yourself? Do you believe that if you found ... Read more

Relationships: When to Talk, When to Act

By

In my work with couples, I am often asked, "Shouldn't I communicate with my partner about this? Shouldn't we talk this over?" For example, Ginger noticed that when her husband, Ron, became demanding sexually or started to complain about not having enough sex, she would become defensive and try to talk him out of his feelings by explaining ... Read more

See More

Recent Expert Posts
Staying Dry

10 Signs Your Guy is Smitten

Does that new hunky guy you've been dating see you in his future? Here are 10 ways he'll show you.

Girl Decorates Easter Eggs

Rebirth Renew Happy Easter!

Five ways to get going on your best life today!

Texting Your Way To Love

How To Have Cyber Sex: 5 Keys To Unlock Your Lady's Passion

Cyber sex partners disappearing right when things are heating up? Make them crave you instead!

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

Resources
How to find the right pro for you
10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

YourTango Experts can help your business go from good to great.

10 Steps To Improve Your Coaching Business

Take your coaching business from mediocre to great in no time…

Frequently Asked Questions About YourTango Experts

Thinking of joining? Here's all the facts you need to know to make the most of your membership.

Getting Your Guy To Join You In A Therapy Or Coaching Session

So how can your get your strong, self-reliant, superman to talk to an Expert with you?

Therapist/Counselors: Who We Are & What We Do

What exactly does a therapist/counselor do and can they really help?

See more resources>
HOT STUFF!
FROM OUR PARTNERS