All relationships go through ups and downs. But you knew that already.
It’s when your relationship starts to have more downs than ups and this grows into doubts on whether or not this relationship will be able to last the long haul. When this starts to happen, we voice our desires, and sometimes they’re heard and implemented and then the relationship starts to make the uphill climb. And then sometimes they’re not heard and the relationship continues to fester.
This festering can look like a lot of things: the lack of sex, the lack of intimacy, lack of communication, lack of compromise, lack of (fill in the blank), etc.
So what do you do when you get to this place?
Some of us ask questions and try to communicate, only to be met with dialogue that becomes too challenging to engage in. Some of us go to therapy or counseling by ourselves or with our partners to see how we can psychoanalyze ourselves and our partners to figure out how we can get past these dramatic differences and/or growing pangs. Some of us decide on being unethical and engage with lovers that our partner doesn’t know about or doesn’t approve of us having around.
When you are at this point, here are a few ways to dissect your relationship, see if it’s congruent with your partner, and then move on (whether it’s with your partner or not).
First, know exactly what you want in a partner – not just any partner, or the partner you have now, your ideal partner. A lot of people think that if you know what you don’t want, this is the better way to go. However, if you keep telling the Universe what you don’t want, what you don’t want will find you every time. In other words, you need to frame things in the positive. If you don’t want someone who has to be financially dependent on you, write an affirmation that says “My perfect partner has their own job/career and is financially independent.” Write down all the things that you desire in your ideal partner AND make sure they are things that you ARE NOT willing to compromise.
Second, know your exact desires in a relationship. Is it hugs, kisses, and intimacy every day? Is it a greater need for alone time? Is it consistent sex? Whatever IT is, make sure that you write it down and be clear as to WHY you need these things in your life. In addition, these will translate to one of the most important things and that is what you value in relationships. Your values need to be aligned with your partner’s values if you are to be successful in your partnership.
Third (which is the hardest part), confront your partner with these things that you’ve written down (I recommend you writing them down, too, because we tend to forget things when adrenaline and blood pressure is up, and/or we feel stress or anxiety around it). Make sure that you two have agreed on a time where you can talk about your relationship without any (kid, technology, etc.) interruptions. Tell your partner what your ideal partner looks like and ask them if they feel like they are that person. If they don’t feel compatible with something on your list, try to figure out why. If the reason sounds reasonable or logical to you, make sure you feel good about that particular compromise.
After that, you need to tell your partner about what you need and what your desires are in the relationship. If they feel that your desires, needs, and values are logical, you should be able to work with them and get through any kind of compromise that you all feel is necessary. If they do not, you need to figure out why they think the way that they do. Although you and your partner might have different desires and needs, if your values aren’t aligned, you have to know that it will be a difficult and stressful relationship.
Whether or not you decide to stay in the relationship or not is purely up to you at this point. However, if you do decide to be in the relationship when your values are intrinsically different, you can’t complain.
Don’t complain to your partner. Don’t complain to your family. Don’t complain to your friends. Don’t complain to your coworkers. Don’t complain if you are trying to align yourself with someone who doesn’t value the same things that you value.
You just have to deal with the repercussions of your actions; so you might need more self-care than normal because you will be stressed out.
It is what it is.
My hope for people is to realize that the love you want is out there and you don’t have to settle on someone just because of some insecurity that you have. We’d be better people if we all knew our worth and acted accordingly.
Cheers to your sexual success!