Last Friday, I was waiting for a bus when I saw an older man with two kids sending off a woman at the bus stop. He seemed like the granddad.
What drew me to them was how the two little girls were waving furiously as the woman boarded her bus (which was also my bus) with “Bye Mom!”.
I looked at their bright shiny faces and wide smiles. She is their universe.
At that moment, they want nothing except her acknowledgement.
There is a romantic in all of us.
We need, want, and desire love.
We give love in the hopes of getting love back.
We get upset, depressed, and resentful when we don’t get what we give out back.
When we feel cheated of love – we might cry, yell, abuse, or withdraw.
We might test our partner, impose conditions, and control them out of our own fears of getting hurt.
They, in turn, might dim down their own brilliance to shut you up, and try to get along.
I often see my clients play out the roles of bully/ victim without even being conscious of it.
Contrary to belief, the bully is not happy being in control either.
Such emotional outbursts or repression by either parties can lead to numbing, resentment, and less satisfactory relationships.
While we like being the center of our partner’s universe, the reality is life does get in the way – and there is no one perfect relationship.
Couples could do better at
1) expressing their needs, wants, desires;
2) having a partner who is equally empowered to express their needs, wants, and desires;
3) both not resorting to emotional abuse/ punishment/ withhold when those needs, wants, and desires doesn’t get met;
4) being able to self-sooth and regulate their emotions.
What you can do
1) Be aware of how you’re feeling – scared, mad, numb?
2) Ask yourself why you feel the way you feel – less than happy.
3) Explore what you have tried to make things better, and why they haven’t worked.
4) Express your desire to have a better relationship with your partner
(Most couples seek help when they already have one foot poised to step out the door – which makes it very difficult to work with them!)
5) Seek support and learn skills – there are relationship workshops/ couples counselors out there.
(FYI I am a relationship counselor and clinical sexologist in practice for 8 years.)
Do something in the right direction now
In my two-part Love, Sex and Everything In-Between series I condenses everything I’ve learned as a Relationship Counselor and Clinical Sexologist over 8 years.
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About Dr. Martha Tara Lee
Surrounded by friends who were sexually inhibited and struck by dire lack of positive conversations around sex and sexuality in Singapore, Dr. Martha Tara Lee set out to make a positive difference in embarking on her doctorate in human sexuality before launching Eros Coaching in 2009. Today, she remains dedicated to working with individuals and couples who wish to lead self-actualised and pleasure-filled lives.
She also holds certificates in counselling, coaching and sex therapy, and has most recently completed her fourth degree – a Masters in Counselling. In practice for more than seven years, she is the only certified sexuality educator by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in Singapore.
Often cited in the local media, Dr. Lee is the appointed sex expert for Men’s Health Singapore, and Men’s Health Malaysia. She was recognised as one of ‘Top 50 Inspiring Women Under 40′ by Her World in July 2010, and one of ‘Top 100 Inspiring Women’ by CozyCot in March 2011. She is the host of weekly radio show Eros Evolution on the OMTimes Radio Network. She has published three books: Love, Sex and Everything In-Between, Orgasmic Yoga and From Princess to Queen.
Martha works with individuals and couples in private coaching sessions, and conducts her own workshops. She takes prides in making sure all her workshops are also fun, educational, and sex-positive. This comes easily to her because even though she is extremely dedicated and serious about her work, she fundamentally believes that sex is meant to be fun, wonderful, amazing and sacred. As such, this serious light-heartedness has shone through again and again. For her full profile, click here. Email her here.