How to Handle Familiarity: With Honesty (Part 2)

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Humans are creatures of habit and lovers of the familiar. We form eating habits, personality habits, work habits, friend habits, and of course love habits. In any relationship the dry spells will come and either you will be ready and willing to brace for it or succumb and let it wither your relationship until it eventually dies. You have to decide to either fight or give up. No matter how much you wish it or pray it away, familiarity is coming.

One way in which love withers is through familiarity, especially when it comes to sex and connection. Eventually men can think they know everything about their wife or girlfriend and choose to not invest themselves into her well-being (emotionally, physically, spiritually). The same can be said of women who don’t try to connect with their men or pursue them. These above and beyond initiatives are usually given at the beginning of a relationship. We must always be watchers on the wall of love.

There is power and depth in familiarity. As time passes we are known typically more deeply by our partner which is often better than the start-up phase of a relationship. However, to make love last it requires both depth and newness.

This is the greener grass mentality. We often wonder if the grass is greener. This can manifest in many different forms. Will my life be better: if I’m with someone new who has money, is better looking, gives me more sex, talks to me, makes me a better person, etc. The list can go on. Certainly the grass will appear greener if we feel purposeless and if our current life is meaningless. Humans will always long for something more and since we are communal beings the first place we look to find meaning is in others. This feeling does not go away if you are married or in a long-term relationship. The key to dealing with these greener grass thoughts is to openly express them with love to your partner. We hide these feelings because of shame, fear, insecurity and oftentimes we know it could hurt our partner. Yet, the true hurt is if you reveal nothing. You know what you are thinking and hiding but your partner does not.

The question is will you share with your partner? It is certainly probable that honesty can cause harm but the more harmful thing is to hide it. Humans long for truth and within truth freedom reigns. This does not mean that truth won’t be hurtful or produce negative emotions. But I believe humans not only can handle these emotions but yearn to do so. When faced with truth and reality humans will either run from it, blame someone for it, or learn from it. To be mature is to learn from life, to be immature is to blame or run from life. Being honest is not a get out of jail free card. We must be willing to grow and fix ourselves. We must be willing to change and learn from our partner. We must be willing to adapt. We must be forgiving.

Greener Grass Examples:

  • Sex would be better with someone new
  • I could have a whole new wardrobe with a richer partner
  • A new man wouldn’t treat my kids that way
  • Life used to be fun with my wife, I’m just tired of the fighting and nagging
  • My man used to care for me and talk with me. I feel alone.
  • I want someone to love me with passion
  • My husband doesn’t want to meet friends or hang out. Our life is stagnant.

All of these examples should not just be discarded. They shouldn’t be regarded as it’s just my sinful thinking or desires. These desires and thoughts have merit and if we can improve upon ourselves and lives then we should strive to do so. Take a hard look at your greener grass thoughts. Figure out if they are true desires or fleeting thoughts? Discover what you long for and why you are feeling aimless. Is it because of yourself or because of your partner? Then, speak with your partner about your feelings of the greener grass. Tell your wife that you aren’t enjoying sex. Tell your husband that you don’t feel valued and special anymore as he doesn’t take you on dates nor connects with you.

Remember to share in the spirit of love and understanding. Do not be surprised if your significant other becomes defensive, gets angry, or hurt. In fact, if you share honestly without love, kindness, and gentleness it could bring harm to your partner. Always remember to speak in love. The goal is to build intimacy by trusting each other with your deepest thoughts and feelings. These are the hard conversations that we tend to have only with ourselves in our own secluded minds. In this chamber of secrets we will tend to act on them more. Open up your life to others and you will find that it is freeing and invigorating. Good things in life often require sacrifice or some sort of hurt. To live a free and better relationship you must be open and honest. Honesty with love isn’t the cure all but a key foundational piece to build a strong and beautiful relationship. The standard for you might not be sex, dates, or conversations but there is something you want and need. Each couple will have a different story but the key is to discover that together.

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