Do You Want a Better Relationship? Part III

In the first post we discussed the relationship being the “third body.” In the second post, we discussed how you could enrich your third body.

You could skip step 2, and immediately go into this level of work, but I suggest you practice the previous deepening exercises for three months before moving on to the next step. Why? Because you are more likely to be successful if you go slowly. Remember it’s not about how much you can do; it is about how deep you can go. It would be better to skip a few steps and dive deeper into the others than rush to get them all done.

If it feels like work, something is wrong. If, after a month, at least 50% of it isn’t fun, change what you are doing. Decrease your discussion time or just take a break from talking if your discussions are becoming more like therapy than collaboration. Spend the month having fun. Go out on play dates. Pretend you just started dating. Do silly things like going bowling.  Enjoy the pleasure. Play like a kid.

Create a fourth body of deep love

A fourth body is a body of deep intimacy. It is more than a body of relating, it is a body of deep love and passion. It’s the next evolution of the third body. It comes from a deep-rooted trust that evolves out of a safe container. A relationship container is created through clear intent and agreements. An intent that extends beyond being in a loving relationship could be to grow emotionally and spiritually. It could be to find God through your partner and the relationship. It could be whatever you want it to be. And it can evolve as the relationship evolves.

The agreements are things you need and want. These are based on your values. So having conversations about what each person values is critical. Start with the mundane, such as finances, then progress to the more personal. Discuss what you see love being. Here is a list of questions to draw out your values:

  • What should we save for?
  • What are our priorities for spending our money?
  • How much does each person receive personally?
  • What is the purpose of money?
  • What is more important than money?
  • What is security for each of you?
  • What are each of your personal missions or purposes?
  • What do you want to do together?
  • How do you have fun?
  • What are your roles as parents?
  • What is being healthy?
  • What role does religion or spirituality play?

You get the idea. Both of you can create your own list separately and come together to create a shared list. As you do it look at it from three perspectives:

  • Who do you want to be – as a person and as a relationship?
  • What actions (do) do you need to take singly and together?
  • What do you want to have personally and collectively?

Let this process evolve. It could take several weeks to discover what you value and want to be the foundations of your agreements. Have fun with it. You get to dream together.

To continue this, go beyond your physical and emotional survival needs. Speak about the little things you might think aren’t important. Those things you never mentioned before these conversations. Speak from a place beyond your conscious mind. Speak about those emotions that you feel in your body. Speak about your vision of your relationship. What is it from all views: spiritually, emotionally, physically, mentally and sexually. From there,progress to design your personal and shared goals.

Once you know what your shared values and goals are, it becomes easy to create shared agreements. It is also much easier to follow through on those agreements because you know why you are doing it. You feel you are doing it as a team.

Now that you have your values and goals laid out, come to an agreement concerning your container. With your intent and agreements, you have something to surrender into. Your willingness to surrender will be directly affected by what you are surrendering into. Now that the container is in place – go for it, let go.

Allow yourself to relax your ego and control. As a man we have the opportunity to prove the container is strong and the space is safe by stepping into it first. Be the first to risk. Speak the unspeakable. It’s in the space anyway, so give it a voice. You may feel as you speak you are stumbling, and that’s OK. You are speaking about a difficult topic. It won’t be smooth. Show that imperfections are perfect. Your act of courage will deepen her love and respect for you, and her trust.

Start risking in a new way. It’s not much different than getting a massage where the therapist gets on a tight muscle. Your first response is to tense or pull away. Then you remember why you are there, and when you do surrender, it can hurt more for a second before it begins to feel good.

For us guys, receiving can be an edge that we resist. We are instinctually good at holding the space. Surrendering our emotions into the space can be scary. Start with small acts of courage. Speak about the little things your partner does or could do that make you love her. Then be a witness to your partner sharing hers. As you continue to be in this new place, allow yourself to expand even more to receive the beauty of what is occurring and the beauty of your partner.

As you express your feelings and wants, you not only deepen your relationship, you are healing your past so it won’t be your future. You are also learning what was never taught to you. You are developing communication skills that only come from trusting and risking. When something does come up, you have the container and track record of safety and compassion to move through it with grace.

Deepen your relationship by going outside it

Your third and fourth bodies will flourish when both of you are being renewed. But you can’t rely on your partner, or even yourself, to bring all the energy you need.

Each of you need separate interests, friends and places to go to for rejuvenation. Having separate interests will create distance, and that’s good! One of the secrets to many successful relationships is having one partner who travels. Another secret couples have divulged to me is that they have separate bedrooms. We have a shared belief that we need be together all the time, but that’s not love, that’s codependency.

Being apart gives you something to share with your partner when you are together. It also creates longing. You remember what that is? You want the other. There is also more mystery. You don’t know everything about the other person. You aren’t directly involved in every aspect of his or her life.

This separation is critical for couples who work together.  Not only do you need agreements about how you separate your business from your relationship, you need time alone and separate. Your lover and best friend will begin to wear on you. You know you shouldn’t be getting impatient with him or her, but you are overwhelmed. Get out. Do things with your friends. Take a trip without your partner.

Enjoy going deep

You now have several tools to develop the relationship you always wanted. Don’t be too serious with these new tools. Have fun with them. Experiment and play with them. Share them with your friends. See them as new sports you are learning. Practice will become easier and more fun as you continue to play with them.

Through fun you will heal what years of therapy can’t. You will learn what others don’t even know exist. Most importantly you will fall in love with your partner in ways that you didn’t know possible. Creating a new frame for your relationship allows for more of each of you to show up. With more showing up, there is more to love and enjoy.

There will be times when it is tough, yet just like getting in shape the rewards will outweigh the effort. Make this investment in your relationship. Give each other the love and commitment of deepening your relationship. You both deserve it.

Let us know how this works.

