Valentine’s Day. The weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day are usually pretty busy for me; not unlike the pressures of other winter holidays, Valentine’s Day brings a host of stresses and triggers for people and here are some of the conversations I’ve had with clients, on Instagram DM, email and a few consultation calls.
- My wife doesn’t want me at all. She has no desire.
- I sleep on the couch about 50% of the time.
- I have been sleeping in the basement for months.
- We haven’t been intimate in months.
- We haven’t been intimate in years.
- We are physical, but it feels like a chore. I don’t express how not into them that I am.
- We get along enough; we talk and do things but are not intimate.
- We barely get along and are intimate, but it feels empty.
- I come home, and the house is a mess even though she’s home all day.
- I come home, and the house is so clean, and she gets upset if I forget to take my shoes off.
- His idea of foreplay is saying, “I’m available if you want to fool around.”
- His idea of foreplay is this mysterious all-day flirt, just come out and say what you want. I feel like he’s buttering me up, and it feels inauthentic.
Whether you are a swinging single, in a relationship, in a complicated relationship, engaged, or married, I hope you had a good day Valentine’s Day. If this blog hits you at a different time of the year, you’ll still get the juice of it. I get that many people feel it is a “Hallmark” holiday, and while it may appear that way, it is an ancient celebration that honors nature, life transitions, and relationships. Attitude means everything; if you can’t notice the silver linings, all you experience are the storms or bracing for the next storm.
Many relationships go south, though, and often these are very fixable.
Almost everyone who has had a romantic relationship in turmoil will tell me that their partner has had trauma in their past; then, later, I find out that the client has also had some trauma or neglect in their history. Most people have had some turmoil; like I always say, life is muddy. Many relationships with past trauma still thrive, so what’s the difference between the couples? Or the mother-daughters or the father-sons or siblings or friendships?
I learned from years of experience and a transpersonal approach that you must acknowledge the interconnectedness of your relationship dynamics to be a better partner, sibling, parent, child, or friend.
Part of that is realizing that you might be contributing to your suffering, and the answer isn’t always to blame the other person but to have compassion for them and yourself.
Sometimes they are to blame, but blaming doesn’t solve the problem- it just deflects that you need a next step.
The next step is never denial, though short-term, if you’ve had trauma, denial can help you make a space between you and the pain- but the trauma doesn’t go away because you went on a vacation or enjoyed fun with friends a few times; you still need to work on yourself eventually.
Sometimes, love is the answer.
Not lust. It is not winning, not putting walls up, and not having expectations based on desire.
Loving yourself enough to deal with the pain.
Loving yourself enough to hold no shame or blame.
Sometimes, it is really about honoring you both are doing the best you can, and while the struggle may not be fulfilling, the result of the battle may be highly satisfying and intimate.
When love goes south, it often feels hopeless because we haven’t allowed ourselves to honor the interconnectedness. This does not mean you have to put up with an abusive person; a generally thriving person you wish to be more intimate with might need more compassion rather than fixing. This includes your relationship with yourself.
These are the conversations we have in Mind Your Mud, so if you’d like to experience support and discussion and work through some muddy emotions – meet us there. Link in the menu.