Manage your stress * Enliven your passions, projects and relationships
Manage your stress * Enliven your passions, projects and relationships

How to make love not war

Relationships can be challenging. You already know talking it out can be challenging too.

Communication is one of the most important factors in relationships. Communication communication..blaBla bla.

The thing is, there’s many ways of communicating.

Each Astrological sign has a predisposition to think, behave and speak a specific way. When you factor in another human being (or groups of beings) in a relationship, you quickly realize that they don’t always think, behave and speak the same way you’d expect, want or prefer.

To make things more confusing, it’s quite possible to not always say what you mean, or automatically defer to some well-rehearsed ranty narrative from the past, or just. not. not be very good with words…

Watch out for these two speech patterns:

Criticism. It tends to bring out more of the very behavior that’s being criticized. This happens a lot to children and romantic partners. But you find it in the workplace too. It’s destructive and hurtful to the recipient’s self esteem on many levels.

Sarcasm is another weapon. It’s dangerous because it uses humor, a seemingly benign form of communication to make someone feel small. Even teasing can be destructive over time.

Check in with yourself when you speak…

What’s the intention? What’s theirs?

If you want true understanding and deeper connection, it  requires a willingness to discover your own and the others’  intentions, wants and needs. Especially in disagreements.

When situations get challenging, emotions go into overdrive, It becomes harder to grasp the meanings of the words spoken and the nature of the feelings behind them.

When defenses are triggered, you’re both in fight-mode. It’s not a very receptive (or sexy) place.

‘Imprinting’ from the past informs us how to ‘survive’ even if our life is not actually in danger. Past experiences (and even past lives!) that were painful, humiliating, shameful, dangerous or hurtful will be subconsciously triggered if they haven’t been consciously worked through.

It’s challenging to respond intelligently or lovingly when the current conversation/argument/event triggers emotional reactions from the past…

Sometimes awareness is all that’s needed is to break the pattern.

Other times it will be repeated demonstrations of commitment to the relationship. Everybody is different. Every relationship is unique.

As a relationship coach and self care strategist, these dynamics are all fascinating to me. When approached with a bit of curiosity, the relationship can go to the next level of awesome.

Here’s a case study… A (fire sign) woman was always angry with her husband. He didn’t respond to her desires the way she wanted him to. She felt resentful that her needs were not being met, and whenever the resentment built up enough, she’d blow up at him.

Then, he would try to satiate her by apologizing incessantly. He was doing the things he thought she would like, and saying what he thought she wanted to hear, and she became more enraged and he became more compliant. As a result, she became less attracted to him and more resentful.

When she and I finally discovered her real needs, and which ones were not being met, she realized she could meet some of her own needs quite easily, and more consistently, than he could. She learned to communicate her true desires more effectively to him. There were little things that she could say and do to convey her needs more directly, which felt good to her. He was delighted to meet her real needs -and she felt more loving, and sexually open with him than ever before.

Relationships are one of the things that bring variety, love and excitement to life, but it can also be a huge source of dis-harmony, misunderstanding and anxiety… It doesn’t’ have to be this way!

There are strategies to build commitment and trust, get off the battlefield, end resentment, and fall in love all over again. If you need help with that Check out: Magical Relationships- 3 secrets of the connected couple

…and if it’s your self care and boundaries that need an overhaul check out the self care quiz below.