When two people come together, stumbling blocks are not far. How love becomes a long-runner anyway, says bestselling author Michael Mary. Through emotion and open words, for example. Because living together works differently today than it used to be. We have 10 best tips from his books.
Merging is no longer in. The idea of being able to become one with your partner is no longer up-to-date. It is no coincidence that younger couples in particular are increasingly emphasizing the value of individual diversity. The advantage: partners who keep a psychological distance can always long for closeness and approach the other. When the encounter happens, it is experienced very intensely. The feeling of merging with one another is there now. Passionate encounters also confirm that you are lovable and accepted. In between, each partner can live their individuality and thus remain attractive to the other. Tip: So that the moments of encounter are as intense as possible, let your partner participate in your inner world. Let him know that nothing is asked of him except to be there and listen.
Everyone in a relationship has some. Just no expectations, first of all see what will become of it, some think. It would be nice! Those who get involved in love always have expectations, even if many are unconscious. They are in the starting blocks and when the love is there, one after the other starts running. This means that partners only gradually get to know their own expectations and those of the other. Then at some point you hear yourself saying: "I didn't know how important it is to me to have children!" Or you expected yourself to be able to have an open marriage. But when your partner has been in bed with someone else, you fall out of breath. Discussing expectations - "How could you expect this or that?" -, makes no sense. Because no one can control them. Better than denying or judging them is to discover and acknowledge them - and then talk to your partner about them. Tip: Ask yourself: is what I expected really self-evident? What does my partner take for granted? Clarify together: What can I, what my partner, expect in relation to a certain topic and what not?
Above all, a gift to yourself. Giving trust is the prerequisite for feeling love. If you have to constantly check reliability, you cannot open your heart. So you give something less to the other than to yourself. Because trust is an advance in an expected positive development, it can be disappointed. Sometimes quickly. A remark, a promise not kept … Disappointed trust hurts a lot, but self-reproach - "How naive I was!" - are out of place. You left yourself because you need to feel confident. So forgive yourself for giving it. If the partner is ready to make amends, new, durable agreements must be found. Tip: If your trust in your partner is about to decline, talk to them. What have you trusted so far? What are you not sure about anymore? What exactly do you want to be able to trust in the future? Formulate very specific expectations, for example: "I want to be able to trust that you will call immediately if you are unable to!"
The very powerful feeling. Jealousy has its roots in the early childhood fear of being abandoned by the person on whom one is fully dependent. The jealous person encounters previously experienced feelings of panic and powerlessness. If his agonizing insecurity is confirmed, for example because the partner is cheating, he will lose the ground beneath his feet. That is why the feeling of jealousy is so powerful. Even if it is unfounded, it is of no use to swear to your partner: There is no reason at all! Because there is one: his fear. Jealousy tries to secure love - if it gets out of hand, it does exactly the opposite. Nobody wants to be controlled, to be used as a pledge for the other person's feeling of security. Tip: Instead of blaming and spying on your partner, admit your fear. You can't get rid of jealousy, just try to deal with it. It is therefore up to the beleaguered partner to be ready for deals. One of them could be: "Ok, you think I'm getting suspicious emails. There's my password. If you don't find anything, you can't bring up the subject for four weeks."
To be right
There are always two truths. Lovers think euphorically that they see the world from the same angle. But far from it. It soon becomes clear that what causes one problem leaves the other cold, what is unbearable for one hardly irritates the other. For example, he finds the tone of her voice haunting and asks her to choose a different tone. Then they argue about whether their tone is actually aggressive. She finds her ironic remarks about his passion for collecting funny, he hurtful. Then they argue about whether they're hurtful or funny. Partners can argue endlessly about who is right or wrong, who perceives right or wrong. The fact is that everyone sees and experiences the same situation differently. Hence, there is absolutely no point in doubting the truth of the other: Because there are always two truths in relationships. I prefer to talk about it and be amazed at how "I see it" and how "you do it". Tip: The recognition of the different perceptions as equivalent is a prerequisite for the partners to find an amicable way of dealing with the issues. Whereby the agreement can also be to disagree. You don't get together everywhere.
