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The 5 Stages of Love: Why Too Many Stop at Stage 3

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We wonder where the person we once loved has gone. This is a time we often get sick in body, mind, and soul.

In our marriage, Carlin and I both began having problems with our hearts heartache? I began having serious problems with erections. To be truthful, there were times when it was miserable, and we both thought about leaving the relationship. The positive side of Stage 3 is that the heat burns away a lot of our illusions about ourselves and our partner.

Creating Real, Lasting Love One of the gifts of confronting the unhappiness in Stage 3 is we can get to the core of what causes the pain and conflict. Like most people, Carlin and I grew up in families that were dysfunctional. Both my father and mother suffered from depression and my Dad tried to take his own life when I was five years old. Her mother left him in order to protect herself and her daughter.

Ongoing research from The Adverse Childhood Experiences ACE Study demonstrates conclusively that childhood trauma can impact our physical, emotional, and relational health. Carlin and I learned to be allies in helping each other understand and heal our wounds. As we began to heal, the love and laughter we thought we had lost began to flow again.

We began to see each other as wonderful beings who had suffered greatly in the past and had come together to love each other and help heal our old wounds from childhood. They understand that your hurtful behavior is not because you are mean and unloving, but because you have been wounded in the past and the past still lives with you. As we better understand and accept our partner, we can learn to love ourselves ever more deeply.

Using the Power of Two to Change the World No one has to remind us that the world is not doing too well. A There are three major reasons why men lie. Men are taught that we are responsible for—and entitled to—run the universe. Second, a man might lie to cover his butt, get away with something, or just get his own way.

Why Men Struggle with Intimacy | Goop

At its most extreme, it can be downright abusive. Cheaters, addicts, abusers of all kinds—these men live a life that is all lie. One of the great unspoken truths is how many men fear their spouses. Of course, many women are no strangers to this kind of manipulation. The cure for this kind of lying is learning to be forthright with your partner. Tell your truth with diplomacy and skill, but nonetheless get it said.

Have the courage to speak up for yourself rather than placate your partner and mutter through your teeth in anger. I call this radical truth-telling: The willingness to take one another on is an essential element in keeping a couple in good health.

The 5 Stages of Love: Why Too Many Stop at Stage 3

A The first casualty of not telling the truth is our passion. As resentment builds, desire and generosity start to go out the window. I think this is the root of the epidemic of sexlessness in long-term relationships. When we stop showing up in authentic ways for our partner, and for ourselves, we may avoid painful conflict, but we also grow numb and disillusioned.

Why Men Struggle with Intimacy

Men and women are silenced for different reasons. Can you imagine a man like Clint Eastwood or Vin Diesel asking someone to comfort him because he feels insecure? Q You also talk about male anger on a societal scale—how does that come into play in relationships and couples therapy?

A Anger is mostly a secondary emotion. Underneath it is often hurt or pain. For too many men, the only strong emotions they permit themselves are either anger or lust. When feeling hurt, or insecure, many men may dip into feelings of shame or inadequacy. In therapy, I forcefully block such aggression, then help clients walk back their anger to the shame or pain underneath. This work requires the courage to allow yourself to be truly vulnerable. One of my clients gave me the gift of this proverb: And nothing more strong than true gentleness.

But I tell my guys: Instead of redoubling your efforts at control or flying off the handle in revenge, take a few deep breaths and relax; let it go. We men are taught to live the opposite of that, not attending to what we can affect and getting into knockdown fights over the traffic. Q How might things be different if our culture were more driven by matriarchal values? But if you do look at the historical and anthropological literature, there is some evidence that women might do things differently.

My friend and colleague Carol Gilligan just returned from Israel, where—in part inspired by her work see her book In a Different Voice: After the signing, they marched to Jerusalem where their ranks swelled to 30, They call their movement Women Wage Peace.

Living relationally, by contrast, means living ecologically. Your relationship is your biosphere. Take good care of it for your own sake. I believe in enlightened self-interest.

Sure, it might feel good to haul off and pollute your marriage with angry toxic words over there. Q Do you see real potential for these patterns to change? I asked him what he thought he did that helped people. I just hang in there. Then we have the opportunity to let the situation reveal its true nature.

We can see ourselves and both our realistic and our unrealistic needs. What we should not do is put the people we care about in prisons just so that they will continue to meet our expectations. How much is based on the reality of the situation? As we go from relationship to relationship, passion to passion, cause to cause, situation to situation, those questions never go away. Again and again, we will experience idealization and disillusionment.

But we do have a choice about what we do when we start seeing more clearly and realistically. If we hang in there after the honeymoon is over, we create an opportunity to have a loving, rewarding relationship based on reality rather than fantasy.

We always have the power to change our story. Knowing this, we can be fascinated and even amused by our very human habit of idealizing people and situations only to become disillusioned by them after the honeymoon. When have you become disillusioned with something you had idealized? And what do you do when the honeymoon is over?