 

In the first post we discussed the relationship being the “third body.” In the second post, we discussed how you could enrich your third body.

You could skip step 2, and immediately go into this level of work, but I suggest you practice the previous deepening exercises for three months before moving on to the next step. Why? Because you are more likely to be successful if you go slowly. Remember it’s not about how much you can do; it is about how deep you can go. It would be better to skip a few steps and dive deeper into the others than rush to get them all done.

If it feels like work, something is wrong. If, after a month, at least 50% of it isn’t fun, change what you are doing. Decrease your discussion time or just take a break from talking if your discussions are becoming more like therapy than collaboration. Spend the month having fun. Go out on play dates. Pretend you just started dating. Do silly things like going bowling.  Enjoy the pleasure. Play like a kid.

Create a fourth body of deep love

A fourth body is a body of deep intimacy. It is more than a body of relating, it is a body of deep love and passion. It’s the next evolution of the third body. It comes from a deep-rooted trust that evolves out of a safe container. A relationship container is created through clear intent and agreements. An intent that extends beyond being in a loving relationship could be to grow emotionally and spiritually. It could be to find God through your partner and the relationship. It could be whatever you want it to be. And it can evolve as the relationship evolves.

The agreements are things you need and want. These are based on your values. So having conversations about what each person values is critical. Start with the mundane, such as finances, then progress to the more personal. Discuss what you see love being. Here is a list of questions to draw out your values:

·         What should we save for?

·         What are our priorities for spending our money?

·         How much does each person receive personally?

·         What is the purpose of money?

·         What is more important than money?

·         What is security for each of you?

·         What are each of your personal missions or purposes?

·         What do you want to do together?

·         How do you have fun?

·         What are your roles as parents?

·         What is being healthy?

·         What role does religion or spirituality play?

You get the idea. Both of you can create your own list separately and come together to create a shared list. As you do it look at it from three perspectives:

·         Who do you want to be – as a person and as a relationship?

·         What actions (do) do you need to take singly and together?

·         What do you want to have personally and collectively?

Let this process evolve. It could take several weeks to discover what you value and want to be the foundations of your agreements. Have fun with it. You get to dream together.

To continue this, go beyond your physical and emotional survival needs. Speak about the little things you might think aren’t important. Those things you never mentioned before these conversations. Speak from a place beyond your conscious mind. Speak about those emotions that you feel in your body. Speak about your vision of your relationship. What is it from all views: spiritually, emotionally, physically, mentally and sexually. From there,progress to design your personal and shared goals.

Once you know what your shared values and goals are, it becomes easy to create shared agreements. It is also much easier to follow through on those agreements because you know why you are doing it. You feel you are doing it as a team.

Now that you have your values and goals laid out, come to an agreement concerning your container. With your intent and agreements, you have something to surrender into. Your willingness to surrender will be directly affected by what you are surrendering into. Now that the container is in place – go for it, let go.

Allow yourself to relax your ego and control. As a man we have the opportunity to prove the container is strong and the space is safe by stepping into it first. Be the first to risk. Speak the unspeakable. It’s in the space anyway, so give it a voice. You may feel as you speak you are stumbling, and that’s OK. You are speaking about a difficult topic. It won’t be smooth. Show that imperfections are perfect. Your act of courage will deepen her love and respect for you, and her trust.

Start risking in a new way. It’s not much different than getting a massage where the therapist gets on a tight muscle. Your first response is to tense or pull away. Then you remember why you are there, and when you do surrender, it can hurt more for a second before it begins to feel good.

For us guys, receiving can be an edge that we resist. We are instinctually good at holding the space. Surrendering our emotions into the space can be scary. Start with small acts of courage. Speak about the little things your partner does or could do that make you love her. Then be a witness to your partner sharing hers. As you continue to be in this new place, allow yourself to expand even more to receive the beauty of what is occurring and the beauty of your partner.

As you express your feelings and wants, you not only deepen your relationship, you are healing your past so it won’t be your future. You are also learning what was never taught to you. You are developing communication skills that only come from trusting and risking. When something does come up, you have the container and track record of safety and compassion to move through it with grace.

Deepen your relationship by going outside it

Your third and fourth bodies will flourish when both of you are being renewed. But you can’t rely on your partner, or even yourself, to bring all the energy you need.

Each of you need separate interests, friends and places to go to for rejuvenation. Having separate interests will create distance, and that’s good! One of the secrets to many successful relationships is having one partner who travels. Another secret couples have divulged to me is that they have separate bedrooms. We have a shared belief that we need be together all the time, but that’s not love, that’s codependency.

Being apart gives you something to share with your partner when you are together. It also creates longing. You remember what that is? You want the other. There is also more mystery. You don’t know everything about the other person. You aren’t directly involved in every aspect of his or her life.

This separation is critical for couples who work together.  Not only do you need agreements about how you separate your business from your relationship, you need time alone and separate. Your lover and best friend will begin to wear on you. You know you shouldn’t be getting impatient with him or her, but you are overwhelmed. Get out. Do things with your friends. Take a trip without your partner.

Enjoy going deep

You now have several tools to develop the relationship you always wanted. Don’t be too serious with these new tools. Have fun with them. Experiment and play with them. Share them with your friends. See them as new sports you are learning. Practice will become easier and more fun as you continue to play with them.

Through fun you will heal what years of therapy can’t. You will learn what others don’t even know exist. Most importantly you will fall in love with your partner in ways that you didn’t know possible. Creating a new frame for your relationship allows for more of each of you to show up. With more showing up, there is more to love and enjoy.

There will be times when it is tough, yet just like getting in shape the rewards will outweigh the effort. Make this investment in your relationship. Give each other the love and commitment of deepening your relationship. You both deserve it.

Let us know how this works.

Photo by charliehey

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