Lesson 8: The More I Control My Partner, The Duller They Get
“When we first start a relationship, we are greatly attracted to our partner. They thrill and excite us. As we move further along in the relationship, things that excited us become the very things that threaten us. We try to control them, to shut down that area of attractiveness, because we want them to share it only with us and not with anybody else. Of course, doing this does not work. When we shut down attractiveness in any area, it begins to shut down in every area. Controlling our partner to make them safe also makes them dull. We create our own boredom.
Our willingness to give up our control and let our partner be attractive will stir up the fear we have inside, that little area where we feel threatened. Willingness to experience this brings back the excitement. If it gets too fearful, rather than try to shut down our partner, we can communicate about the fear, which creates healing. Our partner’s attractiveness is a gift to everyone, just as ours is.
Today, begin to lift the controls that you’ve had on your partner. It may be time to communicate about your fear that you might lose them because of this area where you have been frightened of the gift that they have. Communicate with your partner about how much you value them and how much you appreciate their gift. Take off the control. Take off this form of blackmail. Just let them be who they are, and fully enjoy them.” –Chuck Spezzano, PhD
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This is a really interesting lesson. With my most recent partner, it took me a while to access his full attractiveness because he wasn’t really that in touch with it himself. He hid his attractiveness from himself and everyone, for the most part. Only after spending lots of time did a fuller picture emerge. Then I encouraged him to let it out more. As he’s relaxed a bit and let more of his attractiveness out it has become more exciting and, yes, scary! I can see and feel more of his power, which is actually immense. Immense talent, immense intelligence, immense sexiness…Immense attractiveness! He’s gotten sexier and his art has gotten sexier.
I found out over time, that he did let his attractiveness out here and there with other people, but always when they were at a safer distance. What felt bad about that was that it was covert. He did it in hiding from me. I honestly think if it had been more out the open it wouldn’t have bothered me so much. I could be wrong about that though. Covert behavior always seems more suspect to me than overt behavior. Like, it’s only covert because there actually is a real threat there.
I like to think that at least some things are special between my partner and I; that we share some kind of unique bond or exchange. There is a feeling of sadness sometimes when you find out, “Oh, he does this with everyone.” I’ve felt so stupid at those times, like I was having my own, illusory experience of our relationship. I know that people see and experience my attractiveness outside of my relationships, but I don’t direct that energy towards anyone but my partner when I am in relationship because I do like to keep some things sacred. It is hard when you find out you’ve been doing that alone.
So I suppose I did try to control who he shared his attractiveness with and how. Or at least I wanted to be able to control that. I wanted there to be something unique between us. I wanted some feeling of sacred space or specialness. I don’t know where you draw the line with that when it comes to a monogamous relationship. I guess a big part of my fear in my partner sharing his attractiveness with others is a doubt in his integrity. I doubted his ability to contain and responsibly handle that energy because of his propensity for emotional affairs. Ugh, this makes me nauseous all over again. I guess this lesson really brings up a lot of painful stuff for me.
I suppose if it felt safe to communicate these fears, I would. Where that safety comes from is another question. I guess true trust, safety and confidence comes from within. I’m going to have to sit with this one for a while. It’s stirring up a lot of bad feelings… Maybe it’s a question of “partner”. I don’t feel like he ever was my partner. He was always “playing the part” or “trying” to be my partner, so the foundation was always shaky to begin with. When I feel a sense of true partnership with someone, I don’t often doubt them much at all. I revel in their attractiveness and it’s enough that I’m the lucky one who gets to go home with them!