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Relationship issues and warm fuzzies

Last night, I dreamt that I was attractive and self-confident, and it made all the difference in the world. It was back in college, and I was young and spry and full of piss and vinegar, and things went perfectly for me. And I ended up with a really attractive woman (actually someone who I was friends with back then), and it turned into a sex dream, the details of which I shall leave out for the TMI factor.

Considering that, I find it odd that the number of relationships that I see and hear about have so many level of dysfunction, and nearly all of them have to do with communication. Letting your needs and wants be known to your partner, and listening to theirs and being more receptive to them.

It certainly complicates things when you add another partner like the polyfolk do. I am at a loss to understand the dynamics of a multipartner relationship.

I have come to believe that a good relationship can only be based on emotionally healthy individuals. I don't know if that's true or not, but most relationship failures that I know about (and have experienced) were pretty directly attributed to people not being able to handle events in an emotionally mature way. And I have been guilty of the same thing, though I try not to be.

But what if you are already in a relationship, and for whatever reason your emotional health deteriorates. Does this put the relationship at risk?

I'm thinking it does.

So how do you go about maintaining emotional health? Is there some emotional pilates program, or something like tai-emo to kick your emotional ass into becoming strong and capable again?

And a side question: when you are in a committed relationship, do you retain some secrets? Or do you open up everything to your partner?


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 9th, 2003 02:45 pm (UTC)
I think you're right -- that healthy relationships require healthy people in them. That just makes sense.

I think that having meaning in your life -- a sense of grounding -- can help retain emotional help. But I also think that there's parts of it you can't control.

I have no material secrets from my husband. For one thing, he's known me too long -- I couldn't keep any if I tried. And he was there for all the dumb stuff I did. I do not believe he has any material secrets from me. And we tell each other exactly what we're thinking and feeling. When that's not good, we identify what's wrong, whether anything can be done to fix it, and if so, we try to fix it.
Sep. 9th, 2003 04:19 pm (UTC)
Yet you qualify by saying material secrets. What makes a secret material?
Sep. 10th, 2003 06:46 am (UTC)
Stuff that anyone in their right mind would care about. There are things that he doesn't know about me, but none of them are seminal to my personality or history. None of them make amusing stories. They did not have a big impact on me.

He knows about the important things I have done in the past and do now.
Sep. 9th, 2003 05:44 pm (UTC)
I've slowly come to realize that the main reason I've only had one brief relationship in several years is this: I'm just not emotionally healthy enough to start or maintain one. That's hard to admit to oneself.

I keep wishing for some stereotypically wonderful woman to come in and make everything easier. Rescue fantasies do not indicate an emotional center firing on all cylinders.
Sep. 10th, 2003 08:39 am (UTC)
SO we come back to an issue of how to maintain one's emotional health, or to build it up when it is down.

I think this is going to be a key question for a lot of us.
Sep. 10th, 2003 07:10 am (UTC)
I have private spaces in every relationship, but I try to make really sure they're private for good reasons. I think sharing everything is 1) impossible, and 2) not terribly productive. Besides, I really resent being coerced to share things I'd rather not talk about.

Emotional health is not an absolute. In most of my relationships, my partner and I tend to cycle in and out of who is stronger and saner. As long as I have faith that there will be long-term balance, I'm okay. When I feel like there is a long-term-imbalance, well, I have to rethink the relationship.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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