Relationships, Part 27: Open to Influence

What do you suppose is the most common factor influencing divorce? Infidelity? Poor communication? Abuse? Irreconcilable differences? Lack of commitment? These are the reasons most often given by divorced couples. Marrying early in life? Living together before marriage? Premarital pregnancy? Having no religion? Coming from a divorced household? These are the demographic factors that predictContinue reading “Relationships, Part 27: Open to Influence”

Relationships, Part 26: Positive or Negative Sentiment Override

If you dislike someone, the way they hold their fork may make you furious. If you like them, they can turn their plate over in your lap and you’ll overlook it. Happy couples are a little bit brainwashed about their partners. They admire each other, even if there’s little to admire. They love how theyContinue reading “Relationships, Part 26: Positive or Negative Sentiment Override”

Relationships, Part 25, Twenty to One

If you thought the key test that I told you about in the last post in this series was too simple, you’ll like this better. Get two counters. You know, the kind you put in your pocket and click. Set them to zero and put one in each pocket. Now see how you interact withContinue reading “Relationships, Part 25, Twenty to One”

Relationships, Part 24: The Key Test

Sometimes it’s hard to know how you feel about your partner. Feelings are complicated, especially in how they pertain to intimate relationships. Summarizing how you feel is sometimes like taking a bucket out of the Atlantic Ocean and saying, here, this is what the ocean is like. A bucket of water is not what theContinue reading “Relationships, Part 24: The Key Test”

Relationships, Part 23: Feeling While Touching

Here’s another exercise that can improve your relationship. It’ll clear out all those labels and stories you’ve attached to your partner and help you see him or her as they are. It’s called Feeling While Touching. 1.      Get within arm’s reach of your partner. 2.      One person should go at a time. One person initiatingContinue reading “Relationships, Part 23: Feeling While Touching”

Relationships, Part 22: The Thing in Itself

I have an object in my office, nailed to the wall, it looks like this:   “What is this object?” I ask. Most people would say it’s a fly. “OK, why do I have a fly nailed to my wall?” “It must be a joke,” most say. “Fly on the Wall, get it?” “Is itContinue reading “Relationships, Part 22: The Thing in Itself”

Relationships, Part 17: Sexual Boredom

If there ever was a good place for wantonness, it would be in marriage, yet I hear time and time again about how boring marital sex can be. You’re supposed to be able to be yourself with your partner and free to take risks to try something new. He’s in bed with you when youContinue reading “Relationships, Part 17: Sexual Boredom”

Relationships, Part 16: Desire and Power

Whomever has more desire has less power. This is the case no matter what you desire. If you go to a used car lot and find a car you desire, the moment you communicate that desire to the salesman, the price goes up. Whoever holds the object of desire gets to set the terms. WeContinue reading “Relationships, Part 16: Desire and Power”

Relationships, Part 15: When you Need Your Space, the Hat Method

Some days, you just need your space. The trouble is, your partner is there, too, and if you try to get some space, they may take it personally. You don’t want to get into a long discussion over why you need your space when you need your space. It may not be good to getContinue reading “Relationships, Part 15: When you Need Your Space, the Hat Method”