Tag Archives: Marriage
From David’s Schnarch’s book Passionate Marriage…
The biggest trust issue in marriage isn’t about trusting your partner. It’s about whether of not you can really trust yourself. The better your partner, the better your ability to soothe and console yourself needs to be. It’s not safe to love your partner more than you can self-soothe, especially if you always need him or her to “be there for you.” Your partner won’t be there to hold your hand and comfort you through his or her death. You’ll go through that alone. The increasing vulnerability that arises from your partner becoming more important to you makes a passionate marriage daunting. Many of us know we can’t trust ourselves with this enormous risk.
Love is not for the weak, nor for those who have to be carefully kept, nor for the faint of heart…
Who among us has the strength to love on life’s terms? How many of us can say to our partner, “You go first. I don’t want you to die, but you’re entitled to your own life and your own death. Go easily. Don’t worry. I’ll take care of myself somehow. Holding onto myself with you has made me strong enough to do that.”
“We are not as fragile as we think.”
“Resilience is built into our nature… The need to self-regulate is so strong that infants will do it at the expense of connection.”
“Being out of synch is normal. Being out of synch with your partner and maintaining yourself is just as normal as synchrony. Both are necessary for healthy interaction. Knowing this often changes your feelings about gridlock, being out of phase with your partner, time apart, and having to self-soothe… Just because you don’t have what you want doesn’t mean something is wrong.”
“Time out of synch with your partner is neither traumatic nor wasted – unless you insist on it. Time out of synch is not only not negative, it’s positive; it’s a functional, purposeful, part of the process: it helps infants and spouses reorganize themselves so they can sustain the overall interaction.”
“Clean pain comes from moving forward from an accurate self-picture, accepting what has been, is, and will be… Dirty pain comes from defending, denying, or deflecting, to keep from seeing or doing something. The dirty feeling comes from dodging yourself… Clean pain is different: there’s no shame and less anxiety in the hurting. You stop struggling and relax. It is the healing pain of accepting the reality of your life and embarking on effective assessment, planning, and implementation. It’s hard to soothe clean pain. It’s almost impossible to sooth dirty pain.”
*All above quotes are from David Schnarch’s book Passionate Marriage.
From David Schnarch’s Passionate Marriage…
What’s wrong with me the way I am?
You may not want to answer it because it means facing things about yourself you know need changing. Your response to the question unmasks your reluctance to become what you can be – just as it unmasks your reflection of who you are now.
Finally, the question itself highlights the unspoken assumption that if people love you, they’ll be satisfied living within your limitations.
Often how we interpret other people’s behavior, particularly in relation to us, says more about who we are (and how we see ourselves) than it does about the other person.
~concept from David Schnarch’s Passionate Marriage
From David Schnarch’s Passionate Marriage…
She detested how she hid in fear of [her husband, John's] disapproval and vowed to do things differently… she recognized that she’d never really feel “safe” if she couldn’t do it on her own.
Having made this momentous decision, Mary realized that she didn’t need “permission” to change herself or her marriage. It doesn’t “take two,” as the old saying goes. It takes two to keep your marriage the same; it only takes one to change it. When you change, the relationship changes.
She wanted to become sufficiently solid in her sense of herself that she would stop living in fear of John’s response.
Think about your hugging.
How do you hug? Are you close or keep space between?
How relaxed are you when you hug?
How long do you hug?
How are these things different with different people you hug?
What do you think your hugging says about how you do the rest of life?
What do you think your hugging says about your relationship with the people you hug?
This concept of using hugging as a litmus test comes from David Schnarch’s Passionate Marriage. I want to add a quote about a concept he calls “hugging till relaxed.”
Start experimenting with hugging till relaxed in private, where you won’t be distracted. But when you get good at it, do it in your living room and kitchen so your kids can see and feel it. Modeling intimacy and interest in physical contact is only one benefit. You can also change the atmosphere in your home. Since families with young kids are an inherently undifferentiated emotional network, being near parents in a soothing, intimate interaction has the impact of calming children.
~David Schnarch, Ph.D
“In a nutshell, differentiation is the process by which we become more uniquely ourselves by maintaining ourselves in relationship with those we love.”
“Differentiation… [it's] a process – a lifelong process of taking our own “shape.”
~both quotes from David Schnarch’s, Passionate Marriage