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Re: Intimacy, codependency issues Tabitha

Posted by Dinah on May 7, 2003, at 16:20:38

In reply to Intimacy, codependency issues, posted by Tabitha on May 7, 2003, at 13:41:07

Hmmm. Take what I say for what it's worth. I've been married for forever, and don't know much about romance. Or perhaps it's just that I see romance as a very minor element in a relationship, and I know that's not what it's like in the beginning.

But perhaps with just the tiniest shift in attitude you can have it all. Instead of thinking of it as training, you can just think of it as the care that every relationship needs. I hate to say "work" but keeping a relationship going for any length of time does take a bit of work.

The things like letting him know that you handle books differently can be light and funny moments really. Relationship enhancing moments. Admittedly that takes a bit of work to convert the irritation into something more constructive. My husband and I have dozens of them. We now have it down to shorthand, often with TV quotes. Like I always forget to put in the new toilet paper roll. He'll do one of the many toilet paper roll jokes that we use, and I'll take it as a reminder and go put it in. It's not a big deal, and there's no resentment.

As far as the privacy and together time, I suppose that could be a deal breaker if it's integral to how you both see things. But there's no harm in nonconfrontational discussions of that sort of thing. It can let you get to know each other better, and lead to intimacy that way. In fact that kind of intimacy can be terrific too. Certainly you aren't wrong to want more time apart than he does. And he's not wrong to want to spend every waking moment with you. After all, you're pretty terrific. It's just different, not right or wrong.

But I think I feel a bit concerned about how your therapist's attitude is coming across to me, although it may just be a different way of using language. Whenever my therapist (or anyone else really) starts obvious limit setting with me, it really causes the opposite reaction in me. Limit setting seems so... I can't quite explain it. I do it with my parents because I have to deal with them and they are difficult. But I don't think of it that way with the people I enjoy being with. I think of frank discussions and humor and compromise. Lots of humor and warmth. I'm not explaining this well. And it may just be a difference in terminology. But your therapist does make it sound a bit more confrontational and painful than it needs to be.

I'm not making much sense. And I feel really stupid right now, so I'm not sure if I can make any more sense out of it than this, so I'll hit post. I hope that you can somehow glean something of what I'm trying to say out of my attempt to communicate. And maybe a bit of it will be helpful to you.

 

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poster:Dinah thread:224890
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/psycho/20030407/msgs/224930.html