Bonding or Bondage?? How Does Your Relationship Stack Up?

By YourTango

Bonding or Bondage?? How Does Your Relationship Stack Up?
You figure that the best way to stay close is to do everything together. Not so.

When you were dating your now beloved spouse, the two of you did pretty much everything together, and so you figure that the best way to stay close is to continue to do everything together. You want your mate to share in what's important to you.

He’s a mellow sort, loves you and wants to please you. So he comes with you to yoga class, struggles into Downward-Facing Dog, groans into Bharadvaja's Twist, and does his manful best not to crack up during Cow Face. You recognize that it’s only fair for you to share in what’s important to him, so you make yourself sit there during the entire Sunday foot-ball fest, having learned the game so you can argue with the TV ref, cheer, and boo at the appropriate moments.

 

You know how important date-nights are to keeping the love-vibe alive, and since both of you enjoy dinner-and-a-movie, that’s what you do, week after week.

But you’re not getting closer, and the obligatory love-making after date night is feeling less and less passionate. If anything, you are bickering over little things that never used to set either of you off. You’re frustrated, perplexed and downright worried.

How could things be going so wrong when you’re doing everything right?

You’ve confused bonding with bondage. It’s natural and wonderful to want to stay close, but there’s a world of difference between being close emotionally and mentally, versus being joined at the hip in your every activity. Forcing yourselves to do things together that one or the other doesn’t enjoy isn’t bonding, it’s bondage.

If yoga isn’t his thing he doesn’t need to actually be in class with you to participate in the experience. Share with your sweetheart the joy you take in yoga, how terrific it makes you feel, the friends you’ve met there. Tell him all about it! If sometimes he’s happy to come and watch class or a demonstration, great! If he’s not, great! Thank him for encouraging and supporting you in any whatever way that he does. Just listening to you is a loving way of supporting you. Be grateful for his willing ear.

If football isn’t your thing, don’t force yourself onto the couch, football Sunday after miserable football Sunday. Appreciate your mate’s unbounded enthusiasm, how life-giving is that! Know the name of his favorite teams, be happy with him when they win, be sympathetic when they lose. You don’t have to know anything more about the game if it doesn’t please you. Revel in his delight, that’s what matters, that’s how you can best share the football experience with him.

As to date night, sure regular coming together strictly as the couple you are, as opposed to the parents, social persons or family members that you are, is important to keeping your love fresh. But rather than set some routine you observe week after week, make date night an opportunity to explore new and different aspects of each other. That’s how you really keep love fresh. Take turns as to who decides “what we’re doing this date night” and get creative! Go to an aquarium together, play miniature golf, go to a concert of some music neither of you is familiar with. Through each of your reactions and responses to the event, you’ll discover new things about yourself and about your spouse, and the closeness between you will evolve and grow on its own.

Bonding or bondage? Hog-tie your love into closeness, or create opportunities where closeness naturally evolves? The choice is yours.
 

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