“You can have everything and still be depressed, until you learn that you are here as an offering. You are not here to get; you are here to give.”
— David Deida, Dear Lover
If you’ve been married to your man for many years, you know that getting to the altar was the easy part. It’s staying together for the long haul that is the challenge. Few of us would consider it a success to simply co-partner with a mate in a basic, tribal sense, nesting and raising young together. We humans crave and need passionate, emotional connection in a long-term union. If that feeling of connectedness weakens, loneliness can set in, and our commitment to each other will weaken in response.
There is never a wrong time to practice openness, but it is especially important in a committed relationship. (Of course, I bring this idea to you with the assumption that your man is trustworthy, treats you with respect, and has made you a priority in his life. Those conditions must be met before we talk about emotionally surrendering ourselves to a mate.)
If you’ve been feeling like your connection needs strengthening—maybe he seems a little distant, or you just have a vague feeling that things are “off”—following these 3 steps will help to re-anchor feelings of love and attachment.
1. Read Dear Lover by David Deida. This book celebrates feminine joy and sensuality, and offers a safe space for exploring ideas about surrender within a committed, loving relationship. If you struggle to relate to your man in an emotionally vulnerable way (or if you’re not sure what, exactly, that looks and feels like) Deida’s vivid, erotically charged language will help you “open in trust” to your mature, loving mate, and move past blocks and fears. Bringing this mindset into your relationship will fuel his passion and devotion.
2. Give without expectation of any return. This generosity comes from a position of strength, and is a completely different perspective from the eager-to-please “doormat” who puts everyone else’s needs first. Actually, you have a deep need to give to those you love; it is only when we start keeping score that giving breeds resentment and poisons otherwise healthy impulses. Just for today, imagine that you are Queen of your household. You have unlimited resources at your disposal and it makes you happy to share your good fortune. When you see that your husband’s glass is empty, you graciously refill it—without waiting for him to acknowledge it, or even notice. This shift in perspective—from put-upon victim to magnanimous ruler—can help you feel energized and alive. It builds good will, the foundation of any healthy relationship.
3. Remove the assumption that you “know” your man. This is hard to do. You think you know all there is to know about him—how he thinks and feels. But you have surely grown and evolved since you first met. Maybe you have new dreams and desires that he is unaware of. Certainly he does, too. So put on your safari gear and go observe him in the wild. Take notes. Ask him questions. What is his mission in life—has it changed since you were first dating and dying to know all about him? Pretend you just met. And don’t make the mistake of sharing all your dreams and desires first; to a man, that can feel like “dumping” if it is unexpected and out of context. Listen to him with respect, first. Your time will come, and he will return your interest ten-fold when you show that you trust him to do so.
THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON ROBYN'S BLOG @THE WELLNESS UNIVERSE.
Robyn Wahlgast is a Rules Certified Dating and Relationship Coach for Women, and a happily married mother of three. Need advice about your own relationship? Consider booking a private consultation with Robyn. Never miss a new blog post: subscribe to our FREE newsletter.