Podcast – Episode 0110 – Growth Relationships
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In this episode Joel and Antonia talk about the steps to create a growth relationship with your lover.
In this podcast you’ll find:
Last week we had a fantastic interview with Jayson Gaddis. (If you haven’t listened to it we recommend doing so here.)
He brought up a model of the different styles of relationships:
The first two are doomed to not be satisfying. The one relationship that always works is Growth.
What are some of the aspects of a growth relationship?
In the Podcast on our wedding vows – growth was a big piece.
One of the frameworks we hang everything else on is the idea that we see the relationship as a third entity. A system outside of ourselves.
Structurally there are co-created experiences that live in this third entity, and this third entity has its own needs separate from me and my partner.
If we are in a space of competing needs, we can redirect our attention from me or you to meet the needs of the relationship.
Relationship needs don’t always trump individual needs. But we want to work as a team to make sure this entity is protected.
Parents will understand this. Their individuality takes a hit in preference to the child.
Protecting the relationship at all costs will create co-dependence, which isn’t good.
If you are in a space where your relationship has become combative, the marriage becomes neutral space that allows you to work as a team again.
“I want to do something for you, me and the relationship.”
How do we measure success in this? It’s not just about being happy or unhappy. If you are growing, sometimes you are unhappy. Growth creates tension.
A better metric would be the idea of oneness – intimacy. We can still maintain oneness even in the midst of growth. You feel a connection to your partner, like they are an extension of you.
Connectivity is an important need of a relationship. Different personality types can have different needs. Deep conversation. Time. Fun. Intimacy.Travel.
The Marker of a strong connectivity is a shared language. (Referential humor. In-Jokes. Shared perspectives.) Sharing moments with a single glance or word that connects the two of you.
Sexuality is closely tied to our identity. Willingness and ability to be open and vulnerable in sexuality with one another. Knowing your partner will never use your vulnerability against you.
Whatever our predilections are, if we cannot share them with our mate despite their creation of a safety zone it may indicate trauma. Which mirrors back to us that we have some work to do on ourselves.
Most people do not get training on how to sexually open up to their spouse. If you’re missing this piece there is a part of your mate’s inner world that you are not experiencing, and vice versa, which means that the grafting together of your intimacy will stall out and it will affect your overall intimacy.
You may not even understand what your sexual needs are. You may have been taught to hide them due to religious influence or shame.
A safe relationship says, “We’ll figure this out together.” “I’ll be Patient while you figure this out.”
Trial and error is the way most of us figure out our sexual likes and dislikes.
We aren’t recommending you bombard your mate with everything you’re into. We want you to start with safety, so you can become vulnerable when necessary.
It’s not just sharing sexuality with each other. It’s really about looking at how open you feel with your partner. If you don’t feel safe, you have some work to do.
A satisfying sexual relationship will keep a relationship going far. The biggest complaint people have is a lack of sex.
We as people are growing and moving thru life dynamically. If you value your relationship over your own growth your priorities are out of whack. The marriage is a tool set to serve you, not the reverse.
Why we have so many divorces is because people think the marriage is supposed to take care of all our individual needs. Our growth should take priority over our relationship.
There are lots of layers. We have created the structure and we can dismantle it at any time when it is no longer serving both people. If the relationship has to die to keep both members growing, it is acceptable.
This gives us space to grow in all the ways we need to grow and this leads to us becoming better versions of ourselves and better mates. More competent members of the relationship.
The more space we give each other to grow the more intimately connected we become. Where else am I going to find someone as committed to my development as this person?
Mutually supportive goals and missions
It is energetically inefficient to try and force another to accept your mission/goal.
If you are cheering each other on, your mental and energetic real estate can be put toward your mission. If you feel your energies are being robbed thru conflict, you aren’t growing.
Have narratives aligned
We see everything we experience as a story that we make up as we go along. We don’t really know what reality is. We only know what our reality is telling us.
Belief systems are our narratives. They inform our interests and values. If we have conflicting or missing interests/values there is going to be nothing but conflict. If you can’t have aligned narratives, make space for each other’s differing viewpoints.
It is easy to think of narratives as static. But the more you can view your narratives as flexible the more growth you’re going to have in life.
You get to choose how you feel about things, which is very empowering. If your mate does something that triggers you, you can choose to be less reactive. Explore your narratives when they are toxic and reactive and see if you can bend a little.
“Would I rather be right? Or would I rather be happy?”
“Would I rather be righteous? Or would I rather be happy?”
Is righteous indignation a more satisfying place? Or, is connection with my mate more satisfying?
This isn’t about giving up values, It’s about being self reflective and asking yourself how tightly you are hanging on to beliefs that you are only assuming are true.
By observing our resistances vocally it can strip the intense emotion of its strength and we can process and explore it.
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