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Healthy Relating

I recently have had a major awakening that I would like to share. I am in a new relationship with a man after being on my own after my separation for four years. I have many questions about how to do it right this time. I went to a sexual phsycologist and I came away with two things of great importance.

Firstly that my problems were ineffectual (my description) communication within the relationship area. I felt my needs were not being addressed and I was not being heard.

My partner had mentioned on a few occasions that I was very compliant. I pondered why I felt resistance and compliance together in some situation. My phsycologist gave me Permission to not have sex unless I wanted to. First revelation: I was unaware - having talked myself through the effects of patriarchal conditioning - that I needed external permission to break a lifetimes pattern of always putting someone else first. I was stunned when I realised that the necessary permission for me to reach into myself and ask if I wanted to do --- whatever -- had to come from someone outside of me ... and it opened a flood gate of tests.

My reactions to situations became a way of testing my need to caretake, or keep the peace, to avoid situations that were unacceptable or improper, to see myself bend to other's demands at the cost of my inner peace.

The second realisation was when we (my partner/friend and I) sat on the beach one night and thrashed out another statement. That we were playing games - non-productive ones. How then - when someone is in a relationship - do you step outside of the need to react/respond to prompts?

Any relationship (from my perspective) is based around what you need to give to it and what you need to get from it. As cynical as that sounds I feel that it is the basis upon what we are seeking in all interactions/communications with others.

So the games are what - competition for needs being met? power? balance? equality? recognition of our individuality?

We talked about (remember this is a new realationship - 15 months old) how we interact and try to say tactfully what we want and not cause harm at the same time. I will give an example

We had been out to dinner, which was disappointing and on the way home I decided - doing my testing of wants - that I did not want him to stay. He said would I ask him in and I said No. I previously had not felt secure enough or brave enough to do this though he had done it several times. He thought I was joking, I convinced him nicely I was not.

When we discussed the games issue this came up and we concluded NOT playing games is when we give each other enough space to do what/when they want without engaging in the negative reactions that also arise. Such as his feelings of rejection, while being slightly relieved (he likes sleeping outside when its hot, at his home) and the realisation that I was entitled to some space for me and it had nothing to do with him and his feelings.

Last night he made a statement - I 'never' want to walk at night with him and the dog anymore - major GAME statement - I opened my mouth to defend the unfairness of the statement and saw it for what it was - an invitation to play word games of need and insecurity with responses of caring and support from me and closed my mouth quick and chose not to play.

I hope that I have given you something to think about - ultimately leading to healthier relationships for wymn. This story was prompted by Laura-Doe's essay upon wymn flowing and I feel this is what I am accomplishing

Be well and at peace

Meriel Blake


My own discoveries about relationship lately have been assisted greatly by the work of David Deida, specifically his book 'Intimate Communion' which I highly recommend. LD


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