What Do You Want?
This is a question that comes up a lot with my clients, and I ask them regularly “what do you want?” Often times when I ask that question, it is difficult for them to find an answer, or to really be able to pinpoint exactly what they DO want. We need to be able to identify what we really want to feel inside of our most intimate relationship.
Now, oftentimes, we have not given ourselves permission to really get that , or to really get what it is that we really desire in our relationship. What we tend to do, is look at the relationship and see what we’re getting or what the other person is offering to us, and then think to ourselves “OK can I make this work?” We kind of look at it and say “OK , does this check enough boxes for me? Or does this you know fulfill most of what I want and I can sort of set the rest aside.”
Most of us got married when we were , we’ll say in our 20s or early 30s and when we go into marriage at that age what we really want in our relationship can be very different than what we want in our 40s and 50s. That can feel dramatically different than what we initially wanted from our marriage 20 plus years ago. This is one of the reasons that we find so much disconnection inside of relationships as they age, and one of the reasons why we get to our 40s and 50s or 10,20, plus years of marriage and we wonder why it doesn’t feel the way that we really wanted to.
I want to give you an example of one of my clients to show you what I’m really talking about here. So he and his wife had been married for about 22 years and early on they had both had some experiences that were difficult things, respectively, in each of their lives. They were able to come through those, and help each other through those together . So after that experience that happened for both of them there was a comfort and connection within the relationship and a safety there. This was while they were dating, and so after all this happened they decided that they would take the next step forward and get married.
They got married and they immediately began starting their family and had a son. So now the relationship had progressed, they had settled down, they had careers and things were stable and children were coming along. The relationship started to grow and change. They both were just kind of discovering that they didn’t really have the marriage that they thought they wanted. So my client, “Jon”, he was really looking at it and thinking about how the marriage felt and what was going on inside of it and what he was really needing and wanting, and was having a hard time coming up with that. He could not answer, what do you want?
As we talked about that some more, I gave him some questions to kind of draw that out and think about what he really wants. When he began writing this out he came up with a really good idea of what he truly wanted in the marriage, and it was very heartfelt and very powerful so here’s what he said about the person he wants to share his life with:
“she is healthy, faithful, financially stable, trustworthy, and compassionate. She’s desirable to others but faithful to me. She has good friends and likes to laugh but also likes to spend time with me and my friends. She celebrates my work and is respectful of me and our children and our families and our home. She loves adventure and likes to travel, likes to try new things, but is also happy just being with me at home alone. She has a smile on her face when she looks at me and is easy to talk to, she wants intimacy, enjoys sex, and I feel comfortable being vulnerable around her. Her love is fierce, her faith is solid, she is my ultimate friend and partner till the ends of our lives. She values me, shares her feelings with me, and knows me better than anyone.”
You can see that he came up with a very detailed explanation of what he wants and you can also sense the huge difference between this idea of “what am I being offered and can I really make this work” and “does it check the boxes” versus this explanation of connection and what his heart really desires and longs for and wants to have in the marriage.
So what I want to point out and mention is that if you don’t know what you want, then how will you ever get there? If you can’t answer the question what do I really want to feel inside my most intimate relationship, then how are you going to get to the place where you can find that? Question yourself. Spend some time thinking about what it is that you really desire in your most intimate relationship.
If you’d like help getting there and seeing if you can create what you want inside of your current relationship or if the only answer is to leave then I would invite you to schedule a complimentary Exploratory Session with me and we can look at whether or not there’s a fit for you and I to work together.