Sometimes the tiny steps we need to make our partner feel special again, are met with resistance.
Change can be awkward. Let’s face it, doing something different after years of doing it one way can be a downright scary at worst, embarrassing, awkward and strange at best. Breaking patterns is not easy, but it’s definitely doable. It just takes a strong desire to want change, and to recognize it is for the better.
Change is equivalent to growth. Dragging your heels in the dirt to avoid change leaves you closed off from the world. Hiding and afraid. Letting go to embrace change may sound scary but in the end will open up doors for you, doors you may never imagined possible, and can bring love and light into your life. The key is to accept change as a part of life. Some changes we can control, some we cannot. For example, when you go to see a therapist for the reasons of desiring change, or help, or just to get some support and insight that is a choice you have made, to seek out help. Other things, obviously we absolutely cannot control, the weather, earthquakes and natural disasters, and finally there are those other things we have some control over, perhaps over time, to either avoid or contribute to things like getting fired from a job or getting dumped.
I recently had an epiphany about change. Change can happen in many different ways. When you go to see a therapist, what you come away with, learn and decide to do with the information and insight you glean from you therapy sessions is completely and 100% up to you. You are the expert of your own life. You are the driver.
With that said, it is imperative for you to know that you are in charge of your life, including your relationships in a pretty big way. You make choices every day as to determining the outcome of certain situations. The therapist is just a guide, maybe a mirror, and hopefully an instigator to encourage you to get the relationships that you want, and of course the life that you want. The steps you take to make, change, or to save and nurture your relationship are all up to you. That’s not to say that all therapy is about saving relationships. Sometimes therapy can help us recognize that a relationship is not meant to be saved, is not what we any longer want and that it may be time to move on.
This article however, is about saving your relationship and taking the small steps needed to do so, while there is still time. Let’s say you come to the conclusion after the first few sessions that this relationship is worth saving, and that you are committed to saving it. (Read: You must be committed to the relationship if you’re goal is to save it.) Sometimes I see that despite the commitment and desire to save the relationship, that the change that needs to take place, sometimes the smallest, tiny steps for example needed to make our partner feel loved and special again, are met with huge amounts of resistance. Often times the desire and need to change doesn’t happen until the individual is faced with a crisis, for example a spouse/partner decides they want to leave the relationship, and unfortunately at that point, sometimes its too late. Making small changes along the way is absolutely up to you, and it’s important to recognize that these small changes matter. Holding on to resentment, anger, blaming your partner for the way things are, are all just excuses to avoid change. Yet, so many people resist making changes for the very reason that it is, “too awkward and weird,” “it doesn’t feel natural,” “I shouldn’t have to change,” or “I’m already doing that but my partner doesn’t respond.” You have the choice every day to say, “This is the start of a new day, and yesterday’s anger is a thing of the past.” You have a choice to forgive and start over new every single day. You have the choice to tell your partner how much you love and appreciate them today, by looking them in the eye and forgetting the woes of yesterday. You have the choice to tell your partner how sexy, special or important they are, how good they smell, and how elated they make you feel. So, no you haven’t said it in years, or you haven’t looked them in the eye and made it imperative that they hear you, well today is your chance to make a change. At the end of the day, the choice is yours. To suck up the emotions of the awkward moment, to recognize that this moment is only awkward the first few times you do it, and then when it becomes a part of your everyday repertoire it will become easier and easier, and will grow and develop into newer different things that will only make your relationship and desire to love flourish. It is up to you. Stop thinking about it and just do it. Make a stand to save your relationship today or let another day go by.
Mou is a Los Angeles based sex therapist. Visit her website at www.LASexTherapist.com.
This is an excerpt from her book, Marriage, Money and Porn, available on Amazon.com