Why Relationships Fail

Why Relationships Fail

Like many women, I've been dissecting relationships for what seems like forever. I've interviewed relationship gurus aplenty, attended slews of workshops and have read nearly everything available (or so it seems) on the subject. And just as I was kinda, sorta feeling like I might have a handle on this thing called love, I met Albert Clayton Gaulden (pronounced "Golden").

Gaulden is an astrologer (full disclosure: in the past he's written horoscopes for YourTango) and the author of Signs and Wonders: Understanding the Language of God and Clearing for the Millenium. He has been on Oprah and wrote the just-released book, You're Not Who You Think You Are: A Breakthrough Guide to Discovering the Authentic You. I talked to Golden about metrosexuals, owning your masculine side and why relationships don't work.

Why don't relationships work?

You can't have a relationship with someone else until you have one with yourself, and you can't have a relationship with yourself because you don't know who you are. People need to embrace their "shadow selves." Men and women must discover their shadows, or anima, as Carl Jung called them, and let the shadows be an integral part of their lives.

What about women who want to do things that are traditionally thought of as "male" activities? I can carry my own groceries, make my own money and I have a friend who conceived her daughter in vitro.

That's all good and fine, but don't deny the woman you were born to be either. The integration of one's shadow is about getting balance in your life—having a relationship with yourself first before you venture out into the dating game. And, by the way, don't expect society to tell you what I am saying is okay. Terms like metrosexual and tomboy keep people stuck in their discomfort with these issues.

I've always wondered if I should date or run away from metrosexuals.

Metrosexual is just a cover up; all men need to be in touch with their feminine side. A man's pink shirt doesn't make him unmanly, just like pumping iron doesn't make him more of a man. Masculinity comes from understanding both sides—the combination of the man he is, fused with his feminine shadow. Likewise, the only way a woman can be a real woman is to balance the two sides—to become integrated with her malenness.

Is this the Ying/Yang dynamic the Chinese speak about?

Yes, it is.

But if I'm in touch with my masculine side will I deter men?

No, it will allow you to be your authentic self. This is the premise of my book: we are never who we were created to be because we have split our wholeness into parts. Men are told they are only men and women that they are just women. Nonsense—we're both. Putting ourselves together with our shadow entitles us to have a loving relationship with anyone who is also balanced. From there you can do anything.

As a single mom, I sometimes resent having to be masculine.

Yes, but life requires both qualities regardless of one's situation.

You created and have been operating The Sedona Intensive™ for more than 27 years. What happens at the work shop?

The Intensive is a week-long one-on-one, personalized transformational turnaround program. We extract what's not working, what got us stuck as living as someone we are not. Depending on a participant's needs, therapies might include Voice Therapy, yoga, Pilates, meditation, massages, sessions with a psychologist, equine therapy, hikes, life history, and more.

We treat couples separately as well as together, helping them to each get in touch with their counter-sexual side, which helps them to communicate. We show them how to resolve arguments before they become World War III.

What kind of "extractions" do you do?

Most common are alcoholism, gambling, grief, addiction, debt, guilt, and food. We don't pluck these compulsions out like one does feathers from a chicken—through a process of facing down and changing who one is allows the changes to happen naturally.

Finally, there has been a lot talk about Red Flags on YourTango. What are yours?

My top five red flags are:

1. Unemployment. Both sexes need to earn their own money when they are dating.

2. Speed dating. If someone is too quick to reveal everything and/or is rushing the progress of the relationship, consider ending it before it gets too serious.

3. Mother haters. Don't like Daddy. If someone does not like his or her mother or father, relationships are more difficult.

4. Freedom to be. If a man says a woman cannot work when that is important to her, or if either party does not allow the other party to integrate their male and female sides, run for the nearest exit.

5. Deal Breakers. Dissimilar lifestyles and non-agreement on children are death knells to an affair to remember.

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