How had we come to this? It felt like we were friends, not lovers. We knew we loved each other didn’t feel particularly loved. We felt like married singles. That is how it felt in the midst of our fertility journey.
I know from helping women and couples on their journey to getting pregnant that this is not uncommon. Timed sex, feeling broken (physically and emotionally) and the distress of it all can kill the passion in the best of relationships.
So how can you re-create the intimacy and passion?
Firstly let’s look at what men and women crave in relationships. Men often crave respect. Women crave to be emotionally safe. To feel safe to express their emotions for them to be heard and understood. Women want to be seen, felt and heard as well as not being scared of their partner’s emotions.
I tried to help my wife feel better, without truly understanding how she felt. This is not what she wanted and she got frustrated with me and that left me feeling disrespected. She felt lonely. Not a recipe for intimacy.
Couples can end up in an ’empathy clash’. Both partners craving to understand and loved by the other.
A relationship is like a dance. The feminine is craving to relax and enjoy the flow of it. Being led by the masculine allows them to do this. To relax into the flow of the dance of life. The feminine is very good at leading, at taking responsibility. Sometimes it’s right for it to do so but it tends to step in when the masculine is not leading. The feminine ends up taking responsibility for the relationship (and the practical things in life) it’s exhausting. The feminine craves more leadership from the masculine so they can be more in their feminine.
So my first recommendation is for the masculine to break the empathy clash stand-off, seek to get into their partners model of the world and truly understand how she is feeling. Not fix it. Not internally judging it as unnecessary. Listen. Understand. That’s her reality at the moment. It may well be different in a few minutes but hold a space for her emotion so it is heard and understood. Emotion is irrational. When someone is in their emotion they won’t hear logic and reason nor do they want to. They want to be understood. When they come out of it they will have more perspective. Unless they specifically ask (in writing!) for advice focus on listening and understanding!
Men Watch this video
My recommendation for women is to tell your partner what you want them to do. Tell them you don’t want to be fixed or helped, you want them to understand the feeling. They like problem-solving so you could ask them whether they could help you understand what you are feeling (even if you know!). It will give them a clear role, to understand the feeling. Also, don’t expect the masculine to be like your feminine friends, as much as you wish they were more like that! No-one teaches men to engage with feminine emotion. Most men have poor male role-models when it comes to connecting to the feminine.
Learn to love each other again. It sounds silly but we get complacent in mature relationships. We KNOW we love each other but how loved do you feel? We assume people want to be loved in the same way we do. Learn about the different ways you can give/receive love and you may be surprised your partner prefers to receive it in a different way to you. If you don’t use the right ‘love language’ they won’t feel the benefit of your acts of love.