The duel needs fixed rules. Strife is needed to come apart. Being apart is a prerequisite for getting back together. The diversity of the partner once helped develop deep feelings for him. In everyday life, these differences are often denied - symbiosis also has its charm. In a sense, everyone cuts off a piece of their individuality. But at some point the denied personality rebels and starts a fight. The aim is to make people aware of the differences between the partners and to recognize them again. Tip: Arguing is not there to hurt the partner. Threats don't go at all. It must be possible to express points of view. Try to establish a culture of argument, such as: What volume is acceptable for me? What is an insult?
Conflicts are part of it. Everyone has needs, all of which are selfish. However, many of these cannot be fulfilled without other people, which is why one is dependent on them. This is especially true in love. One may live well alone, but no one can love alone. Needs that you have to represent and enforce vis-à-vis others are referred to as interests. Right at the top is that of love and that of yourself. What doesn't always go well together. This can be seen, for example, when one person is looking for closeness and the other wants to be to himself. How do you find agreement? By fulfilling both needs, not at the same time, but one after the other. There are also interests in certain leisure activities, intellectual, musical, sexual and others. Trying to assert your own needs is essential if you are to be satisfied in your relationship. Just as unavoidable: the fights sparked by conflicts of interest. Important: Love does not create a complete equality of interests, but the partner can expect you to be aware of his needs. Tip: Often behind the urge of one to cultivate more common interests, there is an entirely different need. For example for emotional closeness. Try to question what's really going on.
Desire versus familiarity. Passion frees you from everyday life, offers one of the few opportunities to experience life as immediate, unpredictable and exciting. That is why dispassionate sex is perceived as bland in the long run. Especially couples in long-term relationships who have committed to certain habits and who cultivate a familiar sexuality spared from danger often suffer from a lack of tension. Most of the time, the partners are too close to one another. Distance, which one longingly tries to overcome, is one of the essential conditions of desire. (See psychological distance point 1). Some partners find a solution in separate beds or apartments. They never quite belong to each other. Tip: Passion relies on tension. If you suffer from listlessness, try to show yourself differently, bring up sexual preferences and take risks. Predictability is the death of desire.
End or chance for a new beginning. The world does not end with an affair, even if it feels that way to the person affected. Certainly dreams and illusions burst, injuries are inflicted on one another. But if the affair has happened before, you should also take advantage of the opportunities it offers. For example, he brings topics to the table that seemed to be safely stowed underneath. What does a partner experience in the away game, what he misses in the relationship? Acceptance, closeness, liveliness? The partners could then deal with whether the missing feeling was once possible for them together and how it disappeared. Whether there is a willingness to try again. This can even result in a deepening of togetherness. A stable relationship is seldom destroyed by an affair, for a partnership with already little substance it is often the death knell. Tip: Should one confess infidelities? Basically, it comes down to the importance of the affair. If it has no effect on the relationship, then a revelation should be thought twice. If there is a risk of falling in love elsewhere, however, it is fairer to inform the partner.
Love cannot be negotiated. Deals make sense in a partnership: They are based on a common life project, the family, coping with everyday life. Each partner should contribute equivalent services to this project. You can negotiate who does the laundry, who repairs the cars and how the money is handled. And if you are willing to compromise, you will usually find solutions that are perceived as fair. In emotional love, on the other hand, there is no offset. It is completely pointless to demand: "Because I long for you, you have to desire me" or: "Because I kiss you, you have to caress me!" Love cannot be afforded. Lovers give and hope for reciprocation. You can, if you want, make sacrifices for your partner voluntarily, but those who compromise "out of love" end up in self-denial and at some point resent their partner. Tip: If it is possible to distinguish between partnership and love, compromises can be made in the right place.