Is The Honeymoon Over?

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Is The Honeymoon Over?
Why your doubts about the relationship may be a sign of growth rather than trouble

The little doubts that appear in your head after the initial "symbiotic" phase are reminding you that you are two separate individuals with differences in preference, needs, and desires. Your partner hasn’t seen the real you until you trust them with your honest feelings, and the reality of who you really are. Only then can you be sure that you are loved for yourself. The converse is equally true: You can only truly appreciate your partner for who they are when you have seen all sides of her or him.

Sooner or later, you will encounter your first "dis-illusionment" that makes you wonder, is this who your loved one really is? You will discover each other’s flaws and shortcomings, and feel disappointment in your relationship. This is your first real test as a couple. The million dollar question is: Are you willing to face and deal with the truth, and potentially build a strong and divorce-resistant relationship? Or do you signal to your partner: If this is who you are, please don’t let me know! The longer you wait to show yourself to your partner and ask about the things that confuse or bother you in their behavior, the greater the risk that you will enter into a conflict-avoidant relationship that will ultimately leave you disappointed and resentful.

Changing Course

How do you do take the healthy path of acknowledging your differences without turning into the bickering couple next door? How do you admit you haven’t been entirely authentic about your history, preferences, needs, habits, or weaknesses? One way is to try to say something like this:

"Sweetie, I have a problem. I like _____ (action movies, lingerie, spending money on nice things, etc.) but I’m worried about your reaction, and that you will now think of me as _____ (insensitive, objectifying, shopaholic, etc.). Could we talk about it?"

If this contradicts something you have claimed or agreed to in the past, acknowledge this, and offer your partner a window into your soul—Tell them your reasons at the time, why you want to come out with the truth now, and acknowledge it if this revelation causes your partner hurt.

Don’t continue sitting on things and hope ignoring them will make them go away. Instead, spend some time asking yourself how important an issue is to you and why. People who make a habit of continuously dismissing their own desires lose touch with themselves, and ultimately with their partners. Admittedly, being genuine and acknowledging that you feel differently from your partner initially creates tension and anxiety. Nobody enjoys negative feelings, but don’t let your fear of feeling uncomfortable or your desire to protect your partner from bad feelings deter you both from being real.

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