- You find yourself feeling “indifferent” about things. It seems that the things that used to upset you, or that you put emotional energy thinking about has declined. If your the jealous type, maybe you find your much less concerned. Perhaps you aren’t as invested in “fighting” for the time you spent together before. Maybe it doesn’t matter if you spend more time alone or with other people then with your person. Did your birthday or anniversary go by and you didn’t get a card or a hug? This is the beginning of big problem. Feeling indifferent is not a good thing.
- Sex has gone down the drain. Whether it be the frequency, the quality or maybe your overall interest. You just don’t find yourself caring about whether it happens or not. The looks you once gave one another, the flirtatious cute comments, maybe your attention to detail about how you look when you go to bed.
- There is less “coupling”. You don’t do things together as a couple. Think of it like this: if you find you are spending more time alone or with friends then you do together, it’s a red flag. The time that you both carved out to go out to dinner alone, or go on a trip alone together (even a simple day trips), or spending time as a couple to enjoy one another’s company doesn’t happen often if at all.
- Intimacy has become non existent. Don’t confuse intimacy with sex. Intimacy is emotional closeness and connectedness. Your discussions with one another rarely include words like ” I love you” or “I miss you”. There is a lack of emotional vulnerability and openess between you. A distance. When this happens over time; refer back to number one. You stop communicating with one another. Don’t confuse talking with communicating. Communication involves active listening, eye contact, being emotionally present (not folding clothes or staring at a phone while your interacting).
- You spend more time unhappy in the relationship then you do feeling happy. This doesn’t mean of course you should feel “happy” all the time. Life throws things at us that we have to manage. Our jobs, our families, money issues, issues with the kids, the washer & dryer on are the fritz. When I say happy, I mean do you feel a sense of being “emotionally fed” in your relationship. Are you receiving the emotional things you need? Are you getting something/anything positive from the relationship for you? Is there a sense of emotional reciprocity? It’s surprising when I ask this question to individuals who are part of a couple how often I receive a blank look. Do you feel loved? Do you feel valued & respected? Do you feel pretty or handsome to by him/her? Do you feel understood?
- Do you find yourself frequently fantasizing about living a different life without your spouse? how much time? day dreaming one day or has it become the secret place you go in your head to feel it’s possible?
Intimacy and emotional safety is the cornerstone of predicting longevity in any relationship. If you have intimacy that’s a good thing. if you don’t it may be time to get couples counseling to discuss why one or each of you is not feeling safe and why. This is how emotional and physical affairs happen.
What is really good for me? What is really good for you? Is it what makes us happy or does most of our contentment come from within if we work hard at it and all the other good stuff is just extra?
Go into your heart, pull out the weeds, clear the brush, break down the walls and look at what’s in there what is it?
Is it love? Is it fear? Is it shame or maybe there a gaping hole that’s always being filled by things that we think gratify us. Maybe those things we put in the hole, if we have one, are the things that keep us apart from at least some of the joy and happiness we desire for ourselves.
What is it that makes us feel fulfilled?
Is our work? Does it come from being a good parent or spouse? Is it having a sense of mastery over something important and gives us feelings that just maybe we are making a dent in some small or significant way in our world?
Go into your head clear the chatter,
Stop the thinking, don’t try to hear, just wait and listen.
Listen to you. Your talking by the way, your dreams your aspirations, the flashes of happiness or even sadness we might see before we fall asleep at night. Our thoughts when we hear a song that swells our heart, or when the sun warms our face.
Just listen you will know.
Listen to your feelings, your images,
your dreams, the things you doodle when your not thinking, heed to your senses, does something move you inside,?
What exactly is the expression of our own authenticity?
That is our power source. Not money or position, or status. It is you.
It is me.
What is really good for us? What makes us truly happy?
Getting honest with yourself is hard.
Staying honest even harder. It’s so much easier to avoid, ignore, compartmentalize, and just turn our heads the other way. We can. We do. Doesn’t everyone? Well, eventually we pay for that detour. It hits us over the head one day and forces us to look at that old and familiar ugly mug of reality. What we have refused to acknowledge, what we minimized, sneaks back to visit us through the back door. Lying to ourselves can be so much more comfortable then honesty and vulnerability. Whether it be avoiding looking at something inside of ourselves or doing emotional reconnaissance on someone we love.
Is living in denial a bad thing if we are enjoying the ride? Or does acceptance of the obvious eventually give us a longer ride at the end?
