Monday, December 26, 2011

Why is enduring coupleship rare?

Marriages may last for decades, but romance never does. Too often after the infatuation fades, the dreary routine of living obscures what is missing. Early coupleship is built on effortful heart-baring connection, but ongoing relationship too often slips into habit.

Enduring coupleship is a special bond of ongoing effective connection between two truly intimate partners. For coupleship to not just continue but evolve, those intimate connections must be mutually nurtured and maintained.

Intimacy* is not sex, romance, physical pleasure, simple excitement, or any other easy connection; rather intimacy is the mutual sharing of innermost essence. It takes ongoing risk to create and retain the safe vulnerability required for intimate coupleship. Many relationships, even ones that last, never get that far.

We change, and as we do the dynamics of relationships shift. We cannot avoid becoming different people from those who began the romance. Too often we fail to notice how the changes of life, circumstance, and being are changing us. And when we do, too often our inner changes feel threatening to old relationship understandings.

When we fear testing old relationship limits, we close down. We adopt a persona or ego or social self as an outer construct built to the specifications of our old environment. Layers of habit, denial, and inhibition cover our evolving inner truth. Without intimacy, truth becomes hidden from surface awareness, and relationship disintegrates into two lives in shared space.

It's not just enduring coupleship that is rare; it's any coupleship.

(*See SocioEnergetics glossary: Intimacy requires uncensored essential mutuality.)
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this piece very much. After thirty five years with the same partner their is much required maintainence and sometimes repairs needed to keep our relationship fresh and growing.