Men and Women Are Different? Wrong!
One thing I want you to totally get out of your mind right now is the idea that at the deep psychological level that there are any absolutes about "what women want" or "what men want."
I tell you, I've seen absolutely every variation on this old saw in the so called "literature" of my field, in the popular literature, in television, movies, magazines, workshops, and I'm totally unconvinced that at the deepest, most fundamental levels that you can make ANY conclusions about "what women want and need" or "what men want and need" in relationships.
Such divisions will do nothing but support your defenses and keep you from ever discovering the depth of a Great Relationship.
Let me put this in front of you right now. Stop making conclusions!
Just stop making conclusions! Your mind is full of nonsense about men and women, relationships, marriage, divorce, gay and straight, sex in general. Just give it up and make yourself like a brand new baby who doesn't know a thing, and then, like a baby, discover all the ways to get the "right" information --that is, the information that comes from the reality of dealing directly and without filters with your loved one.
Without foregone conclusions!
Just stop making conclusions that just because you have lived with someone or been married to them for ten, twenty, thirty, forty or even fifty years, that you know ANYTHING about them.
I can't tell you how many times I've sat in my therapy room with my jaw on the floor from hearing the conclusions that one person has just drawn about their partner and who that person is, when it is abundantly clear, just from what that person just NOW said and expressed that the other person is simply hallucinating and that they aren't talking about their partner AT ALL!
I don't care how long you have been together. The likelihood is that unless you have made a regular, ongoing, open-minded attempt without cease and with real courage and intensity to keep yourself open to the changes and development of the person you are with, you don't know that person at all.
As a matter of fact, let me make that even stronger. I think that in the vast majority of relationships that the longer two people have been together, the less they truly know the other person.
And I'll add this incredible fact to the mix. In the vast majority of relationships, The longer two people have been together, the more stubborn they are about insisting that their hallucinations about their partner are absolute truth.
Imagine this. If you were to launch a rocket ship at the moon, if it didn't have a capable computer that was making constant little corrections, and it were just one tenth of one degree off in its aim, it would end up thousands of miles off target.
To use another, much more common image, think about driving your car on the highway. Imagine that you are on an extremely straight highway (say, I-70 through Kansas). Could you just aim the car and strap a rope to the steering wheel and go take a nap in the back seat? Of course not. Even on an extremely straight road, you have to constantly be making little adjustments, right? (And NO relationships are "straight roads" as you know -- they are just chock full of bumps and swerves and ups and downs!).
And you have to be pretty relaxed to drive well and keep open to those constant adjustments, not resisting them or insisting that you are right when you are going off the road! Yet that's exactly what happens in most relationships. People make up their minds and just strap down their "steering wheel" -- their thoughts, feelings, imagination and ideas about themselves, their partners and marriages -- and seem not to care if they run off the road.
The amazing thing is that the majority of people are totally dedicated to being right far above their desire to have a great relationship.
You have to be ready and willing to be wrong, wrong, wrong. Most people are happy to trash their entire life just to keep their fool heads focused on the position that they are right, right, right.
This kind of stubbornness will destroy relationships. You'll never be ready for a great relationship unless you are ready to be wrong, wrong, wrong!
That is, unless you are ready to have a truly open mind, and recognize that all of the conclusions you have about your partner over the time you've been together could be sheer hallucinations!
Related Tags: relationship advice, marriage advice, prejudice, save my marriage, good marriage
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