Insight is cheap unless we are willing to do what’s hard.
Making honest choices based on truth. A comfort zone is a wonderful place, but nothing ever grows there.
Do you wear a mask? What do you not want others to know about you? This gets to the center of your fears and insecurities. Everyone, yes everyone has baggage. Things they struggle with or things that make them feel poorly about themselves. Some are better at hiding then others, some ignore it and their issues end up “leaking” out in other ways in their behavior or through an addiction. It takes a tremendous amount of emotional energy to hide parts of oneself. Especially the things that bring us shame. It keeps us isolated, afraid and often left to feel very alone. Our perceptions can become distorted about how we see others and ourselves. It really becomes a lot of work and makes life so much harder on us.
When we hide who we really are, it keeps others from truly loving us. It keeps us at a distance from others and that prevents us from having and developing closeness and intimacy. When you do something you feel was an error in judgement or a mistake acknowledge it, talk about it, be open about it, but don’t hide it. Own it.
You will feel “cleaner” emotionally, not only because you were honest with yourself but you addressed it and you took the step to share it with someone. Those who truly belong in your life and love you will see the mistake you made but more importantly they will see you, more then the mistake itself. Everyone has problems everyone makes mistakes, and everyone has things to work on its just part of being human. Acknowledging it and working on it separates the wheat from the chaff. Be who you are. Let people you care about see you.
Toss the mask, your worth it.
The one you love. Kissing, Hugs, Cuddling and overall physical affection release oxytocin,
a hormone that makes you feel HAPPY and decreases
depression. It also keeps you emotionally
connected and maintains intimacy with your partner.
..Everyone is going to hurt you,
You just got to find the ones worth suffering for” Bob Marley
William James once said
“Wisdom is learning what to overlook”.
Yet when we are in a relationship with a person we love so much how do we know exactly what to overlook or when to step up or put the breaks on?
If something is hurting us, do we overlook it as something that may be Insignificant or inconsequential?
Is it transient? Or do we convince ourselves we are being loved, so it’s ok? And very often that really seems like a fair trade.
Do we allow ourselves to get in so deep that when the door closes behind us, and we find ourselves in menacing places, or even being in situations that we would normally make an effort to avoid what do we do? Hope it’s not there with the new morning sun?
Does “crazy” look the same when you love someone then when you aren’t involved? How does love enslave us to a point where we loose our sense of self? Or better, our sense of what love is or should be for us? Do we deserve better?
Chaos, lies & deceit, rejection, broken hearted hurt can so easily be intertwined that sometimes, we just can’t find the end of the string. Where does the love end and the hurt begin? Is it love at all ? Do we call it love because it is what we know love to be?
Sometimes our hearts want to be loved and held so close that we often take risks against our better judgement. Then suddenly we feel,
we are randomly dumped alone in a dark place with nothing but ourselves and our seething pain to keep us company. We have no idea how we got there or how to compartmentalize the pain and figure out how to find our way back. You may have found yourself in a situation such as this. Your hurting but somehow the hurt isn’t as bad as the love you feel on the other side. So you decide not to get out.
You tell yourself it’s ok while in between you find yourself immobilized by fear confusion combined with passion mixed with disappointment and sadness. Then the tears come that no one sees. The knots in your stomach, the laying awake at night wondering if it’s real love or maybe something is wrong here. Then we stay, knowing full well where we are headed and what’s coming.
How is it that our little tiny hearts over take our big brains every time? We all have experience in these matters we just choose not to use our brains. We just don’t want to. Knowing full well in the end we will crack or break and suffer and create more pain.
Does love or loneliness have the power to move us into places we never thought we would be?
Some of the chaos is familiar and although exasperating at times we continue in the relationship
because we love that person. LOVE.
The pain we feel doesn’t outweigh the pleasure we feel. And as I always say;
when the pain or angst or sadness begin to take up MORE space in your
heart then the love, happiness & warmth it’s time to consider letting go.
If you don’t you may find that you eventually burn one another out fighting
about things that don’t really matter.
One will get broken hearted and loose what they tried so very hard to keep.
The feeling that no one else or nothing else matters.
Love takes us and we are more then happy to oblige.
Because that’s all anyone ever really wants. And somehow even in the darkness we convince ourselves it was all worth it. Because if even for a little whIle we floated. It found us. We experienced it. We felt happy. We belonged.
Even while our brain was screaming at us we closed the window, plugged our ears and just floated.