In reply to by .Jen

Hi Jen!

Thanks for this vulnerable sharing. I'm sure many can relate. I know I can! As you know I experienced a pretty similar dynamic in my previous relationship, and now coming into a new one I've had to be super attentive. But, the good news is you're in exactly the right place now to overcome this! As Open said, having some time alone is important but it's when you come back into a relationship that this can really be worked with again. You've laid the groundwork for the next layer to be let go of. 

One thing that jumped out at me from your sharing was the noticing a connection between your previous desire to merge/dissolve into the relationship/your partner and your current existential dread. Could this existential dread be a mirror of the previous dissolving? It's understandable and I can recognise this fear/dread for sure. So, the question is, what is dissolving? Because there is an unhealthy distorted version and a more aligned version. We tend to unconsciously attract traits in others that give us a feeling of completion because of perceived lack in ourselves. So, in order to feel whole we form a kind of third entity in the relationship - the couple identity . It means that we're constantly seeking our partner to be a certain way in order to fulfill this identity, and vise versa. But if you recognise when this is happening, you can break this. It may be quite painful in the beginning, but it will pay huge rewards in the future.

So, perhaps at the moment this existential dread is from certain identities dissolving. Ones which you kind of depended on before to keep the relationship afloat. Maybe, you're in unchartered waters, wondering how a relationship works if that dynamic is no longer there? Again, I can certainly relate to that. 

As you know, Conscious Relating is the area of service I've chosen to focus on right now. So, like Open, I'd like to give a few points of focus if I may: 

1.  Learn how to communicate in a way that doesn't project. That means completely owning your stuff. Be open and honest when you share what's going on with your partner, but make it clear that it's your distortion to work through and not their responsibility. You're simply sharing in order to help that process along. This is actually the first hurdle for many important discussions in relationships, where so many misunderstandings can occur. 

2. Make sure your boundaries are authentic ones - boundaries is a word that gets thrown around a lot, but there can be just as many distortions expressed in setting boundaries. For example, distancing yourself from a discussion because you don't want to take responsibility for your stuff and want your partner to be the one to make a move to reconcile. An authentic boundary is always an empowering one!

3. What does being empowered mean, both for you and your partner? Notice where you make your partner responsible for how you feel and vise versa. 

4. Balance is key - between time alone, time with your partner and time with others. The right balance constantly changes and evolves. Notice when you're craving attention/connection and make sure you give yourself that before going to your partner with expectations that they will fill that hole.

 

There's a few main pointers, but I've got a whole lot more accessible through my website. Do get in touch if you want to work through it. 

Also, I've put together an online course that you can do in your own time at home which goes into more detail about all of this: Overcoming Relationship Dependency

Much love to you Jen!

Rich